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Back to Help and Advice

What are conveyancing fees?

By Arti Dhamu, Move Specialist.

You’ll have conveyancing fees to pay when buying or selling a property, as you need an expert conveyancer or solicitor to carry out the legal side of your move. They’ll guide you through the process and complete the legal work, including reviewing contracts, raising enquiries and registering your house with the Land Registry.

Curious about the cost of solicitors’ fees for buying and selling a house? Conveyancing fees will depend on the specific details of your purchase or sale. Use our online conveyancing fees calculator to get an accurate quote and find out more on conveyancing fees.

In this article:

Types of conveyancing fees

  • Legal fees. The basic fee you’ll pay your conveyancer for dealing with the legal process of a home sale or purchase.
  • Disbursements are costs your conveyancer will charge you and pay on your behalf to third parties.

How much does conveyancing cost?

Conveyancing costs vary based on the case and firm, the legal fees range from £300 – £1,500 or more. They’re typically calculated based on three things: your mortgage, the property price and property type (leasehold or freehold).

If you get a conveyancing quote, and complete the details as accurately as possible, you’ll get a good understanding of the expected cost in advance. Do watch out for additional or hidden charges, and some solicitors charge an hourly rate, which can significantly increase the total cost.

Find a breakdown of average conveyancing fees and expected conveyancing costs. And discover more about leasehold transactions.

Who pays conveyancing fees, buyer or seller?

Both the buyer and the seller will pay conveyancing fees for their part in the transaction. The buyer will have additional costs to factor in, including searches of the local area. Both buyer and seller will need a conveyancing solicitor to represent them, go through the process of conveyancing, deal with mortgage providers and handle changes with the Land Registry.

What are disbursement conveyancing fees?

Disbursements are the costs your conveyancer pays on your behalf when conducting your sale or purchase.

The amounts are fairly consistent across the conveyancing industry. When getting your conveyancing quote, check whether the total price includes both the conveyancer’s fee and disbursements.

Most of the below fees are classed as disbursements:  

Money laundering check fees

The conveyancing industry is a common target for money launderers, enabling them to easily circulate large amounts of illegally-gained money into the legitimate economy.

As part of the conveyancing process, your solicitor will ensure money is coming from legitimate sources. This means you’re legally obliged to provide all the necessary documents to verify your identity. If you’re buying a house, you need to show evidence of your deposit and where your funds came from. If you’re selling a property, your solicitor will check the Land Registry to confirm you’re the homeowner.

The cost of money laundering checks is usually £10 – £20, although if you’re living abroad, you’ll likely have to pay more for further checks.

Bankruptcy search fees

With such large sums of money changing hands, your mortgage lender needs to make sure you haven’t gone bankrupt recently.

Bankruptcy searches cost between £2- £4.

Copy of title deeds

Your conveyancer needs to check the title deeds, namely the legal documents proving that you own a property.

The Land Registry charges for every document which has to be downloaded: if you’re dealing with a leasehold property, then the cost can be upwards of £25.

Conveyancing searches

Carrying out the necessary local, drainage and environmental searches is a crucial part of the house buying process. They’ll flag any potential problems and cost between £250 – 450, although the price may vary depending on the property’s location.

It’s also a good idea to carry out a building survey. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors charges around £250 for a basic Home Condition Report. A Home Buyers Report costs around £400 and a detailed Building Survey costs more than £600, depending on the property size.

Electronic Funds transfer fee

On completion, your conveyancer must make an online funds transfer, and will charge a fee for this. If you’re buying a property, the money’s sent to the seller’s conveyancer, while if you’re selling, the funds go to your lender, redeeming your mortgage, with any remaining balance going back to you.

Land Registry Registration Services

If you’re buying a house you need to pay a Land Registry Registration Services fee, to officially transfer the property into your name. Your conveyancer must pay the following costs when applying through the online portal. However, if your application is complex and cannot be done online, costs will be higher.

Value or amountApply using the portal or Business Gateway, for transfers or surrenders which affect the whole of a registered title
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

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), or Land Transaction Tax (LTT) in Wales, is a government tax on property purchases over certain price brackets. It’s paid as a lump sum on completion and only applies when purchasing a property. Your conveyancer will calculate how much you owe and include it in their quote if you request this. There’s also a small fee for the paperwork and registration.

Leasehold fees

If you’re buying a leasehold property, you’ll usually need to cover additional costs as the process is quite complex. For instance, your conveyancer might need a Deed of Covenant, a legal agreement between you and the landowner which sets obligations such as carrying out repair work. The extra costs range from £100 to £1,000, depending on the property.

If you’re selling a leasehold property, you’ll have to cover extra costs for any additional information required from the landlord or management company. This can cost from £100 to over £500.

Remember, it’s always worth checking your conveyancer’s terms and conditions to see if any additional charges apply to you.

Get an online conveyancing quote for your move today.

Need help with conveyancing?

The conveyancers we work with are based across England and Wales. Browse conveyancing in Leicester, East London, York or view all the locations.

Disclaimer: The article above is only a rough guide to give you some idea of the costs and fees involved for conveyancing. 

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