The cost of buying a house and the conveyancing process

Tuesday 4th September 2018

Buying a house is generally the most expensive purchase you will make and some of the costs will be incurred through your solicitor during the residential conveyancing process.

If you are aware of these fees from the outset, you can then be better prepared and ensure you have sufficient funds available for your new home.

It’s imperative to ensure that, when you obtain a quote for conveyancing, this is fully transparent so there are no hidden costs further down the line. At Waldrons, we guarantee that we will always be clear on costs right from the outset.

Disbursements (Payments to third parties)

Contrary to popular belief, the largest fees in conveyancing are usually ‘disbursements’ which are costs payable to the Land Registry, HM Revenue and Customs and other parties and not charges made by a conveyancer.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

This is a form of property taxation payable to HM Revenue and Customs. The rules for stamp duty and purchasing a property can be quite complex. A return is submitted for every transaction above £40,000 and the stamp duty payable will be dependant upon your own personal circumstances.

Search Fees

When buying your new property your solicitor will conduct a variety of searches for you. If you are purchasing with a mortgage then these searches will be mandatory.

Here at Waldrons we carry out four main searches for you. These are:

1 Local Search

This provides information about local land charges or any enforcement notices, tree preservation orders and general planning and building regulations applicable for the property.

2 Mining Search

This search confirms if there are any mine shafts within 20 metres of the boundary of the property. It will also confirm if there are any past opencast coal mines or coal mine subsidence claims within 50 metres of the boundary of the property.

3 Water and Drainage

The water and drainage search confirms if the property is connected to foul and surface water.

4 Environmental

The environmental search confirms if the property has been built on contaminated land and if there are any other potential risks which may adversely affect the property.

Registration Fees

An official search of the register is conducted prior to completion. This search protects you between completion and registration and means no one can register anything against the property during this time.

In addition to this there is also a registration fee to register your application at land registry. The cost for this will depend upon your purchase price.

Legal Fees

Your conveyancer’s fee can depend on:

1. The price of the house you are purchasing.

2. If the property is freehold or leasehold.

3. If the property is new build or shared ownership.

4. If you are benefitting from any help-to-buy schemes.

The main reason for the variety in fees is the level of legal work which is required for each transaction. At Waldrons, we charge fixed fees so there are no hourly rates, meaning that the fee we quote at the beginning is the fee you will pay at the end – there are no hidden extras.

Administration fee for conducting telegraphic transfer 

In order for your funds to be sent quickly on the day of completion they need to be sent via telegraphic transfer. An administration fee will usually be charged for completing the transfer. 

Charges by the management company for leasehold properties 

If the property you are buying is leasehold , the management company will require an apportionment of the annual ground rent and service charge fees for the service charge year. You will also be required to pay ground rent and service charges each year that you own the property. Sometimes there are other charges depending on the type of property and these will be confirmed via your conveyancer during the conveyancing process.

Contact Us

For further details on the conveyancing process or to obtain a quote, please click here, please contact us.

Abbie Seaman, Trainee Solicitor
Waldrons Solicitor