Conveyancing fees seem to be a necessary evil when you’re buying or selling a property in the UK. The bill for them is often quite large and in many cases, can significantly reduce the ready cash you have available to spend on your new property. However, you don’t see much physical evidence for your money, so what are conveyancing solicitors actually charging you for?
Well in brief, conveyancing is the legal term for all the paperwork that is needed to successfully transfer ownership of a property from one owner to the next. If it is only paperwork, why does it seem so expensive?
What Do You Pay Conveyancing Solicitors For?
To understand what conveyancing fees are charged by solicitors, we need to look their fee structure.
House conveyancing fees can broadly be seen in two parts. Firstly, the solicitors charge you for their time, knowledge and experience in completing a UK house sale or purchase and secondly, they will charge you for ‘disbursements’.
Disbursements are payments that the solicitor will need to make on your behalf to other organisations. A word of caution here: if a company offers a ‘no sale, no fee’ service, be aware that you may still be charged some fees, even if your sale does not go through. The ‘no sale, no fee’ deal usually covers the solicitors’ fees for their time and action alone. If there are any disbursements, you will still have to pay for them whether or not the sale goes through.
The nature of these disbursements may vary depending on whether you are selling a freehold or leasehold property, as well as on the type of property. A freehold property, for example, will attract disbursements as part of your property conveyancing quotes and fees for the most current information the Land Registry holds about the property. This information proves that the property for sale is owned by the seller and includes information about any notices or charges, such as mortgages registered against the title and whether they have been discharged. It will also include details of the property’s location, boundaries and any rights of way over it, for instance, as well as checking the flood risk.
What Else Is Included In Solicitors House Conveyancing Fees?
If you’re selling a leasehold property, conveyancing solicitor fees will still include disbursements for details about the land or building. In this case, they must include details of the leasehold and freehold title and anything about intermediary landlords. The seller must also provide details of service charges, ground rent, major works and so on. There may also be the landlord’s fees to pay if a notice of assignment of the lease is necessary.
Moving on, under UK law, all properties must also have an Energy Performance Certificate when they are put on the market and a payment for this may well be included in the solicitors house conveyancing fees. Any estate agent you use will undoubtedly require settlement of their fee as soon as the sale completes. Solicitors usually pay this directly to the estate agent out of the proceeds of sale before they pass on any monies to the seller.
Then, there are charges that may need to be paid to banks or building societies, called telegraphic transfer fees, to move monies between accounts quickly during completion.
Finally, in the UK, VAT is payable on all disbursements. Since these fees must all be paid out before completion, solicitors will usually require a proportion to be paid in advance. The cost of disbursements are not set by the solicitors. The wide variation in the conveyancing prices is down to the fees solicitors charge for their own services.
The way to cut your costs is therefore to look for competitive prices on solicitors’ own services. Why not try a conveyancing comparison site such as Conveyancing Index?
Conveyancing Index Offers Fast, Competitive Quotes For Your Conveyancing Fees
Conveyancing Index is the UK’s leading conveyancing quote comparison service.
We screen all our partner conveyancing solicitors to ensure they are fully insured, credit-checked and experts in their field. This means you get the best value conveyancing fees and the highest level of service during your house sale or purchase.
See what our customers think and how quickly we can secure up to four conveyancing quotes from expert partners: visit https://www.conveyancingindex.co.uk. Fill in our online conveyancing quote form and you’ll have quotes within 60 seconds.
Alternatively, ring 0203 874 2020 to discuss your needs with our conveyancing experts.