Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring the ownership of a property, be it you are selling or buying a property. Unlike in the past, Land Registry has now centralised all information (or more commonly known as title deeds) which are all held electronically. This centralisation of information has made way to an entirely new breed of Conveyancing Solicitors, or conveyancers for short. Conveyancers can now offer conveyancing fees/conveyancing quotes and represent clients, anywhere in England and Wales, while in the past this would not have been possible due to obvious geographical restrictions. Due to the levelling of the playing field, conveyancing fees have significantly reduced from what they were 20-30 years ago when you were expected to budget for thousands of pounds, to just a few hundred pounds now.
What conveyancing fees does a quote typically cover?
A conveyancing quote covers two main elements; the conveyancing fees which are ‘profit costs’ for the conveyancing solicitor in offering you their service and disbursements, which are third party costs, common to any firm you instruct. Disbursements could be the likes of land registration fees, stamp duty etc. As with most things nowadays, potential customers would usually use a conveyancing fees, comparison tool online, to obtain a few different quotes from various suppliers. The difference in conveyancing fees (or the total costs) between two or more firms of conveyancing solicitors would always be those for the profit costs as explained above. Depending on the level of service, the amount of time projected by a particular conveyancing solicitor practice and complexity of your proposed transaction, fees could range anywhere between a few hundred to the around the eight hundred pound mark.
What to look out for when it comes to conveyancing fees?
Most conveyancing solicitors, unfortunately, tend to provide a very low ‘Estimate of Costs’, as opposed to a full conveyancing fees illustration which unfortunately tends to mislead a lot of customers. These ‘low or cheap’ conveyancing quotes are embroiled in various ‘hidden administration costs’ which tend to rack up fees quickly and potentially add on to the final bill of costs, hundreds of pounds, which previously would not have been disclosed at any stage. A classic example of this type of hidden administration cost is for submitting a purchaser’s stamp duty return form. This form typically takes around 10 minutes of ‘fee earning’ time to complete and most firms charge in the order of £80-150 plus value added tax for the luxury. Enticed by what essentially is an offer too good to be true, most customers instruct these particular firms and fail to realise until it is too late for them to cancel their instruction.
How to avoid being stung by hidden conveyancing fees which weren’t disclosed on your quote?
The most straight forward and easiest option is to ask as many questions from the firm providing you with the quote of conveyancing fees. Make sure the supplier confirms that the conveyancing quote they have provided is a breakdown of fees for using their service as opposed to an estimate. It is also recommended that you use a ‘No Completion, No fee’ service which gives you the added peace of mind from the outset that, should your transaction abort for any reason, for example, an adverse mortgage valuation or defective title, you will not be liable for any legal fees you have incurred.
All our conveyancing quotes, through Express Conveyancing outline all the conveyancing fees, at the onset . As long as you have supplied the correct information (most common mistakes tend to be the property tenure and if whether a mortgage lender is in place or now), and the transaction not transpiring to vary significantly from when you initially obtain the quote, our fees will remain the same.
Why not contact our friendly team of property experts to find out how our conveyancing quote compares to most other firms and if we can assist on your next property move.