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    Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Conveyancing Costs in 2024

    By The reallymoving Team Updated 27th Mar, 2024

    Your new home is going to be one of your biggest purchases - but you don't want to pay over the odds. So how much does conveyancing really cost?

    Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Conveyancing Costs in 2024

    The best thing you can do when it comes to preparing to buy a house is to research the fees. There'll be more general costs like your survey and hiring a removals team, but what about the legal fees?

    People can assume the worst when it comes to conveyancing costs, but there's no need to be concerned.

    Here we break down what conveyancing fees are, what's included and what to look out for.

    What are conveyancing fees?

    Conveyancing is the legal process that occurs when transferring property. It’s all to do with ensuring payments are sent and received appropriately. It also makes sure that the paperwork is in order with the properties.

    This becomes especially important when putting your name on the deeds. You pay a conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor for this service.

    What do conveyancing fees include?

    There’s a lot involved with the conveyancing process. These include looking over the paperwork, working with solicitors, liaising with estate agents, and carrying out searches.

    Often your conveyancing solicitor will ensure your Stamp Duty is paid. They will require that payment alongside the payment for their services when you approach the completion date.

    Disbursements are third party fees that your solicitor pays and then collects from you at the end. These include ID and bankruptcy checks, Land Registry checks and other fees like these.

    Searches are a variety of checks on the property. They include things like water and drainage, through to local authority plans. These are to give you the best idea of any future plans or changes to the area, what the land the property is on is like, that it’s connected to water mains or if it’s at risk of flooding.

    Land registry charges are fixed fee depending on the value of your property. From £30-45 for properties priced under £80,000, up to £1,105 for first registration of properties valued over £1,000,000. They are significantly cheaper when paid online. Have a look at Land Registry Fees on Gov.uk.

    What are the average conveyancing costs?

    There will be conveyancing costs for buying and selling a property. So, if you are selling one property and moving into another, your conveyancing fees will be higher.

    Currently on reallymoving, the average cost of conveyancing services for homeowners is around £2,038 including fees and disbursements. If you're a First Time Buyer, the average cost in the same time period was £1,314.*

    We have an article on the breakdown of conveyancing fees so you can see what you’re likely to pay. Or you can use our moving cost calculator to get your individual estimate.

    What can affect the cost of conveyancing?

    The size and value of your property can have an affect on the fees. This is like the Land Registry Charge and Stamp Duty, but the condition and type of property you buy can also have an impact.

    If you’re buying a property on a complicated piece of land, issues with the lease or other elements that can require extra legal work. This can lead to you having to pay more.

    It’s also important to be aware of referral fees. When you choose a conveyancing solicitor through a referral scheme, such as an estate agent, you’re likely to pay a lot more. This will be passed back to the company referring the solicitor.

    When being given a referral, you are within your rights to ask how much the referral fee is. This could be hundreds of pounds.

    What happens if the sale doesn’t go through?

    This will depend on your agreement with your conveyancing solicitor. You will have to pay for any outlay the solicitor has already paid. These can include disbursements among other fees but it is likely to be much less than the total bill.

    It also depends on how far along in the process the sale is. Pulling out right before completion is going to be more expensive than doing so at the beginning of the process.

    Whilst it’s not nice to imagine that your sale will fall apart, it’s best to check in advance before exchanging contracts contract with a solicitor. In doing this, you will know the terms and whether there is a cancellation fee.

    When do I pay conveyancing fees?

    Conveyancing fees are often paid at the end of your transaction. Your deposit will be transferred, and then upon completion you’ll usually receive your conveyancing bill.

    Your Stamp Duty needs to be paid within 14 days of completion. Often, as your conveyancing solicitor is doing this for you, it will be included in their bill and done quickly.

    How can I save money on conveyancing fees?

    Always ask about referral fees and compare conveyancing fees online. You can choose a conveyancing solicitor from anywhere, they don't have to be local.

    If you want to get an idea of the conveyancing costs in your future home, you can use our Moving Cost Calculator. With this, you will get a sense of all the fees associated with your move. Whether you’re wondering about Stamp Duty, conveyancing costs, surveys or removals, our calculator quickly takes it all into account so you can feel prepared.

    Article updated February 2024 by Jeremy Greer

    * ​Based on data collected February 2024

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