How much are solicitor's fees when buying a house?

Buying a property is likely to be one of the biggest financial decisions that you will make in your life. It can be stressful and sometimes lengthy, but one of the ways that you can make it easier for you is to understand the entire process fully. When you are buying a property, you will need to engage the services of a conveyancing solicitor.

The solicitor’s fees are an important cost in the process of buying a house and must be factored into your additional costs in addition to the price of the property and stamp duty. Choosing the right solicitor to handle the purchase of your property is one of the most important decisions that you will have to make.

You might think that it is best to go to the cheapest solicitor, but this is not always the best idea. It is important that you do your research before choosing which one is the best to go for. The price of your solicitor’s fees can vary but will normally depend on the price of the property and the amount of work that needs to be done in order for the purchase to go through.

In the case of a house purchase, it is the solicitor who does all of the leg work, from carrying out the searches to arranging for the transfer of money, and, consequently, they must be paid for their time and work.

A solicitor will normally charge between about £500 and £1,500 (plus VAT) flat fees for the work that they do. In addition to this flat fee, you will also need to pay the disbursements. Conveyancing disbursements are the additional costs that will be incurred throughout the process, such as for searches and downloading the deeds from the Land Registry.

What factors influence my solicitors fees?

As explained above, the factors that have the biggest influence on the price of your solicitors’ fees are the value of the property that you are buying and the perceived complexity of the process (how much time your solicitor is likely to have to spend processing the sale of the property).

If, for example, you have a straightforward purchase of a freehold property, the process is unlikely to take up too much time, and, therefore, the fees are likely to be relatively low. If, however, you are looking to buy a leasehold property with complicated planning applications associated with it, the process is likely to take up more time, and, therefore, be more costly to you.

Solicitors also have to pay for their insurance in case something goes wrong. This cost is also factored into the overall price that you will need to pay the solicitor.

When should I pay the solicitor in the house buying process?

When you are buying a house, you will normally pay a small amount up front and then the rest of the solicitor’s fees on the completion of the purchase. Some of the activities that your conveyancing solicitor will carry out include:

  • Checking against money laundering – as a buyer, you must be able to prove to the solicitors that you are not involved in money laundering by proving who you are and where the money is coming from.
  • Liaising with the seller’s solicitors – your solicitor will contact the property’s seller’s solicitors to obtain all of the required documents including a draft contract. They will then go through these documents and check that everything is as it should be.
  • Searches – the solicitor will carry out any of the searches that are necessary for the purchase of the property, including the Envirosearch, Regulated Drain & Water Search, Land Registry Title Plan search, and the Chancel Indemnity Policy.
  • Managing the requirements of the mortgage lender – this can include checking where the balance of the money has come from.
  • Producing a conveyancing report – for you as a purchaser to go through, that outlines any risks that are associated with the property that you are looking to buy.
  • Exchanging of contracts
  • Organising the transfer of money – upon completion of the purchase, your money will go into your solicitor’s bank account before it goes out to the previous owner.

WHY CHOOSE WALDRONS SOLICITORS

When you are buying a property, it is essential that you have a conveyancing solicitor that is trustworthy and reliable, acts in a timely manner and is thorough. Here at Waldrons, our team of conveyancing solicitors is on hand to take you through the entire home buying process from the moment that you need to instruct a solicitor through to completion.

We work on a ‘No Sale, No Fee’ basis, so if you decide not to proceed for any reason (although you would lose any disbursements paid) we would not charge you for the legal work we have carried out. So, if you are looking to purchase a new home, why not get in touch with us today?

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Last reviewed on 11/07/23 by Abigail Gray who is an Associate Solicitor