With all these house-moving costs adding up, the thought of paying high solicitor fees for buying or selling a house can push you over the edge.
Understanding the cost of conveyancing and what you’re actually paying for when it comes to conveyancing solicitor fees can help ease your anxiety. It can also help you compare conveyancing quotes and ensure you pick the best-value company.
We’ve compiled this handy guide that explains how much are conveyancing fees when buying or selling a house in the UK.
How much does conveyancing cost? When do I pay solicitors fees? How much are legal fees when buying a house? How can I save on conveyancing fees? We’ll answer all these questions and more to help you get the best value for your money when it comes to solicitors fees for buying or selling a house.
So, let’s get started! Here’s what you can expect from the cost of conveyancing when moving home…
Conveyancing solicitors fees refer to the amount you’ll pay for the legal side of a house sale or purchase. Solicitor costs enable you to hire a legal professional, such as a property solicitor or licensed conveyancer, to manage the legal aspects of buying and selling a house.
By paying conveyancing costs, you can feel confident that your house transaction will be handled correctly and run smoothly. They will prepare legal documents, check there is nothing that could legally impede the sale or purchase, and transfer ownership of the property.
Conveyancing fees are usually split into two parts: the legal fees and the disbursements:
Some of these conveyancing costs are only solicitors fees for selling a house, while others are only solicitors fees for buying a house.
What is the average cost of conveyancing? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. The cost of conveyancing varies depending on a number of factors, such as:
However, conveyancing solicitors fees tend to cost somewhere between £400 to £1,500. This includes the costs of the solicitor’s legal fee as well as the conveyancing disbursements when buying and selling a house.
Both the buyer and seller will need to pay conveyancing fees, although what’s involved on both sides will vary slightly.
The legal portion of conveyancing costs covers the work done by the conveyancing solicitor themselves.
The legal fees involved in buying or selling a house do vary but are typically between £850 and £1000, excluding the costs of disbursements.
Disbursements are the things your conveyancing solicitor will have to pay for on your behalf to third parties. These are usually required regardless of whether or not your conveyancer offers a ‘no move, no fees’ service.
The conveyancing cost of each disbursement should be very similar from one conveyancing quote to another as these are fixed charges.
However, during the course of the property transaction, you may have to purchase unavoidable additional disbursements. Your conveyancer should inform you of any such costs as soon as they come to light.
The main disbursements include:
Now we’ve looked at the average cost of conveyancing, let’s look at the specific solicitor fees for buying a house.
The table below sets out what you can expect from solicitor costs for buying a house that costs £267,000 in the UK:
|Buying a House||Average Solicitor Fee|
Solicitor’s Legal Fee
Conveyancing Search Pack
Anti-Money Laundering Checks
Bank Transfer Fee
The cost of conveyancing will include a basic legal fee charged by your solicitor for their time and work on your conveyancing case.
They will usually base this conveyancing fee on the value of the property you’re purchasing. However, some solicitors offer a fixed-fee service, while others charge per hour.
There are slightly fewer solicitor fees for selling a house than buying. The table below highlights what conveyancing costs you can expect to pay when selling a house costing £267,000.
|Selling a House||Average Solicitor Fee|
Solicitor’s Legal Fee
Bank Transfer Fee
Title Deeds Copy
Anti-Money Laundering Checks
These are only average costs and the solicitor fees for selling a house will likely also include extra costs.
Like the solicitor fees for buying a house, when selling a house, you will need to pay your conveyancer a legal fee to pay for their time and work as well as some additional conveyancing disbursements.
Again, the solicitor will likely base this conveyancing fee on the price of the property you’re selling.
How much does conveyancing cost for leasehold homes?
The conveyancing fees for leasehold properties will be substantially more expensive, as there are likely to be a number of additional costs. On average, solicitors tend to add around £230 extra to their conveyancing costs for leaseholds compared to freeholds.
Below, we’ve outline the additional conveyancing costs you can expect to pay if you’re buying a leasehold property:
|Buying Leasehold||Average Solicitor Fee|
Landlord Sales Pack
Notice of Transfer Fee
Notice of Charge Fee
Deed of Covenant
Certificate of Compliance
Actual conveyancing costs for leasehold homes will vary, and will be set out in your lease agreement.
There are also a number of additional conveyancing costs when selling a leasehold property:
|Selling Leasehold||Average Solicitor Fee|
Leasehold Property Supplement Fee
Leasehold Management Information Pack
£150 - £500
Fixed fee conveyancing means that you will agree to a fixed price for the legal process of buying or selling your house. So, this fixed conveyancing fee shouldn’t change throughout the process.
When agreeing a fixed conveyancing cost, make sure you are fully aware of what the fee includes. Does it cover the conveyancing disbursements or just the basic conveyancing fee?
You should also check whether your solicitor offers a no sale no fee conveyancing service. This means that, if the sale of your property was to fall through, you wouldn’t be charged the legal fees. If not, you could consider getting Home Buyer Protection Insurance instead.
Using a fixed fee conveyancer can be beneficial for a number of reasons. The main benefit to a fixed conveyancing fee is that it allows you to budget accordingly as you’ll know exactly how much you’ll be charged at the end.
Fixed fee conveyancing is also becoming increasingly popular because it can often work out cheaper than being charged an hourly rate. This is because, if you experience any delays or issues throughout the conveyancing process, you won’t be charged per hour.
So, now we know the answer to “how much does conveyancing cost?”, let’s find out when you have to pay your solicitor fees.
If you’re selling a house, you might have to pay an upfront deposit when you first hire your conveyancer or solicitor. This is usually around 10% of their total conveyancing fee.
You’ll then pay them the final cost of conveyancing once the sale of the house is complete. However, you may need to pay for some additional things like local searches before then.
If you’re buying a house, you’ll have to pay for the conveyancing searches upfront because the authority will need payment prior to producing the search results. You will also have to pay your conveyancing fees throughout the process and upon completion.
No matter when you’re required to pay your conveyancing costs to your solicitor, always make sure you ask for a breakdown of the quote and find out about any hidden or additional fees.
Given how expensive we’ve just discovered conveyancing costs can be, it’s important that you are aware of any opportunities to save on these when moving home.
Below is a list of our top tips for saving on conveyancing costs:
So, how much does conveyancing cost?
While conveyancing might seem expensive, it is an essential cost of buying or selling a property.
The process of moving house can be complicated, especially the legal side of it, so having a professional and experienced conveyancing solicitor to handle it will be a massive help.
When choosing a conveyancer, make sure you shop around and compare different solicitor fees. We would advise opting for a fixed-fee, ‘no sale no fees’ conveyancing service so you know the cost upfront.
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