Conveyancing Fees: Buying a House

How much are property solicitors’ fees for buying a house?
When dealing with a purchase, a conveyancer (property solicitor) will need to cover every legal detail. Due to this high workload, they will usually be paid accordingly.
 
Fees will fluctuate from conveyancer to conveyancer, in addition to the value of the property, but there are some average costs that we have calculated.
 
A property solicitors’ fees are built up of two parts: a fixed fee and a set of disbursements.

What are Conveyancing Disbursements?
Disbursements are separate costs that are incurred by the conveyancer when they are dealing with legal matters. These matters will usually cover the necessary searches that are carried out in the local area (environmental, drainage searches etc.). They are to make sure that everything will transfer normally and there will be no nasty surprises from the council later down the line that might affect the value or scene of the property in question. 
 
Below is a list of all the general disbursements:
 
Bankruptcy Search = £2 - £4 (per person taking out the mortgage).
Your mortgage lender (the bank) will need to check that you have not been declared bankrupt.
 
Land Registry office copies = £4 - £8. 
This is to confirm that the property is owned by the seller. In turn, you would need this when selling the property.
 
Electronic ID verification = £2 - £18 per person taking out the mortgage.
You’ll need to provide your conveyancer with proof of your recent address and ID documentation. To ensure all information is correct, these details will be checked using national records.
 
Local Authority Searches = £100 - £200.
An essential part of the conveyancing process. This search ensures that the local council do not have any plans to make changes that will consequently affect your house. For example, any trees that might be planted that could affect views out of the property. Simple changes like this can give you both the information and leverage to negotiate your offer. The cost of this search will differ depending on the area you live in.
 
Water and Drainage Search = £30 - £40 + VAT.
This search checks if your property is connected to mains water, drainage and surface water drainage. The latter is more significant than ever due to flooding being a major concern. The search will be carried out by the firm responsible for providing water in your area.
 
Environmental Search = £30 - £35 + VAT.
This search will check if there is any contaminated land near your property.
 
Telegraphic Transfer Fee = £25 - £45 + VAT.
This is a charge by your bank to cover the cost of transferring the money used to buy the property to the seller’s conveyancing solicitor.
 
Mortgage Handling Fee = £60 - £80.
A solicitor may charge a fee for working with your bank or mortgage provider and taking care of the legal work involved in setting up your mortgage.
 
HMLR Final Search = £3 - £7.
A final search that is carried out just before completion.
 
Land Registry Charge = £20 - £910.
This is a fixed cost and the fee depends on the value of your property. This cost should be included in your conveyancing quote. These can be paid electronically or by post. Land Registry charges are outlined below:
 
House Value (£) Postal Fee (£) Online Fee (£)
Below £80,000 £20 £40
£80,001 - £100,000 £40 £80
£100,001 - £200,000 £95 £190
£200,001 - £500,000 £135 £270
£500,001 - £1,000,000 £270 £540
£1,000,001 and over £455 £910

Struggling with any Conveyancing Terminolgy?

See our beginner's guide to learn those pesky legal terms!


Conveyancer’s Set Fee
Generally, the conveyancer’s fixed fee is determined by the property’s value.
 
The general rule is: the higher the value, the higher the fixed fee.

Leasehold vs Freehold
Always remember that leasehold is more demanding for conveyancers than freehold – and therefore more expensive. There is an increase in paperwork required to fulfil the sale.

Average Solicitor Fees when Buying a House

Our helpful table below reveals what prices you can expect to pay your solicitor depending on the property’s value.
 
House Valuation Average Legal Fee Additional Fees
£100,000 £450 £260
£150,000 £480 £280
£200,000 £520 £300
£250,000 £530 £340
£300,000 £550 £350
£350,000 £585 £365
£400,000 £615 £375
£500,000 £620 £385
£600,000 £660 £500
£750,000 £750 £500
£900,000 £780 £500
£1,000,000 £800 £520

Source: Conveyancing Calculator


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