How Much Does Conveyancing Cost?
What are conveyancing fees?
When buying, selling or remortgaging you will need to pay conveyancing fees. Conveyancing fees cover the legal costs – the amount paid to the solicitor for handling the legal transfer of ownership, and the disbursements incurred – the amount paid to third parties for services such as surveys and searches.
How much are conveyancing fees?
Fees differ depending a number of variables, including the value of the property, whether you are buying or selling, the local authority in which the property is located and if the property is leasehold or freehold.
Use our conveyancing calculator to get an idea of how much your fees will be with True Solicitors.
What are the legal fees?
The legal fees cover the work that your solicitor or conveyancer puts in to ensure the legal transfer of ownership of the property. Fees are dependent on the value of the property being bought or sold, they typically start at around £500 for a home valued up to £100,000 – True Solicitors fees start at £395 for that value. For homes valued at £250,000 the average cost for legal fees is around £650, True charge £495.
How much will I need to pay for disbursements?
Disbursements are the taxes or payments made to a third party by your solicitor as part of the home buying process. Disbursements are not part of your solicitors handling fee, they are separate fees that need to be paid upfront at the start of the conveyancing process. They include:
Stamp Duty Land Tax – costs dependent on property value
Stamp Duty land Tax (SDLT) is paid to the government when you purchase land or property valued at over a certain amount in England. Stamp duty is calculated based on the value of your home and there are certain discounts for first time buyers. Read our guide on Stamp Duty to find out more information.
Local Authority Searches – £99 + VAT
Local authority searches are in place to check for information such as planning applications, road schemes, land contamination, development restrictions and enforcement actions. Read our guide on Local authority searches for more information.
Water and Drainage Search – £66.00 + VAT
A drainage search is conducted by the local water board to check that the property is connected to fresh and foul water sewers. It also reveals information about:
- The connections to the Mains water
- The connections to the Mains Sewer (if applicable)
- The location of water supplies and sewers
- How the property is charged for water and wastewater services, i.e. if it is measured by a meter, unmeasured or charged on a ratable value.
The cost is dependent on the individual water company but is generally £30-£40.
Environmental search – £61 + VAT
Environmental searches identify potential issues with flooding, subsidence, landslides and land contamination.
HM Land Registry Fees – From £20 for property valued up to £80K up to £135 for property purchased between £200,001- £500K
Each land and property transaction in England must be registered with the HM Land Registry. There is a cost in place by the government for registering a change in ownership of the property. The cost is dependent upon the value of the property or the mortgage attached to it.
Chancel Indemnity Insurance – £15 – £20
A search for chancel repair liability is done to check that the home that you’re purchasing is not subject to liability to pay for the maintenance and repairs of the local church. This is an ancient law that dates back to the 16th century when Henry VIII established the Church of England.
If the property is found to be liable to pay for repairs to the local parish church, the repair bills can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Bankruptcy Search – £2 per person
Your solicitor will need to carry out a bankruptcy search on all named persons on the mortgage. This is so that your mortgage lender knows that nobody named on the contract has been declared bankrupt.
Land Registry Search – £3
Your solicitor will request copies of the title register and title plan for the property that you are purchasing from the Land Registry. This is to check that the seller legally owns the property that you are buying from them.
Bank transfer fee – £15 + VAT
This is the cost charged by your bank to cover the cost of sending over the money used to purchase the property to the seller’s solicitor.
Transferring Ownership – £200 – £300
When transferring ownership you are required to pay the Land Registry a fee for transferring your name with your buyer’s name on completion.
Anti-money laundering checks – £4.50 + VAT
Your solicitor will complete these checks to verify your identity. If you’re living abroad or are a foreign national the cost of the checks may cost more.
Help to Buy supplement – £200 – £300
Purchasing a property through a Help to Buy scheme involves additional legal work that will incur additional costs.
Help to Buy ISA – £60
If you are using a Help to Buy ISA towards your deposit, your solicitor will have to do additional work to redeem the bonus from the government. The amount is capped at £50 + VAT.
Gifted deposits – up to £100 (True Solicitors do not charge for this)
A lot of first time buyers are given help to get on the property ladder through a gifted deposit from their parents. Solicitors will need to do checks to ensure that the money is from a legitimate source. This may cost up to £100 to cover the additional paperwork needed.
Do conveyancing fees differ depending on the value of the property?
The higher the value of the property that you are buying or selling the more you will pay in conveyancing fees. Leasehold properties also incur higher fees due the extra legal work involved.
Buying an older property, or a property that you plan on doing major renovations to, may also bring with it additional costs in the form of needing to pay for a RICS Building Survey which could cost around £500 – £2000, depending on the size of the property. Read our guide on property surveys for more information.
Do conveyancing fees cost more for a leasehold property?
Buying or selling a leasehold property is more complicated as it includes additional work in the form of:
- Deed of Covenant – This is a legally binding agreement between the buyer and the Leaseholder or Management Company, which covers things such as who is responsible for carrying out repair work on the building.
- Investigations into the length of the lease.
- Liaising with the leaseholder (Landlord) to establish what the annual service charges entail and further details on the management of the building.
The costs for this additional work can range from £100 to £1000.
What are the conveyancing fees for re-mortgaging?
Remortgaging is the process of changing the mortgage on your property to a new lender or different deal.
If you are adding an additional person to the mortgage when you remortgage, this is known as a transfer of equity. It involves the changing of legal ownership of the property and therefore requires a solicitor. A solicitor will amend the deeds of ownership and draw up new paperwork stating how you will now own the property.
Conveyancing fees for remortgaging are typically around £400 plus disbursements.
When do I need to pay conveyancing fees?
You will typically need to pay a deposit of around 10% of the conveyancing fees upfront to your solicitor. You will also need to pay for third party disbursements such as local authority searches. The remaining balance will be paid on the completion of the sale.
At True Solicitors we ask only for the search pack fee of £216 and ID check of £5.40 to be paid up front.
Will I still need to pay if my sale falls through?
At True Solicitors we offer fixed fee, no completion, no fee conveyancing. Meaning that should your sale unfortunately fall through, you will pay us nothing minus the cost of any third party disbursements already incurred.