The Cost of Conveyancing

The true cost of conveyancing (how to understand your conveyancing estimate).
When buying or selling a property one vital process is conveyancing. Conveyancing is the legal term for the process of transferring ownership of a property between two parties. Conveyancers are under an obligation to ensure that their clients are fully disclosed on all matters regarding their conveyancing requirements and this is presented as a conveyancing estimate.

Typically, a conveyancing estimate covers checking ownership of a property and undertaking searches of local and other authorities to safeguard your interests. The estimate will also advise you of the need to consult surveyors or other specialists inform you of any restrictions upon your ownership and make your contract legally binding.

Your conveyancing estimate should consist of 2 parts, the conveyancer’s basic fee and disbursements.

The conveyancer’s basic fee is the standard cost of the conveyancer’s time in processing the transaction and can vary widely. Conveyancers charge in 1 of 3 ways:

1) Rarely, on a fixed fee basis.
2) Most commonly on a scale that links the fee to the value of the property being bought or sold.
3) Commonly on a per hour basis.

Disbursements are the costs your conveyancer has to pay other agencies on your behalf and should not vary between solicitors. These include Land Registry Charges, Insurance, Telegraphic transfers, search fees and Stamp Duty.

Land Registry charges a fee for changing their documentation regarding the change of or addition of a lender on a property. These fees depend upon the amount being borrowed, and whether the property is being purchased or remortgaged. More details of these fees can be found on the Land Registry website.

Insurance is designed to protect the financial interests of an individual in case of unexpected loss, and can be required by law whilst others are optional. In conveyancing, insurance is used to cover any eventualities that searches may find.

Telegraphic transfers are a type of banking facility which enables the transfer of money from a business account to a customers account on the same day of the transaction. On completion of your conveyancing any balance of money will be sent to you in this way.

Search fees are payable for searches that may be required depending on the type of instruction and include:

Land Registry - necessary to check nothing has been registered against the title since it was last updated. This is used with remortgage and purchase.

Bankruptcy Search – necessary to check if clients have ever been declared bankrupt. This is used with remortgage and purchase.

Register View – checks the state of register at Land Registry and is used with remortgage.

Electronic Identity Check – confirms the client’s identity and is used with remortgage.

Office Copy Document- the official copies of the entries of the property Title. This is used for selling.

Stamp Duty is a form of tax, payable when transferring property from one owner to another. The amount payable depends on the price of the property.

Some solicitors hide costs in their disbursement fees, such as photocopying, telephone calls, postage costs and charges for filling in forms. Always ask your conveyancer to explain any charges you are unsure about.

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