How much does conveyancing cost?
Everything you need to know about conveyancing fees. From legal fees to a breakdown of typical costs, through to how you can save on your conveyancing costs.
What are conveyancing fees?
When you buy or sell a house, a conveyancing solicitor will make sure the transfer is legal and handled properly. Conveyancing fees are what you pay the conveyancing solicitor or dedicated conveyancer and they’re broken up into legal costs and disbursements. The latter is what third parties may charge for specific services relating to conveyancing, such as searches.
It’s important to remember that certain conveyancing fees apply to sellers only, with others relating to buyers specifically.
How much does conveyancing cost?
How much you need to spend on conveyancing depends on a few different things. For example, the location of your property or the one you want to buy can impact your costs. These include checks such as whether the property is close to a coal mine, a river, a radon gas reserve, etc.
What about legal fees?
The legal fees involved in conveyancing cover the groundwork conducted by conveyancing solicitors themselves. These usually start between £850-£1,500 and don’t include the cost of disbursements. If the property in question is a leasehold, then the legal fees will typically be more.
Breakdown of the main disbursements
The following highlights most of the additional disbursements you will need to pay to complete your conveyancing:
Anti-money laundering checks
Essential legal checks required to prove your identity, generally carried out by a third party. If you’re currently living abroad or are a foreign national, your anti-money laundering checks are likely to cost more. Typical checks cost around £6-£20.
Bank transfer fee
To make sure your funds reach an account on a specific day, you will need to use a bank transfer. Your solicitor will charge you for this transfer, usually costing your around £20-£30. This is important because payments promised to your mortgage provider must be seen to be prompt.
Help to Buy supplement
If buying property via the UK government’s Help to Buy scheme, it’s likely that you’ll receive additional charges. This is down to the fact that there is extra effort needed to get everything over the line. For more information on Help to Buy, refer to our guide here.
With vast amounts of money involved in buying or selling property, you should definitely do a quick fraud check on the lawyer you’re sending cash to. This normally costs £10.
When buying property, you will need local authority searches. These searches include essential checks such as environmental searches and whether the local council is about to conduct building work nearby. Such is their thorough nature, local authority searches cost anywhere between £250-£450.
Stamp Duty Land Tax
Stamp duty is a tax paid on properties worth more than £125,000. The costs vary because stamp duty is charged on a sliding scale.
Selling property requires getting a copy of the Title of Deeds, of which the Land Registry usually holds. Be aware that leasehold properties incur higher costs than freehold, which is because the former requires more legal legwork to navigate. Title deeds will usually set you back by £7.
The Land Registry will charge a fee for transferring your name with your buyer’s name upon completion of the property sale.
Leasehold property charges
As a general rule, leasehold properties incur much higher conveyancing fees, which is down to the additional complications of conveyancing them. These additional costs include things such as the Deed of Covenant, a legal document between the buyer and landlord (or management company) detailing key elements like repairs.
Some of the other costs extend to factors such as the length of the lease, a managing agents pack, or acquiring additional information about management details. Such is the scope for extra checks, leasehold conveyancing can add anywhere between £100 – £1,000 to your total costs.
Other fees to consider
Whilst we’ve detailed the majority of conveyancing costs above, some, more obscure fees may appear. These can include insuring specific things in the property, such as double glazing which by law must have a FENSA (the Fenestration Self Assessment Scheme) certificate. If they don’t, then some sort of insurance policy must be taken out to cover the double glazed windows or doors.
When do I need to pay my conveyancing fees?
When buying property, you will need to pay for your conveyancing services upfront. This is because the council will require the funds immediately. As well as this, you will need to pay fees to your conveyancer throughout the conveyancing process and upon completion. After completion, you will pay remaining fees to the Land Registry.
When selling a home, you might also need to pay a small fee upfront, but it’s not an absolute guarantee. The rest of the required fees will be paid throughout the conveyancing process and when it is completed.
When will the bills come through?
It is important to note that different conveyancers may charge you for the legal fees at different times; there isn’t a universal structure of when to pay your conveyancer legal fees. Also, whilst OneDome guarantees to try and make sure conveyancing fees are transparent, you should still check for a breakdown of the quote they give you. Ask about any hidden costs of unexpected fees that might appear during the conveyancing process, so as to avoid a nasty surprise when the bill comes through.
What if the sale falls through?
Having a home sale fall through is one of the most frustrating aspects about moving home. To help with this, OneDome provides complimentary completion insurance, which covers your costs by up to £2,250.
Conveyancing fees for remortgaging
People in the process of remortgaging their property still need to go through the usual conveyancing channels. For more information on remortgaging, read our section on it as part of our mortgage comparisons guide.
Should I hire a conveyancer?
Legally speaking, it is entirely possible for you to complete the conveyancing yourself. However, unless you have a strong background in property law and conveyancing, it is advised to hire a conveyancing solicitor or dedicated conveyancer. Even if you do have a knowledge of conveyancing, your mortgage lender is likely to insist you use a professional service. Additionally, whilst the prospect of saving a decent sum of money might be appealing, DIY conveyancing is fraught with risks that could jeopardise your entire property purchase. You should also note that DIY conveyancing isn’t usually even possible when a mortgage is involved.
Subsequently, we will always recommend using a proper conveyancing solicitor. To find and compare conveyancers, visit OneDome’s conveyancing marketplace.
Transferring equity: do I need a conveyancing solicitor?
In most cases, transferring equity on a property requires you to hire a conveyancing solicitor. One example where a conveyancer would be required, is if a couple split and one of the couple acquired the whole property. Typically, you might be charged for some of the usual conveyancing fees, such as Land Registry searches and transfer fees.
Saving on conveyancing fees
OneDome’s conveyancing marketplace lets you quickly compare vetted conveyancers based on their reviews and prices. As well as this, OneDome guarantees no hidden fees, so your conveyancing is transparent and honest.
Conveyancing with OneDome:
- Compare quotes and reviews
- Track your conveyancing progress 24/7
- Get cover for your costs by up to £2,250 with buyers protection insurance, provided by Surewise
- Send documents online, with full encryption for your peace of mind
- Personalised concierge service can help guide you through each step of the conveyancing process
Complete your conveyancing
If you’d prefer to talk to a mortgage advisor directly, you can call 0203 8686 262 between 09:00 and 17:00
Search for properties
Looking for a home near a train station, or good schools? Now you can easily find your dream home by searching for what matters to you with our intelligent property search tool.
Find a conveyancer
Easily compare conveyancers based on price, reviews, and ratings. You can immediately get free quotes and instruct them online with the click of a button.
Compare estate agents
Find the best estate agent to sell your home. Easily compare local agents based on price, reviews, and successful experience selling homes like yours for at or above asking price.