When buying and / or selling a house most people engage a solicitor to carry out the conveyancing on their behalf. Fees can range typically from £500 – £2000 plus VAT depending on the value of the property involved. For the fee you pay them the solicitor will facilitate all the checks and contractual arrangements necessary for your house purchase to succeed and / or for your sale to go through. Solicitors handle the transfer of funds and ensure the necessary documents are signed, sealed and delivered, like your new house title deeds.
The solicitor will charge for the legal work they carry out on your behalf. In addition the bill from the solicitor will also include an item for disbursements.
Solicitors Fees – Disbursements for conveyancing
Disbursements’ are amounts that solicitors pay others on your behalf in the course of your transaction. The most common disbursements include:
- Water and drainage search to check whether the property you are buying is connected to public drains.
- 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 to identify if there is anything adverse recorded against the property with the local council.
- Land Registration Fees – after your purchase is complete, the solicitor registers 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.
- Stamp Duty Land Tax return form – This has to be submitted to HM Revenue & Customs in almost all cases following completion of the purchase, along with any payment due.
Solicitors Fees – the agreement with your solicitor
Agree to a fixed price. You don’t want to end up being charged for each letter sent out and each phone call made. This can all add up if things don’t go well.
Avoid the team based approach if you are looking for a more personal experience. This is often more expensive but can save you time and stress later.
Negotiate a no sale no fee agreement if possible. This is important if the sale breaks down half way into the negotiation and you don’t want to be left with a large legal bill.
To reduce costs consider using a licensed conveyancer. Their fees are generally much lower.