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Cut Moving Costs with Fixed Price Conveyancing

15th January 2016

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Fixed price conveyancing is commonplace across the UK because it helps to cut moving costs and offers peace of mind in that there won't be any surprises at the end of the conveyancing process.

But, what does fixed price Conveyancing include, and is there anything that you should beware of?

When you use a fixed price conveyancing service you should request a written quotation which should outline everything that is included in the fixed price service. This will help you to compare conveyancing prices and understand exactly what you will get for your money.

Some conveyancing quotes will exclude certain elements of the conveyancing process, which means that there will be additional costs to pay at the end. This is not the case when using Co-op Legal Services because the conveyancing fee we quote you is the conveyancing fee you pay. We also include a No Sale No Fee Guarantee with all conveyancing quotes for properties in the UK.

Shop Around for the Best Conveyancing Quote

When shopping around for the best fixed price conveyancing quote, there are a number of items that should be included in the quote – the first is the actual cost of the Solicitor or Conveyancer and then the disbursements.

Disbursements are the costs that the Solicitor or Conveyancer has to pay out as part of the conveyancing process. Disbursement costs should not really vary from quote to quote and it should be straightforward to compare like for like conveyancing quotes and to identify those that may have some hidden costs outside of the fixed conveyancing price.

These costs will be different depending if you are buying or selling a property or both. You will pay less if you are selling a property than you will if you are buying a property. In addition, where there is a leasehold property involved, this will cost more than the conveyancing for a freehold property.

Selling a Property

When selling a property the fixed price conveyancing quote should include:

  • the basic charge by the Solicitor or Conveyancer, adjusted to reflect whether the property is leasehold or freehold
  • a fee to transfer funds telegraphically where your mortgage is more than £60,000 and
  • a small fee to get copies of the necessary copy documents from The Land Registry.

These are the basics and there should be no 'extras' added into your quotation.

Buying a Property

When buying a property the conveyancing process contains more disbursements as there are many more checks to be completed. These are:

  • Local Authority searches fees
  • Bankruptcy search fees
  • Drainage searches
  • Chancel repair search costs (or policy to cover these costs)
  • Environmental searches
  • Coal mining and other local searches
  • Lawyer check fee
  • Priority search
  • Land Registration fee, dependant on the price of your property
  • A fee for Land Registry copy documents.
  • Money transfer fee
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax, based on the value of the property
  • The fee for your Solicitor or Conveyancer, adjusted to reflect whether the purchase is leasehold or freehold.

All of the above items will vary in cost, but your conveyancing quote should give you an exact figure for each of these elements, including the amount of Stamp Duty Land Tax you have to pay and how much your Land Registration fee will be.

Other Hidden Extras

Be aware that some fixed fee conveyancing quotes may include additional extras such as photocopying and phone calls, completing the Stamp Duty Land Tax return, dealing with your Lender and even conveyancing a Leasehold property. As highlighted before, these are all elements that should be included in the initial cost of using a Solicitor or Conveyancer and not stripped out to provide an attractive headline price.

Watch Out for VAT

Does the conveyancing quote you have received include VAT? Some fixed fee conveyancers market their costs without including the additional 20% added on in VAT. This can have a significant impact on the fixed price quotation and it is important to look out for this. At Co-op Legal Services we always quote our fixed Conveyancing fees including VAT.

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Unlike many Conveyancing services, we offer fixed Conveyancing fees for properties in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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