What are the typical terms and prices you can expect when talking to a conveyancing solicitor? Here is a guide to help you through the process.
Approximate likely cost
Bank Transfer Fee
A fee solicitors charge when a CHAPS transfer is required for one of a number of purposes, e.g. to pay off a mortgage, to send monies to the seller's solicitor or to transfer the net proceeds from a sale to the your bank account
Bankruptcy Search Fee*
If you are funding your purchase by a mortgage, your lender will require the solicitor to check whether you are or have been bankrupt
£2 per name
Chancel Liability Search fee
A search to establish whether there is a risk of the property falling within a parish where the house owner faces a potential liability to contribute towards the repairs of the chancel/local parish
Water & Drainage Search*
The solicitor will need to make a drainage search to check whether the property you are buying is connected to public drains
Environmental Search Fee
An environmental search may be necessary if there are concerns over environmental issues such as subsidence, flooding, industrial contamination or radon
Freehold / Leasehold
Property can be freehold or leasehold. Freehold, which means full ownership, is the most common. Leasehold property is property held on a lease. Transactions involving leasehold properties are normally more complex and involve more work
£100 additional cost for a leasehold
Land Registry Document Fee*
Authenticated copies of your title from the Land Registry
Land Registration Fee*
After your purchase is complete, the solicitor will register you as owners of the property at the Land Registry and any mortgage charge. The Land Registry fee is paid to the Land Registry for the work they do in registering your ownership and/or mortgage charge
Land Registry Search Fee*
Following exchange of contracts a priority search of the title register is made to check that the state of the register has not changed and to ensure that the buyer has priority for a period of 30 working days over any other application to change the register that is lodged during that time
Local Authority Search Fee*
A local authority search should reveal whether there is anything adverse recorded against the property with the local council. The Council is asked to reply to a long list of questions by the solicitors. Some conveyancers will use a search company to undertake this work and the fees can vary substantially
Legal Fees (or Solicitor Fees)
This is the solicitor's fee for performing the conveyancing work for you
£350-£500 (for £200k property)
Mortgage Fees - Purchase
If you are buying with the aid of a mortgage, the solicitor will normally be asked to act for the lender as well as for you, which will be additional chargeable work
Mortgage Fees - Sale
If your present house is subject to a mortgage, it will be necessary for the solicitor to pay the lender the money due on the mortgage and cancel the registration of the mortgage against your property
SDLT Completion Fee*
An additional fee for completing the Stamp Duty Land Tax return form which has to be submitted to HM Revenue & Customs in almost all cases following completion of the purchase, along with any payment due
Online conveyancers ' may charge this fee as an additional Legal Fee for performing the required searches. Solicitors tend to include this work within the quote for Legal Fees as the searches are almost always required
Stamp Duty Land Tax
This is a tax payable to the government calculated on the value of the house to be purchased. 0% rate applies up to £125,000
The rate is 1% of the price up to £250,000
If the price is more than £250,000 the rate is 3% of the price
If the price is more than £500,000 the rate is 4%
VAT is payable on the solicitor fees at the rate applicable at the time of the bill, which at present is 17.5%
*Disbursements are amounts that solicitors pay others on your behalf in the course of your transaction.
There are an awful lot of fees involved in the conveyancing process. It is vital you get a solicitor you are comfortable using and who is professional and efficient. Speak to us if you need any help or information.
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