Conveyancing solicitors fees
Learn everything you need to know about conveyancing fees for buying a house, including how much it costs, what fees include and when you pay the solicitor.
What are conveyancing fees?
Conveyancing fees are for the legal work that needs to be done when you buy a home as the property's ownership needs to be transferred between buyer and seller.
Conveyancing fees can be separated into two categories:
Legal fees are what you pay the solicitor for doing the legal work
Disbursements cover the payments your conveyancer has to make to any third parties for services like searches
What are the disbursements?
There are many different disbursements. Some of the main ones are:
Bankruptcy search - so the lender can confirm that you have not been declared bankrupt
Local Authority searches - checks for any restrictions or planning permissions that may affect your property
Land Registration fees
Drainage search - checks that the property has the right drainage access
Transfer of ownership fees - for the cost of sending money to the seller’s conveyancing solicitor
Stamp Duty Land Tax
Title deeds copies
How much does conveyancing cost
There are lots of costs involved in the overall conveyancing process.
Here’s a rundown of conveyancing fees:
Conveyancer’s basic fee - varies between solicitors. Can be between £300 to £1500
Bankruptcy search - £4
Title deeds copy - £6
Local authority searches - £250 - £450
Property fraud check - £10
Transfer of ownership - £200 - £300
Stamp Duty Land Tax - 0 - 12%
Land registration fee - £20 - £1105 (fixed cost depending on the cost of the property)
A solicitor’s quote should cover the basic conveyancing fee (that covers the legal work) as well as all or most of the disbursement costs that may come up during conveyancing.
Be wary of receiving a quote that does not list all the disbursements clearly.
Some solicitors may charge you more for tasks that ought to be covered in their basic conveyancing fee.
They might do this by referring to the tasks and charges as ‘potential additional disbursements’ or by adding them in the small print and then charging extra. This may initially make their basic conveyancing fee look lower, but will add up when you see the final bill including those ‘extras’.
Always make sure you read through the small print in search of any additional charges before you agree on a quote.
This depends on the solicitors you use. Some may charge a fixed fee while others charge on a per-hour basis.
When do I pay solicitors fees when buying a house?
Some solicitors might ask for a small upfront payment before they start working, while others will not charge you until the buying process has been completed.
Make sure to confirm how your solicitor will want to be paid.
Can I do my own conveyancing?
You can do your own conveyancing, but it will not be easy.
There are lots of steps in the process besides paperwork. There are searches and other formal enquiries that need to take place. If not done properly, or at all, it can stall the process and cause issues later down the road.
Additionally, lenders will often require that the process is carried out by a legal professional.
How to buy a house
A guide to the house-buying process
Calculate your stamp duty
Calculate how much stamp duty you'll pay
Our guide to the conveyancing process