UK Conveyancing Fees

There's no scale of rates applied to each and every solicitor or licensed conveyancer in the UK. It is not as if the Law Society or some other regulatory body makes up a scale of charges and insists that these are used and adhered to. Generally it depends on a few factors as to how much you may be charged and will vary depending on the method you are using to obtain your conveyancing services. It is likely that if you are dealing with a firm that has multi-office perhaps based in several cities across the UK, that there will be a standardised charging structure across all the offices.

It is also probable that some IT savvy firms would have decent websites where you would be able to obtain an idea of their costs or even get an online quotation from their website.

It's no different from obtaining a quotation from a garage to have a job of work done on your car, say a clutch replacement. You would want to be quoted for the likely costs of labour parts and VAT before you agree to have the work carried out.

Location

Where you, meaning the house which you are buying or selling is based, are based is an important factor. If you live in a place where wages are high and rents and rates are also at a premium like you would expect from inner London areas and big cities the fees have to be charged at a rate where the bosses can recover their costs and make a profit on the amounts they charge you. This is why Internet based services can charge so much less because they are unlikely to be working from public-facing office premises and could even be working from home or an industrial unit. Since they never get to meet their clients it doesn't matter.

Method

Go to a large established practice employing 300 or so solicitors in a big city and expect to pay a high price. Use an Internet service where you won't even meet your solicitor in person and you could expect to pay a lot less. Do the work yourself and pay even less again maybe although we would not always recommend this option. Go to your local family solicitor and probably pay a lot more than necessary because they would likely charge you on a timesheet basis, or get a referral from your local estate agent or financial advisor who is most likely adding a chunk of commission onto your fee for themself thus bumping up your charges.

Value

You'll find that most solicitors work to a scale banding according to the sale price of the house you are buying or selling. This applies to how much Stamp Duty Land Tax you'll have to pay on the purchase of your new home. SDLT is only payable if you are purchasing a property not on selling one.

Timesheet

You do not want to be charged fees on a timesheet basis as delays could be caused through any number of reasons which could drag out the time spent on your case adding to your costs. A fixed fee basis is always better and makes for easier comparison with other quotations. There are often delays in cases, most commonly being caused by the other party's solicitors and there can also be problems with the contracts or search documents which need professional scrutiny and extra care to be exercised, all adding to cost.

Sale or Purchase

You get different costs if you are selling as opposed to buying a property. The seller has to instruct their solicitor to draw up the contract of sale. This is normally a fairly well standardised document today and should be familiar to an experienced solicitor or licensed conveyancer. The purchase element usually attracts more costs as a purchaser has to obtain and rely on searches such as a Land Registry title check search to establish who is the registered owner of the property according to HM Land Registry.

Searches

There are many types of searches that can be obtained through your solicitor such as the aforementioned Land Registry search plus others that your solicitor will recommend to you such as a mining search, local authority and highways search, chlorine gas searches and flood plain searches. Some of these depend on whether it is known that your intended purchase could be subject to and geological problems and a search is deemed necessary. All serve to once again bump up your costs.

Disbursements

In addition to the searches, you'll find sundry items on your costs schedule to account for things like telegraphic transfer fees, photocopying, filing fees and other such items. These can build up thus adding to your costs.

Our advice

Always get a quote and know what you are likely to be charged for and get some comparison quotes too. Don't accept the first quote you get and do some checks for any available reviews on the firm you choose to ensure they are noted for delivering value and efficiency.

Why not compare quotations now?