UK Home Buyers Unsure of Conveyancing Costs

19 January 2016

Many home buyers are really not clear about conveyancing costs and how much it will cost them to buy and sell their property. This can cause real issues when budgeting moving costs and can leave some people with difficult financial decisions to make, but how much does it really cost to buy and sell a property in the UK?

If you are just considering the Conveyancing costs (i.e. the cost of using a Solicitor or Conveyancer to complete the legal aspects of a property sale and purchase) then the average cost of conveyancing in the UK is about £1,419

Selling a property is less expensive than buying a property as you do not have to factor in any of the additional work carried out on property purchases such as local authority searches, environmental searches, land registration fees and Stamp Duty Land Tax.

You should also factor in additional costs if you are buying or selling a leasehold property, rather than a freehold property. The additional complexities in a leasehold sale or purchase do mean that you will pay more.

This is not the whole story though – whilst £1,419 is currently the average cost of conveyancing across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland you should be aware that it could cost a lot more than this, or in fact less. It's always best to get an itemised, fixed fee conveyancing quote which lists all items included from a number of conveyancers before you decide which one to use.

Conveyancing quotes should also include the calculation of your Stamp Duty Land Tax, based on the purchase price of your property and also the amount you will be required to pay in Land Registration Fees. This amount is not included in the average conveyancing fees of £1,419 though. Some headline grabbing prices quoted on websites will often not include all the required elements to complete a purchase and contain many hidden costs that you will have to pay for but are not included in the conveyancing quote. It is therefore important to understand the potential limitations of cheap conveyancing quotes.

You may also want to consider, alongside cost, the methods they use to communicate with you. Some Solicitors and Conveyancers do not accept email correspondence and if they are only open from 9am to 5pm during the week, you may struggle to communicate effectively. This is a real consideration alongside the conveyancing fee you have been quoted.

In addition, factor in how quickly you want to complete the conveyancing process on the property. If you working on a deadline you need to be sure that your Solicitor or Conveyancer is on board and will do all they can to ensure that you meet your deadline. Ask them what they can do to influence how quickly the sale happens and factor this into your decision making process.

Once you have made a decision about your conveyancer, you will now have an idea about how much this will cost you. You should now start to factor in all the other associated costs that are connected. You should already have a figure in mind for Stamp Duty Land Tax and Land Registry Fees, but you should also consider removal costs, estate agents fees which can be anywhere from 1.5% to 4% of the price of the property. Don't forget to add 20% VAT on these fees as you will probably be quoted the cost without VAT. Also don't forget surveyor costs and any mortgage fees.

All in all, when you add all these moving costs up, you need nearly £12,000 more that the price you will pay for your property just to move! This figure fluctuates massively across the UK, with the average cost to move in London at nearly £28,000 compared to just £6,500 in Newcastle.

At Co-op Legal Services, we know how important it is to get the best value for your money. We also know how easy it is for things to go wrong when you are buying or selling a property, so we offer a No Sale No Fee Guarantee, which means you won't be liable to pay any legal fees, just any third party costs incurred.

Once we have provided you with a written conveyancing quote for the agreed work, that price will not change.

For details about how conveyancing works see Stages of the Conveyancing Process.

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