Counting the costs: what you should be paying for conveyancing

by Housesimple on 15th March 2018

It's not all about estate agent fees – in fact, there are quite a few extra costs of selling a house to think about, including conveyancing. Here's what you should be paying for.


Conveyancing in a nutshell

Put simply, conveyancing is all the legal paperwork involved in transferring the ownership of a property from one person to another. As you might imagine it can get quite technical, so it's a good idea to bring in a property solicitor or licensed conveyancer.

The average cost of conveyancing

According to the Money Advice Service, conveyancer's fees can be anything from £850 to £1500 (including VAT). It all depends on who you choose: some charge an hourly rate, others take a percentage of your sale price and a few offer a fixed rate. 

Legal fees vs disbursements

As well as the solicitor's fee, you'll also need to hand over money for disbursements. These are the costs that your solicitor needs to pay to third parties on your behalf, such as bank transfers (£20 to £30) and stamp duty land tax. Other disbursements are:

  • Fraud and laundering checks

Your conveyancer will check that the sale is legal by ensuring the information on your documents matches up. This costs between £6 and £20 for British nationals, but can be more expensive for foreign buyers. They may also do a fraud check for about £10 to make sure everything is above board with the other side.

  • Land Registry fees

If you're selling, your solicitor will need to get their hands on a copy of the title deeds to prove that you own the property. For freehold properties, the Land Registry charges £6 for the first set of documents, £3 for extra copies and up to £25 for leaseholds. After completion, the Land Registry will charge about £200 to £300 to change the name on the deeds (this cost varies depending on value).

  • Searches

Your conveyancer can dig deep to find information about the property you're buying – for example, if planning permission has been given for a hotel that will spoil your view. Search packages cost anywhere from £250 to £450.

Every sale is different as so much depends on value, but you can use an online conveyancing calculator to work out an expected breakdown of disbursements and legal fees to get you started.

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