The conveyancing quote demystified – what are disbursements?

The conveyancing quote demystified – what are disbursements?

The conveyancing quote demystified - what are disbursements? Express Conveyancing

If you have started down the lengthy process of buying a property in England and Wales, at some point you will require the services of a good conveyancing solicitor.  The usual process is to find a few companies that appeal to you and ask for quotes, usually three, and set about comparing them. And within all of them you will come across a set of additional extras, called disbursements.

Disbursements are the extras involved in conveyancing that are not part of the conveyancing solicitor’s fee. The basic costs are covered in the headline rate, and this is often very attractive. Where the costs start to mount up is in the disbursements. Unfortunately, most of these are simply an unavoidable expense of purchasing property. They cover the cost of reports and other expenses to outside parties that a solicitor accrues in the course of doing your business.

Local searches – These are searches made to the Local Authority in the area which the property you are buying is located. They cover many aspects of the property, including access rights, adopted road agreements and other factors that may make a difference to your desire to continue with the purchase. These searches are either done by the Local Authority or by a third party. Costs vary by how the search is done (a premium is charged if the Local Authority carry out an official search), and also by location, with some local Authorities charging half as much as others. There may also be extra charges involved, for example, for additional enquiries related to your purchase, or copies of official documents.

Drainage, water, environmental and coal – You may need all or just some of these searches, depending upon which area you are purchasing in and the requirements of your mortgage lender. Those purchasing properties in the North East of England usually need a Coal Authority search, whereas if you are buying in Central London, you won’t need one.  All of these searches are chargeable individually as they come from separate organisations.

Bankruptcy search – Most mortgage lenders require this as part of your purchase. The search usually happens just prior to completion in order to check that you haven’t gone bankrupt at the last minute.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) – This is the tax you pay to HMRC on completion of your house purchase and is based on the purchase price. Your conveyancing solicitor deals with the organisation and transfer of funds, and takes on the responsibility for doing so accurately.

Land Registry search fees – Your conveyancing solicitor searches the Land Registry records to check that the vendor of the property you are buying has good title. In other words, this is the legal right to market it and sell it to you.

Money transfer fees – There will be money flowing in all directions during the course of a house purchase and sale. Your conveyancer is responsible for organising some of these. Telegraphic transfer fees usually cover the cost of wiring your deposit mortgage funds to your vendor and CHAPS fees are charged by the bank you have your mortgage with on release of your funds.

Land Registry registration fees – Once your new home is purchased, your conveyancing solicitor will register your ownership of the property with the Land Registry and this also accrues a fee. Some properties can be registered using a new electronic system, but unregistered land must be registered using the old, snail mail based system and this cost is double the electronic method.

There may be other disbursements that are particular to your purchase and not part of a standard transaction. Leasehold purchases and sales usually cost significantly more than freehold, with piles of extra paperwork and third party charges to account for. Good conveyancing solicitors will be upfront about all charges and disbursement and will promise no hidden fees so you know roughly what you will be paying at the end. Conveyancing itself is great value compared to say, Estate Agents fees, but those disbursements can really mount up and make it difficult to compare like with like.

What our clients say

Great value for money. Everything went smoothly and I was very pleased with the service provided
Rachel Whitfield
Rachel Whitfield
20:59 12 Oct 18
Excellent! Very responsive, and really helped to push the purchase. There were unexpected delays during the process, but Anthony really helped to reassure me that he was doing everything he could to progress the sale. Ultimately, it all worked out in the end, and I would highly recommend! I would also recommend for auction purposes.
Sean Stevens
Sean Stevens
09:14 21 May 18
Very happy customer. Understanding of our needs and recommended a really fantastic solicitor.
Jack Hearne
Jack Hearne
17:49 12 Oct 18
I have just completed the purchase of my flat with them. They were recommend by the estates agents Phillip Arnold and they were fantastic. My case was handled by Milena who was really helpful and always available on the phone. The online system is also really easy to use. If I buy or sell a property I will definitely be using them again.
Sharon Kelly
Sharon Kelly
18:27 20 Dec 17
I used this service following a recommendation. The online case tracker worked really well. I would recommend this service as it's vital in the coordination between Estate Agencies and between Solicitors. The service proved invaluable in helping progress the conveyancing work efficiently and effectively. Completed the transaction just before Christmas having instructed the Solicitors on the 4th.
Shelly Harrill
Shelly Harrill
16:30 19 Dec 17
Excellent Service. Final Price same as quoted.
A Google User
A Google User
14:26 19 Dec 18
Have used them twice. Both times completion happened in less than 4 weeks, even over Xmas! Totally amazing. They take the stress out of the whole process.
Daniel West
Daniel West
13:04 21 Dec 18
Excellent Service. Final Price same as quoted
Parsa Khamooshi
Parsa Khamooshi
15:54 21 Dec 18
Being a first time buyer they guided me smoothly through the whole process of moving into my first home. Very professional and economical.
Uday Seth
Uday Seth
12:31 24 Dec 18
Express Conveyancing have been excellent in the handling of my recent house sale and purchase. Would highly recommend
James Ellis
James Ellis
11:43 30 Apr 19
Express Conveyancing have been excellent in the handling of my recent house sale and purchase. Would highly recommend
Michelle Preston
Michelle Preston
12:20 30 Apr 19

Our News