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Solicitors Fees for Buying a House Explained

The average solicitor fee for buying a house in the UK is £1,567 based on the average UK house price of £285,000.

The cost of your conveyancing will vary depending on the location of the property, its size, value and your circumstances. Below we’ll take you through everything you need to know about solicitor fees when buying a house. This includes disbursements, legal fees and other expenses.

This article has been reviewed and verified by SRA-regulated solicitor, Tetyana Rehman.

The Role of a Solicitor When Buying a House

The role of a solicitor is to transfer ownership of the property to you. They will act on your behalf and liaise with the seller's legal representative. Their tasks include:

Legal checks on the property to ensure there are no legal disputes

Drawing up and reviewing contracts

Arranging essential property searches to uncover things like potential flood risks, radon gas levels, contaminated land and planning restrictions

Taking care of all legal documents and paperwork

Arranging and overseeing money transfers

Solicitor Fees Include:

Legal Fees

Will cover the conveyancer's time, expenses and legal work throughout the conveyancing process.

Disbursements

These include the property searches and third-party services that your conveyancer arranges for you.

Solicitor Fees Based on Property Value

The table below shows a breakdown of solicitor’s fees for both freehold and leasehold properties for different property values.

Property ValueFreehold Solicitor FeesLeasehold Solicitor Fees

Up to £100,000

£1,090

£1,270

£100,001 to £300,000

£1,190 - £1,320

£1,370 - £1,490

£300,001 to £500,000

£1,390 - £1,490

£1,560 - £1,650

£500,001 to £700,000

£1,750 - £1,800

£1,860 - £1,960

£700,001 to £1,000,000

£2,000 - £2,160

£2,150 - £2,340

£1000,001+

£2,550

£2,710

Average taken from the fees page of 50 Conveyancers from across the UK. 20% VAT is included.

The cost of your solicitor fees will vary depending on whether you’re buying a freehold or leasehold property. It’s also worth finding out if you’d be better off using a solicitor that offers a fixed fee conveyancing service

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Disbursement Fees for Buying a House

You’ll have to pay conveyancing disbursements on top of the legal fees. These are services your conveyancer will order.

Service charges vary based on the purchase price and whether the property is a second home - among other factors. Here are some conveyancing fees to keep in mind:

DisbursementWhat It CoversAverage Cost
Conveyancing searchesA Local Authority Search, an Environmental Search and a Water and Drainage Search.£290

(range from £250 to £450)

Anti-money laundering checks
This is to ensure the money for the home is legitimate.
£5
Bank transfer fee
Charged by the bank to transfer sums of money over £60,000.
£40 inc VAT.

(range from £25 to £45)

Bankruptcy check
A common check for buyers who've applied for a mortgage and will reveal if you are close to being bankrupt.
£3
Mortgaged property supplement fee
If you still have a mortgage, your solicitor will need to liaise with your lender to process the redemption of your mortgage.
£220
Transfer of equity
You will need to hire a solicitor if you are adding or removing someone from the property deeds.
£540
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)
Stamp Duty varies depending on the value and location of the property. Use our Stamp Duty Calculator to find out what you need to pay.
£3,850
SDLT return
Even if you’re below the Stamp Duty threshold, you’ll need to inform HMRC about the property purchase within 14 days of completion day.
£110
Land Registry ChargesYour solicitor will have to register the property in your name to transfer ownership. This is relative to the property price and whether the property has already been registered.£20 - £500 online, and £45 - £1,105 by post.


When Do You Pay Solicitor Fees When Buying a House?

Your solicitor will ask for a deposit as an upfront payment or a ‘payment on account’ at the start of the process. This is usually to pay for conveyancing searches so these can be arranged right away. This means you can expect to pay between £250 and £450 at the beginning of the process.

The rest of the solicitor fees will be paid at the end of the process. Stamp Duty needs to be paid within 14 days of completion. Your solicitor will add this to your bill.

Read more on When Do I Pay Solicitor’s Fees When Buying a House?

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Extra Fees to Expect When Buying a House

There may be extra solicitor fees or hidden costs to face, depending on the services you require. Below are the most common extra conveyancing fees:

Service

Cost

Gifted Deposit

Varies

Help to Buy ISA Fee

£50 (plus VAT)

Help to Buy Equity Loan Supplement Fee

£340

Shared Ownership

£330

New Build

£360

Delayed Completion

£100 - £200

Indemnity Insurance

Varies

Lease Extension

£600 - £1,200

Share of Freehold

£120

Solicitor Fees for Buying Leasehold

Buying a leasehold property comes with extra paperwork for your solicitor so you will face more legal fees. It's important to note that management companies will charge Notice fees, Deed Of Covenant and Certificate of compliance and not your solicitor. Some solicitors will add a fee for drafting a Deed of Covenant, but not all, so it's important to check once you have a quote through.

These are the most common fees for buying a leasehold home:

ServiceAverage Cost

Landlord Sales Pack

£280

Notice of Transfer fee

£190

Notice of Charge fee

£140

Deed of Covenant

£280

Certificate of Compliance

£150 – £300

Engrossment Fee (typically when purchasing flats or new-builds)

£150-£250 (varies depending on the developer or leaseholder)

Leasehold Property Supplement Fee

£100 - £200

Leasehold Management Information Pack

£150-£500

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How Can You Keep Your Solicitor Conveyancing Fees Down?

The best way to keep your conveyancing fees down is by carrying out research before making your final decision. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Fixed Fee Conveyancing

Fixed fee conveyancing means you pay a fixed rate for a conveyancer's services. It is also known as flat fee conveyancing. This can help minimise your fees, especially if your case is complex such as leasehold properties.

Choosing an hourly rate conveyancer could be appealing as the upfront costs may seem lower. However, if your case is complicated, you may find your overall costs add up and you could be paying well above the fixed fee average.

No Sale No Fee Guarantee

No sale no fee means you won't have to pay legal fees if the transaction falls through before the contracts are exchanged. Keep in mind that any money spent on disbursements and other third-party charges is unlikely to be refunded. Check that your conveyancer offers this service before they begin the conveyancing process.

Finding a Conveyancer or Solicitor

There are steps you can take to find the best conveyancer that fits your criteria. Not every conveyancer or solicitor has experience with certain cases such as Help to Buy schemes or leasehold properties. Therefore, it’s best to carry out thorough research before making your final decision.

At Compare My Move, we can connect you with up to 6 conveyancers to save you up to 70% on your conveyancing costs. All our conveyancing partners have passed our strict verification process for your peace of mind. This means they are all regulated by either the SRA, CLC, LSS, LSNI or CILEx.

Need a Surveyor?

Once you've found a conveyancer, you soon might need the help of a RICS property surveyor. Simply fill in our integrated conveyancing and surveying comparison form to get connected today.

You can compare companies through our integrated conveyancing and surveying form by filling out a few extra steps. We will then connect you with local conveyancers and surveyors to save on the whole process.

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Written by

Reviewed by

Tetyana Rehman

Last updated

24th May, 2024

Read time

6 minutes

Martha Lott

Written by

Senior Digital Content Executive

Having guest authored for many property websites, Martha now researches and writes articles for everything moving house related, from remortgages to conveyancing costs.

Read our editorial process

Tetyana Rehman

Reviewed by

Senior Solicitor

With over 15 years of experience in property law, Tetyana is a senior solicitor at JBGass.

Read our editorial process