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How Much Are Conveyancing Fees?

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Gareth Brooks

2nd Jan 2020 (Last updated on 19th May 2022) 9 minute read

The average conveyancing fees for buying a house are £1,040 and £1,000 for selling a house.

This includes the costs of your conveyancer or solicitor's legal fee for buying and selling a freehold house at the average UK price of £277,000. You will need to factor in the relevant conveyancing disbursements which we explore below.

This guide will feature an in-depth breakdown of what to expect with your conveyancing fees and the hidden costs to look out for.

This article will cover the following:
  1. What Are Conveyancing Fees?
  2. How Much are the Legal Fees?
  3. How Much are the Disbursements?
  4. Conveyancing Fees for a Leasehold Property
  5. Extra Conveyancing Costs
  6. Hidden Extras to Watch For
  7. Fixed Fee Conveyancing
  8. What to Watch For in a Quote
  9. When Do I Pay Conveyancing Fees?
  10. What if the Sale Falls Through?
Average Conveyancing Costs 2022

The below table breaks down the cost of buying and selling both a leasehold and a freehold property for a range of property values, including 20% VAT. This is the cost of the conveyancer’s legal fee and doesn’t include the disbursements.

Property ValueFreehold SaleFreehold PurchaseLeasehold Sale
Leasehold Purchase

Up to £100,000

£820

£860

£990

£1,030

£100,001 to £200,000

£880

£930

£1,050

£1,110

£200,001 to £300,000

£1,000

£1,040

£1,170

£1,230

£300,001 to £400,000

£1,090

£1,120

£1,260

£1,310

£400,001 to £500,000

£1,160

£1,200

£1,340

£1,390

£500,001 to £600,000

£1,330

£1,410

£1,490

£1,560

£600,001 to £700,000

£1,390

£1,440

£1,550

£1,630

£700,001 to £800,000

£1,600

£1,670

£1,770

£1,850

£800,001 to £900,000

£1,730

£1,810

£1,880

£2,010

£900,001 to £1000,000

£1,840

£1,900

£2,000

£2,100

£1000,001+

£2,230

£2,320

£2,440

£2,520


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

What Are Conveyancing Fees?

Conveyancing costs are paid to your conveyancer for handling the sale or purchase of the property. The conveyancing costs will be made up of two parts:

    • The conveyancers’ legal fees will cover the legal work carried out by the conveyancer
    • The disbursements cover the cost of third-party services such as property searches

For complicated or unique cases, there will be additional charges which we detail below.

Conveyancing Fees

How Much are the Legal Fees?

Your conveyancer or solicitor’s legal fees will cover the costs of their work. Our research shows that the average conveyancing fees are:

    • Selling a freehold property: £1,000
    • Buying a freehold property: £1,040
    • Selling a leasehold property: £1,170
    • Buying a leasehold property: £1,230

This is based on the average of a sample of 50 conveyancer’s legal fees for a property value of between £200,001 and £300,000 including VAT.

There are a few factors that might affect your legal fee:

    • If you use a conveyancing solicitor instead of a licensed conveyancer then your legal fees will cost more. This is because solicitors are more qualified in a range of property laws as opposed to just conveyancing, so they can help with complex circumstances.
    • The price of the property you’re buying or selling will dictate the legal fee. The more expensive the house, the higher your conveyancing fees will be.
    • If you’re using an online conveyancer then the costs will usually be cheaper than traditional firms. These online firms take on many cases at once, with people arguing they lack a personal feel.
    • Shared Ownership, Help to Buy and new build properties will add to your legal fees.
    • Lease extensions, transfer of equity and remortgaging require specialist work so will add more to your conveyancing costs.
    • If you’re a cash buyer, expect to pay a lower fee as your conveyancer won’t be dealing with a mortgage.

How Much are the Disbursements?

The legal fee will make up most of the costs, but there are also disbursements to pay. Many of the disbursements are fixed in price such as Land Registry searches, and others are relative to your house price such as Stamp Duty.

Your conveyancer shouldn’t be making a profit on these services, they should charge you the same amount that they will pay the supplier.

Below we’ve listed the most common disbursements that will likely appear on your quote and whether you can expect them when buying or selling.

Disbursement

Cost

BuyingSelling

Conveyancing Search Pack

£290

Yes

No

Anti-money Laundering Checks

£6

Yes

Yes

Bank Transfer Fee

£40

Yes

Yes

Mortgaged Property Supplement Fee

£100

Yes

Yes

Title Deeds Copy

£6

No

Yes

Transfer Ownership with Land Registry

£135

Yes

No

Stamp Duty

Varies

Yes

No

SDLT return fee

£110

Yes

No

Conveyancing Searches

We found the conveyancing searches pack costs £290 across a sample of 50 conveyancers, though this can range from £250 to £450 and will vary by location. The search pack will include the Local Authority Search, the Environmental Search and the Water and Drainage Search and is only applicable to buyers.

Anti-money Laundering Checks

Anti-money laundering checks are carried out by your solicitor to ensure the money is legitimate. If you're buying a house with cash or paying your deposit through a number of individual accounts, then your solicitor may be suspicious. Rest assured, the money laundering check is a common disbursement regardless of your situation.

Bank Transfer Fee

A bank transfer fee will be charged by the bank to transfer sums of money over £60,000. If you’re selling and redeeming your mortgage, then you’ll be charged another bank transfer fee. This can cost between £25 to £45, but we found the average fee was around £40 when including VAT.

Mortgaged Property Supplement Fee

If you’re selling or buying and still have a mortgage, your solicitor will need to liaise with your mortgage lender to process the redemption of your mortgage. This extra work will be highlighted in the quote.

Title Deeds Copy

When selling, your conveyancer must get hold of up to date official copies of the freehold Title Register and filed Title Plan held at HM Land Registry. This proves you are the owner of the property and will consist of a property register and a plan of the property.

Transferring Ownership With Land Registry

When buying, your conveyancer has to register the property in your name to transfer ownership. This is relative to your house price and whether or not the property has already been registered. It will cost between £20 to £455 online, and between £40 and £910 by post.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

Only relevant to buyers, Stamp Duty will normally vary depending on the value of the property you’re buying and its location. The average homebuyer will spend around £2,115 on Stamp Duty. To find out how much Stamp Duty you’ll need to pay, use our Stamp Duty Calculator.

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.

Conveyancing Fees for a Leasehold Property

Buying a leasehold involves more legal work and disbursements than with a freehold. The average conveyancing fee for buying a leasehold property is £1,110 and £1,050 for selling. Costs will vary depending on the complexity of the case.

Below we’ve listed some of the common conveyancing costs you can expect when buying and selling a leasehold property.

Service

CostBuyingSelling

Landlord Sales Pack

£280

Yes

No

Notice of Transfer fee

£190

Yes

No

Notice of Charge fee

£140

Yes

No

Deed of Covenant

£280

Yes

No

Certificate of Compliance

£250

Yes

No

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

£120-£180 but will vary depending on the developer or leaseholder

Yes

No

Leasehold Property Supplement Fee

£150

No

Yes

Leasehold Management Information Pack

£150-£500

No

Yes

Extra Conveyancing Costs

You might face additional costs, especially if your case is more complex.

Certain disbursements will be clear from the start, such as Shared Ownership or Help to Buy properties. However, some costs might crop up unexpectedly during the process such as delayed completion fees.

These are the most common additional charges faced, with some simply being added to the legal fees or charged separately.

ServiceCostBuyingSelling

Mortgaged Property Supplement Fee

£100

Yes

Yes

Remortgage

£490

Yes

Yes

Gifted Deposit

Varies

Yes

No

Help to Buy ISA Fee

£60

Yes

No

Help to Buy Equity Loan Supplement Fee

£300

Yes

No

Shared Ownership

£310

Yes

Yes

New Build

£290

Yes

No

Unregistered Property Fee

£100-£200

No

Yes

Delayed Completion

£100 - £200

Yes

Yes

Indemnity Insurance

Varies

Yes

Yes

Transferring Equity

£530

No

Yes

Lease Extension

£1,280

Yes

No

Share of Freehold

£120

Yes

No

Hidden Extras to Watch For

There are hidden costs that are often referred to as potential costs, but most of the time they will be essential costs. Be wary of conveyancers who try and charge you extra for the following services as they should be included in the legal fee.

  • Photocopying and postage costs
    Conveyancers shouldn’t charge you additionally for photocopying, phone calls or postage fees. These should be included in their legal fee.
  • Professional indemnity contribution
    Professional indemnity is an expense of the business, not you. This should be included in the conveyancer’s legal fee and not charged to you.
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax Return
    When buying a property, you’ll have to pay the SDLT Return Fee, even if you’re under the threshold. This is because HMRC needs to be notified of your recent property purchase. This sometimes is referred to as a potential cost, but you will definitely have to pay this most of the time.

Fixed Fee Conveyancing

Most conveyancers will charge a fixed fee which means you'll have pre-agreed a price for the job. Make sure that it's clear what their fixed fee is offering and if it covers the disbursements - not just their legal fee. Fixed fee conveyancing is becoming increasingly popular, making it rare for conveyancers to charge at an hourly rate.

The main advantage of using a fixed fee conveyancer is that you’ll be aware at the start of how much you’ll have to pay once the sale is complete. This also means you can budget and save for the service.

It’s also important to make sure your conveyancer offers a ‘no sale, no fee’ service, so if the sale was to fall through you won’t have to pay the legal fee.

To learn more, read fixed fee conveyancing.

What to Watch For in a Quote

There are certain things that should and shouldn’t happen when studying your quote. Here are a few pointers to watch out for:

  • Be wary of any quote that seems too good to be true, particularly with online conveyancing. Most of the time, this quote will only be showing the conveyancer’s legal fee and not include the costs for the disbursements.
  • Some firms will try and list certain disbursements or services in the quote and call them potential costs. The majority of these should already be covered as part of the conveyancer's legal fee.
  • Be sure to always read the small print for any hidden extra costs that you shouldn’t be paying for.
  • Honest conveyancers should only have a small list of essential disbursements that we highlighted above, including Land Registry Search, Bankruptcy Search and Land Registry Fees.
  • You shouldn’t be paying VAT on your disbursements so you should be charged the original price for the service.
  • Always compare conveyancing quotes to ensure you’re getting the best price for your sale or purchase.
  • If you’re not sure about items listed in the quote, ask before you commit to paying for something you’re unsure of.

When Do I Pay Conveyancing Fees?

If you're buying, you'll have to pay the conveyancing searches upfront. This is because the relevant authority will require payment before they produce the search results.

If you're selling your house, there's a possibility you'll have to pay a small upfront cost. The rest will be paid throughout the conveyancing process and on completion day.

Land Registry and Stamp Duty fees will have to be paid after completion.

What if the Sale Falls Through?

You can’t legally pull out of the sale once contracts have been exchanged. If the sale falls through prior to this, both sides might have fees they have to pay.

It’s important to check if your conveyancer offers a no sale no fee service so if the sale was to fall through, you won’t be charged the legal fees.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having written for Huffington Post and Film Criticism Journal, Martha now regularly researches and writes advice articles for everything moving house related.

Gareth Brooks

Reviewed by Gareth Brooks

Solicitor and Partner, RMNJ Solicitors

With 19 years of experience in the residential conveyancing industry, Gareth Brooks is a partner and head of management for the conveyancing department at RMNJ Solicitors.

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