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How to avoid hidden costs in your conveyancing

How to Avoid Hidden Costs in Your Conveyancing

Nowadays with so much competition in the market, finding a conveyancer who is honest, affordable and transparent can be a nightmare. To save yourself falling for the cheap conveyancing quote which turns out to cost triple down the line, we’ve outlined everything that should and shouldn’t be included in your conveyancing quote.

What does an accurate conveyancing quote look like?

An accurate conveyancing quote will include your solicitor’s basic fee which can range greatly depending on the firm. Most will charge between £300 – £1,200.

On top of this you will also pay for conveyancing searches, priority searches and a fee to the Land Registry to register the deed of your new property. Most good conveyancing quotes will also show how much stamp duty you will need to pay, which is entirely dependent on the purchase value of your property.

An example of a good conveyancing quote

The below example is based on a house purchase of £400,000 in Southwest London. Remember that a sale will attract slightly different fees as you won’t be paying for searches (the buyer pays for those) but you will still pay for Land Registry copies and possibly a fee for Telegraphic Transfer if your mortgage has over £60,000 on it.

If you’re selling a leasehold property, expect to pay an extra £50-£250 as there will be more work for your solicitor to complete.

Capital Conveyancing Example Conveyancing Quote

*Prices correct as of Aug 2016 and are subject to change

How much should disbursements cost?

Your conveyancing quote should fully itemise all your disbursements up front, but knowing what should be included and what shouldn’t can be difficult for the average person without a legal background so we’ve included the average prices here.

Searches – £300–400 (+VAT)

  • Consisting of:
    Local authority searches – £200-300 (These will vary depending on location)
    Environmental searches – £30-40
    Drainage – £30-40
    Chancel Repair Liability – £10-20

Priority searches – £6-12

  • Consisting of:
    Land Registry copies – £4-8
    Bankruptcy search – £2-4
    Online ID verification – £6-10

Registration of Title (paid to Land Registry) – £40-700 (dependant on price of property)

*Please note that some of these prices exclude VAT but your quote will highlight this.

What should not be included in your conveyancing fees?

Some not-so-honest conveyancers will tag on extra fees which you should watch out for. If you spot any of the following in the breakdown of your quote or invoice, concerns should be raised as all of these should be included in your solicitor’s basic fee:

  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Postage, photocopying and phone calls
  • Filling out Stamp Duty Tax Return
  • Extra fees for a leasehold property – this should have been included in the original quote


Avoid hidden costs on your conveyancing quote

The best way to avoid these hidden costs is to opt for a solicitor who uses fixed fee quoting. This means that you get an itemised bill before the solicitor has even started work, and that’s the exact price you’ll pay at the end, no nasty surprises or hidden extra costs.

If you shop around for quotes, you can check to see exactly what is included in the price and then budget accordingly. If you get a quote which just gives you one ridiculously cheap price, be prepared to get hit with a huge bill full of hidden extras at the end.

Opt for a no sale no fee guarantee

On top of a fixed fee quote, you should go with a firm that offers a “no sale no fee” guarantee, which means that if the sale of your property falls through, you won’t have to pay. The way that this works is that the conveyancing on your next property will be free – this way you don’t pay twice for one move.

It can be easy to fall for some of these underhanded tricks, but to avoid your move costing you far more than necessary, it’s important to know exactly where your money is going.

Capital Conveyancing offers professional conveyancing with fixed fees and no sale no fee guarantees. Click here for a quick no obligation quote and see how much your conveyancing should cost.

About the Author Ellie Pierpoint

Ellie manages the content for the Capital Conveyancing site, finding ways to help Londoners looking for information and guidance around the conveyancing process, and presenting it in a clear way. Ellie loves writing about all things London, as her research leads her to discover new areas and history.

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