Conveyancing fees

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is one of the most important steps in the journey of selling a property: the process of legally transferring a property to its new owner. It begins when the seller accepts an offer, and ends when the sale is complete.

Why happens in the conveyancing process?

For your house sale to be recognised as complete, you need to have a legal contract in place that transfers ownership to your buyer. The process of drawing up (and negotiating) this contract is called conveyancing, and is managed by a solicitor.

Once you've accepted an offer on a property, your solicitor will ask you to fill out a series of questionnaires, covering off things like:

  • Boundaries, disputes and complaints (for example, any reported noisy neighbour complaints or boundary disputes)
  • Known proposed developments or building works near your home (like motorways or railways)
  • Which services the property has (for example, utilities and sewerage)
  • What council tax band your property falls into
  • Whether you own the freehold on the property (or the leasehold/commonhold)
  • Which fixtures and fittings you want to include in the sale (such as kitchen units, white goods and carpets)
  • Any planning restrictions that might affect the buyer's future use of the house
  • Completion date and when the keys will be handed over
  • Mortgage details

The solicitor takes the information you provide in the questionnaires and draws up a draft contract, which then gets sent to the buyer for approval.

If the buyer has any requests or concerns (for example, if their survey has indicated any structural issues with your property, or they want a lower price for fixtures then the solicitor will negotiate all of this on your behalf, until the terms of the contract are agreed. Both parties need to sign and exchange contracts before the sale is official.

How are conveyancing fees calculated?

Traditionally, conveyancing fees are either calculated as a percentage of the sale price or on an hourly solicitor rate. Depending on the solicitor's rates and how the sale progresses (for example, if the process is held up because you're part of a long chain of transactions) conveyancing fees can often be quite significant, from anywhere in the region of £650-£1,500+.

However, when you sell with Housesimple, there are no nasty shocks or escalating bills – we tell you the costs up-front.

We have expert conveyancers who have pioneered a new, speedy online approach to conveyancing, powered by eWay software. With eWay, you can manage and upload all your legal documents online and communicate with your solicitor by text, online notes, email or phone – cutting out all the delay and hassle of sending documents by post. On average, this shaves 12 whole days off the conveyancing timeline, which usually takes around 6-8 weeks.

Ready to put your house on the market? Sign up to Housesimple today to kick-start your property sale.

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