When you buy or sell property, you’re going to have to enlist the services of experts to help you through the process. As costs can escalate if you’re not prepared and don’t keep a tab on things, it’s easy to feel like moving an expensive business. Here we take a look at the main fees you can expect to pay during the conveyancing process, helping you to know what to expect and budget accordingly.
Most of the fees detailed below are classed as disbursements. These are costs that your conveyancer will have to pay on your behalf. When you get a quote from a conveyancer, check whether the total price includes both their fee and all the anticipated disbursements that must be paid. This will help you to decide whether your quote represents good value or not.
Conveyancer’s basic fee
When you move house, you need a conveyancer to complete the legal aspects of the process. This obviously comes at a cost which varies from firm to firm and case to case, but you can typically expect to pay anything from £300 to £1,500. Most conveyancers now work on a fixed fee basis. A few more traditional firms still charge an hourly rate, so it’s important you don’t get stung if you go down this route.
Money laundering checks
It’s a legal requirement to verify your identity as part of anti-money laundering measures. This usually costs £6 to £20, although if you’re not from the UK you’ll likely have to pay more to cover further checks.
Property fraud check
In a similar vein to the money laundering check, your conveyancer will want to check that the recipient of the funds you’re going to be sending is a legitimate company. The cost of this should be less than £10.
As your mortgage lender’s committing a large amount of money to you, they want to know if you’ve recently gone bankrupt. It doesn’t cost much for this check, typically only £2 to £4.
Copy of title deeds
Usually held by the Land Registry, they charge a fee of around £5 to send a copy of the title deeds relating to the property you’re buying or selling. Your conveyancer needs this to verify that you own the property you’re selling, and to obtain a copy of the official plan to show the extent. If you’re dealing with a leasehold property, then the fee’s around £25.
Carrying out the necessary searches is a big part of buying a house, as they flag up any potential problems that you might encounter with a property. The least your conveyancer will need to do are local, drainage and environmental searches, however there may be specific searches necessary such as coal or tin mining, depending on where the property is. You can usually get them done in a package that costs something between £250 and £450, although this can vary depending on where the house your buying is.
It’s also a good idea to carry out a survey on the actual building you’re buying. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors charge around £250 for a basic Home Condition Report. The next level up is a HomeBuyer Report which starts at around £400, while the most detailed Building Survey costs upwards of £600.
Electronic Funds transfer fee
On your completion day, your conveyancer will need to electronically transfer the funds. If you’re buying, the money’s sent to the seller’s conveyancer, while if you’re selling, the funds go to your bank to redeem your mortgage, with any balance going back to you.
Land Registry Registration Services
If you’re buying a house, then on completion you need to pay the Land Registry Registration Services fee. This officially transfers ownership of a property into your name, and depends on the value of your home. The costs below are for when your conveyancer applies using the online portal, and they’re double this is the application is complex and cannot be submitted electronically:
• Up to £80,000 – £20
• £80,001 to £100,000 – £40
• £100,001 to £200,000 – £95
• £200,001 to £500,000 – £135
• £500,001 to £1,000,000 – £270
• Over £1,000,000 – £455
Stamp Duty Land Tax
This is a government tax that’s payable on any property you buy which costs more than £125,000. It works on a scale whereby you pay tax on the part of the property’s value that’s priced in each band.
• Up to £125,000 – 0%
• £125,001 to £250,000 – 2%
• £250,001 to £925,000 – 5%
• £925,001 to £1,500,000 – 10%
• Over £1,500,000 – 12%
So for example, a property costing £200,000 attracts Stamp Duty of £1,500. For a house priced at £300,000 it’s £5,000, and for a £1,000,000 property it’s £43,750.
If you are a first-time buyer and the property costs less than £500,000 you may be eligible for a discounted rate, or no duty at all.
If the property you’re buying is leasehold, you can usually expect to pay additional costs as the process is a bit more complicated. For instance, you might require a Deed of Covenant, which is a legal agreement between you and the landowner which sets out obligations such as carrying out repair work. The extra costs could range from anything between £100 and £1,000, depending on the property you’re buying. If you are selling a leasehold property again your costs are likely to be greater as you will need to pay the landlord and/or management company to provide a bundle of information to the buyer: this can cost from £100 to over £500 depending on who your landlord is.
As well as the most common costs involved with buying or selling your home, it’s worth checking your conveyancer’s terms and conditions to see if any additional charges will apply to your case. From part ownership to the other party not being represented by a conveyancer and fees pertaining to Sharia Law compliant mortgages, it’s a good idea to find out if you’ll have any extra charges to pay so you can budget for them accordingly.
Disclaimer: The article above is only a rough guide to give you some idea of the costs and fees involved for conveyancing.