Conveyancing Fees

Solicitor’s conveyancing fees

If this is the first time you’ve tried to purchase a house you will realise that conveyancing a complex process. For any exchange of title deeds and contracts to occur in the buying or selling of property you have to incur solicitors fees known as conveyancing fees.

If you’re considering remortgaging your home the same applies. These conveyance costs are part of the solicitors fee that you will be charged for doing all the work associated with the transfer of ownership from one person to the other.

Solicitors’ conveyancing fees are usually based on time and activity; time spent and work done from the beginning of the home purchase/sale process to the end when final contracts between both parties are drawn and signed.

Conveyancers will charge you for advising you for example on home information packs (HIPs); explaining and defining the various contracts, mortgage deeds and terms; refining these contracts; communicating or negotiating with other party’s solicitor; exchanging contracts; and basically any other buying a house related fees incurred on your behalf during the property transaction deal; all these will be included in the solicitor fees.

Many solicitors operate on a ‘no sale no fee’ basis. In the course of negotiating contracts you decide to cancel the process altogether you will not incur any legal fees.

Typical Conveyancing fees

London conveyancing fees: As an example, for the purchase a £300,000 property in London, you should expect to gain quotes for around £475 plus £325 in dispersement costs. The cheapest conveyancing fees for the same property are in the region of £385 plus £305 in dispersements.

Elsewhere in the UK the house purchase solicitors fees for a property of £175,000 would often come in at around £445 plus £225 for dispersements. The cheapest conveyancing fees for a property of that value are in the region of £370 plus £210 in dispersements.

If you’re not a first time buyer, you’ll be selling a house as well, and this will incur solicitors fees too.

Is there a way to reduce conveyancing costs?

Most people automatically assume that conveyancers have to be solicitors.  Conveyancers can either be practicing solicitors or licensed conveyancers. By opting to use the services of a conveyancing firm for example your fees could be significantly lower.

Online conveyancing

A great way to reduce your solicitor conveyance fees is to choose online conveyancing services. The services are the same as those offered by traditional bricks and mortar companies but can be much cheaper. You can always guarantee this from the onset; that is a ‘no sale’ ‘no fee’ conveyancing guarantee which means that should the deal fall through you will not be charged any solicitor fees for the time spent working on it in the first place.

Also with online conveyancing services you get free quotes and free progress reports on services at lower rates. Most of the work is done online and correspondence between you and the solicitors can happen safely via email, fax, telephone, post or recorded mail services.

Keep all relevant documents safe

With the introduction of the HIPs most of the conveyance cost are levied on the seller, hence you should ensure that you have all the necessary documents of home ownership to avoid making unnecessary local searches which usually tends  to hike the conveyancing fee.

It also helps to negotiate from the onset with your conveyancers for fixed solicitor fees from the very beginning as opposed to an hourly rate fee. You will still have to pay the solicitors disbursement fees that may arise later on regardless but your overall conveyancing cost will be much lower in the long run.

Buying Freehold

Conditions and restrictions available when buying freehold properties are usually fewer than when purchasing leasehold properties. These restrictions on leasehold properties often require due diligence be done translating to more fees for you. So if you can avoid buying properties with leases that require you to determine property management costs and the like, you will end up saving loads on solicitor fees.

Compare conveyancing costs

Before making a decision shop around and compare the various solicitor conveyancing fees of different conveyancing solicitors in the UK.  Also look for a national solicitor rather than a local one, as the former serve a wider UK market and can afford to offer good deals that will go a long way to reducing your conveyancing fee further (up to several hundred pounds).

When instructing a conveyancing solicitor, always read the fine print. Be wary of any quote that does not fully itemize all conveyancing disbursement and solicitor fees. Many of these quotes carry with them hidden charges such as stamp duty fees, professional indemnity (PI) contributions, photocopy, postage and telephone call costs, dealing with lender fees, dealing with leasehold properties fees, etc. All these fees are ‘unfair extras’ as they are already included in the solicitor fees and therefore should not be charged separately.

DIY Conveyancing

Doing your own conveyancing is perfectly legal though it can be quite a daunting and time consuming activity. Nevertheless it can be done successfully as long as you read up on the subject and spend enough time learning the intricacies.

There are books and online resources on the subject as well. But be careful to note everything down. In the event you miss something in the contract that may or may not have been omitted it can end up costing you more than would have the solicitor fees. Also you can sue if the solicitor conveyancing gets things wrong, but you can’t do the same if the mistake is your own.

As you arrive at your decision to use professional solicitor conveyancers or do it all on your own, think clearly about the cost implications of everything. Be prudent and always maintain a clear head.

Avoid unnecessarily pulling out of a deal after contracts have been signed and exchanged unless you are sure of what you are doing. It is highly unlikely that any exchange fees or solicitors fees will be refunded. Remember that all contracts are legally binding after an exchange and you will be liable to stiff financial penalties as a result of such action.