What are you actually paying for?
Conveyancing quotes are often daunting and a bit confusing, especially if they aren’t something that you are used to looking at all the time (and who is, really?). They have different fees and disbursements that change from property to property and conveyancer to conveyancer. So, what are they and why do you need to pay them?
Conveyancing costs are broek down into two parts; legal fees and disbursement. The Legal Fees are what we charge for the work that we do. The disbursements are third party fees that are incurred by us, as your conveyancers, in obtaining certain information on your behalf.
These are the fees that we charge for carrying out the conveyancing on your property. Our Legal Fees work on a scale dependant on the sale or purchase price of the property. This is the most effective way of providing a fair quote for the work carried out.
Telegraphic Transfer Fee
This fee is charged to undertake a same day transfer (via the CHAPS Payment System) which will be requirement of the sale if you have a mortgage and of the seller’s solicitors on your Purchase. This ensures that the money reaches the other account on the same day so as not to cause any delays in completion.
Fee for Completing and Submitting the Stamp Duty Land Tax Return Form
Even if you are not eligible to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax, HMRC still need to be informed about the transaction. There is a form that has to be filled in and submitted to HMRC which carries a high level of liability to provide the correct information, and this is a fee that we charge for carrying out this work.
Electronic ID Fee
In every transaction we must carry out anti money-laundering and ID checks on all our clients. This is to ensure that you are who you say you are and that the transaction is not fraudulent. This is our fee for carrying out this search.
Disbursement are costs incurred by us your behalf. Most disbursements will be similar between each solicitor as they tend to be fixed fees by a third party. The disbursements will vary depending on whether you are buying or selling a house. We have set out a list of all disbursements below.
Land Registry Office Copies
These are essentially your deeds to the property. They are no longer big sheets of old-fashioned paper but are stored electronically with HM Land Registry. HM Land Registry charge a fee for getting copies of these documents. The cost of the disbursement will depend on the number and type of documents that we need to retrieve, but with a Freehold Sale you are looking at approximately £12, and Leasehold, £24.
Search Package (Standard Pack – Local Authority, Drainage and Environmental)
These are the searches that are carried out on a property as part of a purchase. They are usually a requirement of any mortgage lender and are there to highlight any important information regarding the property and the surrounding area.
The Local Authority Search reveals any building regulations and planning permissions that affect the property. It will also show whether the road that the property abuts is a public highway and whether there are any traffic calming measures in the vicinity.
The Drainage Search confirms whether the property is connected to mains foul and surface water drainage and the mains water supply, it also maps the closest known public sewers and water pipes to the property.
The Environmental Search will outline whether there is any contamination in close proximity to the property and whether the property is likely to suffer from any flooding, subsidence or mining issues.
Chancel Repair Liability Insurance
Chancel Repair Liability is the obligation on homeowners in to contribute towards the maintenance and repair of the local parish church. There are searches that can be carried out to assess whether the property is in an area where this is likely to affect you, however these can be costly. Instead, we would usually obtain an insurance policy at a slightly lesser cost to cover the possibility of this being an issue.
Land Registry Search
This is a pre-completion search. It is carried out to ensure that there have been no changes to the title to the property since receiving the Contracts. It also protects your interest (or that of your mortgage lender) in the property between completion and registration.
Land Charges Search
If you are having a mortgage, it is usually a condition of the mortgage lender to carry our Bankruptcy Searches on you as a buyer to make sure that there are no other charges registered with Land Registry that the bank has not been made aware of.
Land Registration Fee
This is a fee charged by HM Land Registry to registering the property into your name after completion. It is based on the value of the property and how the property is currently registered. We have set out two tables below to show the scales that Land Registry work on:
Land Registry fee for the purchase of a whole, registered title:
- £0-80,000: £20
- £80,001-100,000: £40
- £100,001-200,000: £95
- £200,001-500,000: £135
- £500,001-1,000,000: £270
- £1,000,000 +: £455
Land Registry fee for the purchase of part of a larger title, or an unregistered title:
- £0-80,000: £40
- £80,001-100,000: £80
- £100,001-200,000: £190
- £200,001-500,000: £270
- £500,001-1,000,000: £540
- £1,000,000 +: £910
This is a tax based on the purchase price of the property. It is calculated on a scale set out by HMRC. To calculate what you will be liable to pay, we suggest using the calculator on the HMRC Website – https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax/#/intro
We have set out the usual disbursements to be expected in buying and selling properties, however there can be additional disbursements in certain circumstances. Should these be required, we will always discuss them with you first and make you aware of what you are paying for and why you are paying for it.
Buying and Selling houses is one of the biggest financial decision and commitment that most of us will ever make. Whilst we know that most people will want to shop around for quotes it is important to remember that the cheapest quote may not always be the most cost efficient.
We try to keep our fees as competitive as possible whilst ensuring that all of our clients get the excellent service, advise and expertise that they deserve. We believe that it is beneficial to clients to get a number of quotes from a variety of firms and to pick firms with personal recommendations behind them rather than picking the seemingly “easy” option of using the estate agent’s recommended solicitor, or the cheapest conveyancer that you have found online.