What are Conveyancing Fees?
When you buy or sell a property in the UK, this process is called Conveyancing. There are several stages to the conveyancing process and these incur different costs. There is more involved with buying a property than there is with selling a property, so you will probably find that the costs associated with buying a home are higher. This is due to the nature of the system being “caveat emptor” buyer beware.
Moving house is an expensive business, so it’s important to be clear from the outset how much money you will need to set aside for Conveyancing.
We have broken down the costs incurred in the Conveyancing process so that you can see where your Conveyancing fees go.
The person who is processing the property sale or purchase for you should be a licenced Conveyancer or Conveyancing Solicitor. Property transactions involve a lot of complex legal work, which need to be carried out in a certain way. This process protects both the buyer and the seller as well as other interested parties (such as mortgage lenders), which is essential when such a significant asset is changing hands.
The Conveyancer will take responsibility for ensuring that the transaction is carried out properly and in accordance with the law and they will charge their own fee for this service.
The fees charged by Conveyancers or Conveyancing Solicitors can vary significantly. It’s a good idea to shop around before deciding who to instruct. As you will see, the total fee can be made up of several factors so it’s important to know what’s included when getting a quote.
When you request a Conveyancing quote from Co-op Legal Services, this will include a detailed breakdown of all of the fees and costs included. You can rest assured that there will be no hidden charges and all of our quotes come with a No Sale No Fee Guarantee.
When you are buying a property, there are also searches to take into account. Not all property searches are legally required, but if you are buying with a mortgage then your lender will usually insist that many of these are carried out.
Searches are comprehensive and are obtained from a number of organisations, including local authorities, utilities companies and the Land Registry. Your Conveyancer will be able to advise you on which searches you need, as these can vary depending on the type of property you are buying and its location. These are likely to cover things such as planning permissions or constraints on the property, boundary disputes, any building work being carried out nearby, whether the property is in a flood risk zone, the stability of the ground and where sewers are located.
The purpose of these searches is to provide you with information about the property that you might not already be aware of. Searches are carried out before contracts are exchanged, allowing you to make a fully informed decision on whether to progress before the purchase becomes legally binding. The organisations that carry out these searches will charge a fee for doing so.
For more information on Property Searches, see What Property Searches Do I Need and Why?
Land Registry Fees
Since 1990 it has been a legal requirement for all property transactions to be registered at the Land Registry. This means that whenever a property is bought or sold, the property title will need to be updated to reflect the change of ownership. The Land Registry will charge a fee for doing this.
Additional Costs When Buying a Home
There are some additional costs which you may need to pay if you are buying a property, so it’s important to be aware of these. These costs are unlikely to be included in the price quoted by your Conveyancing Solicitor. These may include the following:
Valuation/Building Survey Fees
If you are buying a property with a mortgage, your mortgage lender will insist that a valuation survey is carried out before they officially agree to lend to you. This is to ensure that the amount they are lending is reflective of the property’s true value.
Many buyers opt to get a more in-depth survey instead, which takes a closer look at the structure and flags up any potential issues with the building. As you might expect, if you get a more comprehensive survey then this will cost more than a straight-forward valuation, but it could save you money in the long-run. If you discover that a property needs expensive repairs, then you may be able to renegotiate the price with the seller or you may decide to pull out of the purchase.
If you’re buying a home in the UK then you may be liable to pay Stamp Duty. This is a government tax which is calculated based on your circumstances and the value of the home that you are buying.
In April 2016, the rules on Stamp Duty changed meaning that people purchasing a second home may now be required to pay a higher rate of Stamp Duty. This will depend on the buyer’s circumstances and whether they are replacing their main residence (which would include selling their previous residence).
If you are liable to pay Stamp Duty, then this is likely to be a considerable amount and will need to be paid within 30 days of completion. This cost should be taken into account when you are budgeting for a house move. More information on Stamp Duty Land Tax can be found on the Gov.uk website.