How To Breakdown Your Quote
Conveyancing quotes can sometimes be complex and have a number of fees and variables contained with-in them. This guide hopes to give you a detailed explanation of these fees, what they are for and why they are important.
Conveyancing fees are broken down into two parts: legal fees and disbursements. The legal fees are the cost the solicitor charges for his time involved. The disbursements are fixed fees associated with the transaction incurred by the solicitor for undertaking the work.
The legal fees are the biggest variable between quotes as this takes into account the individual circumstances of the transaction and what you are looking to achieve. We at Curzon Green use a sliding scale dependant on the sale or purchase price as this is the most cost-effective option of providing a fair quote for the work involved.
Disbursement are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf. The disbursements are relatively similar regardless of your choice of solicitor as they are usually a fixed fee. The disbursements incurred will depend on whether you are selling or buying.
The disbursements attributed to a sale are as follows:
Land Registry Office Copies: (£6 - £12)
These are provided by the seller to the buyer to confirm that you are the legal owner of the property you are purporting to sell.
Telegraphic Transfer Fee: (£20 + Vat)
This fee is charged to undertake a same day transfer which will be requirement of the sale if you have a mortgage.
The disbursements attributed to a purchase are as follows:
Bankruptcy Search: (£2 per name)
Normally, as a condition of the mortgage offer, your lender will request this search to confirm whether you have been declared bankrupt.
Local Authority Searches (Standard Pack – Drainage, Environmental and Local Authority): (£250)
These are the normal searches undertaken as part of standard conveyance. The searches are designed to highlight any important information about the property and the surrounding area. The drainage search ensures that the property is connected to fresh and foul water sewers. The environmental search outlines if there is any contamination in close proximity to the property and the local search highlights if there are any planning permissions for work undertaken on the property or if there are any local council plans that may affect your enjoyment of the property.
Local Searches: (£40 - £250)
These searches are location specific and, depending on where the property that you are purchasing is located, these may not be required at all. These searches are of particular importance if there has been a history of mining in the local area. The most common forms of these are coal, salt and brine, limestone and tin mining searches. You are able to check the gov.uk website for more information in regards to these searches.
Chancel Repair Liability Search: (£20)
Chancel Liability is a legal obligation on some property owners in England and Wales to pay for certain repairs to the local parish church. It is important to check that you are not required to contribute to any local church maintenance work as it is very expensive.
Land Registration Fee
This is a fixed cost that will depend on the purchase price of the property. There are two tables of fees depending on the interest being registered at the Land Registry. These are outlined below.
Land Registry fee for the purchase of a whole title:
£1,000,000 + £455
Land Registry fee for the purchase of part of a larger title:
£1,000,000 + £910
The reason that the fees in the second table are slightly higher is due to the fact that the Land Registry is required to change the existing title and create a new title number out of the existing plot.
This is a tax based on the purchase price of the property in question. The money accrues to HM Revenue & Customs. The HMRC website also has more useful information in this regard.
It is always difficult to foresee every single disbursement that could arise in the conveyancing process. However it is always prudent to be aware of expenses such as Indemnity Insurance and possible fees for replacement certificates for work undertaken at the property. Your solicitor will advise you should additional disbursements arise.
Things to consider regarding your conveyancing quotes
The buying and selling of houses is an expensive venture and most clients will inevitably look for the cheapest quote. It is important to keep in mind the above figures when reviewing the quotes as those falling outside of this guide should be regarded with caution. Some firms may only quote the legal costs and although the fee may seem cheaper the disbursements may have not been outlined to you or taken into account.
It is good practice to get a number of quotes from variety of firms and to use a personal recommendation rather than to just revert to the Estate Agents recommended solicitor without further investigation.