How Much Does A Conveyancing Solicitor Cost?

Written by Jane Wardle on January 9, 2019

Updated January 5, 2022


Buying a house is often one of the most significant financial decisions you will make in your lifetime, and as well as the price of the property itself, you also need to factor in the cost of the conveyancing process. Conveyancing comes with various fees such as solicitor charges, surveys and searches, and these can all add up to a fairly hefty sum.

There is never a set fee for conveyancing, and the fees involved can vary greatly between solicitors depending on the various factors involved. Choosing a conveyancing solicitor is no easy task, and for those who are new to the property market, it can be quite overwhelming knowing what you should be paying for and what you shouldn’t. We’ve covered how much a conveyancing solicitor costs, as well as the other fees and costs involved with buying a new property.

What are conveyancing fees?

The conveyancing fees you pay when buying a new home will cover the amount you need to pay to make sure the legal side of the transaction is handled properly and by a professional. Generally, conveyancing fees can be split into two parts:

  • 1. The legal fees: these are the charges for using a conveyancer or solicitor to handle the house purchase on your behalf.
  • 2. The disbursements: these are the fees charged by various third parties for their services, such as surveys and searches.

It is impossible to know exactly how much the conveyancing fees will be for any given property, as the solicitor’s costs will vary depending on a number of different factors such as the property price. While it isn’t possible to know exactly how much your conveyancing fees will be from the offset, it is important to have a rough idea of the kind of costs involved in buying a home.

It can be tempting just to choose the cheapest conveyancing solicitor that you find, but that isn’t always the best idea as the right solicitor will depend on your situation. Many solicitors that provide online quotations will not include any disbursements or additional charges.

How much are conveyancing legal fees?

There is no set pricing scheme available for conveyancing fees, and the overall cost is completely dependent on a number of different factors. Location plays a huge part in the cost; as well as making a difference to the price of the property itself, the location will also determine some of the conveyancing costs. Also, if you are buying a property that is close to a river or coal mine, you might need additional searches which will cost more.

Your conveyancing solicitor will handle all of the legal aspects of conveyancing, and the fees for using a solicitor can range anywhere between £500 to over £1,000. These costs will not include your disbursements, which will be added on top of the legal fees by your solicitor.

It is vital to get various quotes from local conveyancing solicitors for your property purchase. You should always choose a solicitor with positive testimonials from customers that have used their services in the past.

What disbursements are there?

The main disbursements that may be added to your final conveyancing bill are:

  • Local authority searches: When you buy a property, you will need to pay for local authority searches which include a drainage search, environmental search and a planning search if you want to know about any nearby developments that are planned. These searches typically cost between £250 and £500.
  • Anti-money laundering checks: You will usually have to undergo some legal checks to verify your identity. These checks are often done online, and if you are living overseas or a foreign national then be prepared to pay extra. These checks usually cost between £5 and £20.
  • Stamp duty: When you buy a property, you will have to pay stamp duty on the property value. Stamp duty is worked out on a sliding scale and can be anywhere between 0-12% of the property value.
  • Help to buy supplement: If you are using the government’s Help to Buys scheme, the chances are your conveyancing solicitor will charge you more because this comes with more legal work than a regular house purchase. This supplement is usually between £200 and £300.

If you are buying a leasehold property, then the chances are your conveyancing fees will be much higher. This is because there are usually additional disbursements that you do not get with other property transactions. To learn more about costs you can compare conveyancing solicitors here on Lending Expert.

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