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How Much are Conveyancing Fees in 2021?

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Gareth Brooks

2nd Jan 2020 (Last updated on 27th Jul 2021) 11 minute read

The average conveyancing fees for buying a house is £1,040 and the average conveyancing fees for selling a house is £1,000. This includes the costs of the solicitor's legal fee and the conveyancing disbursements when buying and selling a house at the average UK price of £267,000 (includes 20% VAT.)

These are estimates based on a sample of conveyancing costs that Compare My Move took from across the UK. True conveyancing costs will differ by property price, area, conveyancer or solicitor and complexity of service.

The thought of high conveyancing costs can be daunting, and having a breakdown of what fees to expect can be helpful. We’ve put together this guide to help you familiarise yourself with the conveyancing costs involved with buying and selling a house.

This article will cover the following:
  1. Solicitor Fees For Buying a House
  2. Solicitor Fees For Selling a House
  3. What is Fixed Fee Conveyancing?
  4. When Do I Pay Conveyancing Fees?
  5. Do I Need a Conveyancer or a Solicitor When Buying a House?
  6. Do I Have to Hire a Conveyancer or Solicitor?
  7. Learn More About Conveyancing

Solicitor Fees For Buying a House

We've looked at the average conveyancing fees and disbursements for buying a UK house costing £267,000.

Conveyancing disbursements are included in your total cost and are used to pay for third party services during the conveyancing process. Many are fixed in price such as Land Registry searches, and others are relative to your house price such as Stamp Duty.

The table below highlights what can be expected in a conveyancing quote for buying:

What to expectAverage solicitor fee

Solicitor's Legal Fee

£569

Conveyancing Search Pack

£290

Anti-money Laundering Checks

£6

Bank Transfer Fee

£40

Transfer Ownership with Land Registry

£135

Stamp Duty£850*
Additional conveyancing costs for buying:
Mortgage Property Supplement Fee£200
Help to Buy ISA Fee£60
Help to Buy Equity Loan Supplement Fee£300
Shared Ownership£310
New Build£290
Stamp Duty Return£110

*The Stamp Duty threshold in England and Northern Ireland is currently set at £250,000. This returns to the normal threshold of £125,000 as of October 1st.

Solicitor’s Legal Fee - £569

Your solicitor will charge a basic legal fee for their time and work on your conveyancing case. They usually base their fee on the value of the property you’re buying, but some can offer a fixed-fee service while others charge per hour.

Conveyancing Searches - £290

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.

Some additional but uncommon extra searches include the Flood Search, Chancel Repair Liability Search and the Coal Mining Search which will all add to the cost. For example, the Coal Mining Search will add around £80.

Anti-money Laundering Checks - £6

This is a check carried out by your solicitor to ensure you're not money laundering. If you're buying a house with cash or paying your deposit through a number of individual accounts, then your solicitor may be suspicious, but is a common disbursement regardless of your situation.

Transferring Ownership With Land Registry - £135

Your conveyancer has to register the property in your name to transfer ownership. This is relative to your house price and if the property has already been registered. It will cost between £20 to £455 online, and between £40 and £910 by post.

Bank Transfer Fee - £40

A bank transfer fee will be charged by the bank to transfer the sale price from your conveyancer to the seller's conveyancer. This can cost between £25 to £45, but we found the average fee was around £40 when including VAT.

Stamp Duty Land Tax - £0-2,115

The threshold for Stamp Duty and Land Transaction Tax has been increased to help buyers during the Coronavirus pandemic until September 30th 2021. The tax will normally vary depending on the value of the property you’re buying and location. The average homebuyer will spend around £2,115 on Stamp Duty.

To find out more about how much Stamp Duty you’ll need to pay wherever you are in the UK, use our Stamp Duty Calculator.

Other Conveyancing Costs for Buying

You may face extra costs during the conveyancing process which should be clearly outlined, though in some circumstances can come as a surprise if the upfront legal costs seem low. We’ve listed some common additional costs you may expect during the conveyancing process for buying a house.

Mortgage Property Supplement - £200

If you’re buying the property with help from a mortgage, then this adds additional work for your conveyancer. This should be reflected in the quote as a mortgage property supplement.

Help to Buy ISA Fee - £60

If you’re using your Help to Buy ISA bonus to purchase the property then you’ll notice an added Help to Buy ISA fee on your quote. Your conveyancer will have to obtain the bonus for you.

Help to Buy Equity Loan Supplement Fee - £300

The Help to Buy supplement fee is required if you’re taking out an equity loan as this is more legal work for your conveyancer to carry out.

Shared Ownership - £310

Conveyancing for a shared ownership property requires more work for your solicitor so expect to pay more if you’re buying with shared ownership or buying more of a share.

New Build - £290

Buying a new build home also requires more work for your solicitor so they will often charge higher legal fees. This should be clear upfront, if not, ask for a breakdown of the conveyancing process for new builds as well as the costs.

Stamp Duty Return - £110

Since 2003, the Stamp Duty tax return form required more work by solicitors to complete. Some solicitors will include this in their legal fee whilst others will add it as an extra. Make sure you find out upfront.

Find out more: What are conveyancing disbursements?

Conveyancing Fees for Buying a Leasehold Property

There are a few extra costs you can expect when purchasing a leasehold property. Conveyancers will increase legal fees when dealing with a leasehold property because there's a large amount of added work involved. The sample of conveyancers we looked at added an average of £230 in legal costs for leasehold compared to freehold properties.

Additionally, there’s a range of extra disbursements faced by leaseholders. The cost of conveyancing disbursements do vary and are usually set out in your lease. We've compiled an average cost of the main leasehold disbursements you may face below.

What to expectAverage cost*

Landlord Sales Pack

£280

Notice of Transfer fee

£190

Notice of Charge fee

£140

Deed of Covenant

£280

Certificate of Compliance

£250

Engrossment Fee (typically when purchasing flats or new-builds)£120-£180 but will vary depending on the developer or leaseholder

*True costs will vary, and will be set out in your lease agreement. We took an average from a sample of 50 conveyancers across the UK to provide an indicative cost.

Solicitor Fees For Selling a House

We've looked at the average solicitor fees for selling a house costing £267,000.

There are fewer conveyancing costs for selling a house than buying. Below we’ve listed the common conveyancing costs and disbursements you can expect during the conveyancing process.

The table below highlights what can be expected in a conveyancing quote for selling:

What to expectAverage solicitor fee

Solicitor's Legal Fee

£948*

Bank Transfer Fee

£40

Title Deeds Copy

£6

Anti-money Laundering Checks£6
Additional conveyancing costs for selling:
Mortgaged Property Supplement Fee£100
Leasehold Property Supplement Fee£150
Leasehold Management Information Pack£150-£500
Unregistered Property Fee£100-£200

*Please note, these are average costs and the conveyancing fees for selling will likely include extra costs if selling a leasehold property, making the legal fee more in line with buying.

Solicitor's Legal Fee - £948

You will need to pay your solicitor a legal fee to pay for their time and work as well as conveyancing disbursements. Your solicitor will typically base their fees on the value of the property you’re selling.

Bank Transfer Fee - £40

A bank transfer fee is a cost required when your conveyancer needs to transfer money. Whether it's to pay off your mortgage or paying the final sale funds to your account, this will be added to the cost. We found the average cost including VAT was £40 but can range between £25 and £45.

Anti-money Laundering Checks - £6

This is a check carried out by your solicitor to ensure you're not money laundering. If you're paying for your conveyancing fees through a number of individual accounts, then your solicitor may be suspicious.

Title Deeds Copy - £6

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, more commonly known as the title register copies. This proves you are the owner of the property and will consist of a property register and a plan of the property.

Other Conveyancing Costs for Selling

We've listed the basic conveyancing costs you'll face, but below we outline some additional conveyancing costs for selling a house.

Mortgaged Property Supplement Fee - £100

If you’re selling your house 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.

Leasehold Property Supplement Fee - £150

Selling a leasehold property is usually more time consuming and requires extra-legal work from your conveyancer, which is reflected in their legal fee.

Unregistered Property Fee - £100-£200

Some properties might not be registered with the land registry, although most are. Your solicitor will have to carry out extra work to locate the physical copy of the title deed, if unsuccessful, they will have to prove you’re the owner. This extra work will be reflected in the quote, but you should be made aware upfront.

Conveyancing Fees for Selling a Leasehold Property

There are additional solicitor fees when selling a leasehold property. Conveyancers will increase legal fees when dealing with a leasehold property because there's a large amount of added work involved.

We've compiled an average cost of the main conveyancing costs you’ll face when selling a leasehold.

What to expectAverage cost*

Leasehold Property Supplement Fee

£150

Leasehold Management Information Pack

£150-£500

*True costs will vary, and will be set out in your lease agreement. We took an average from a sample of 50 conveyancers across the UK to provide an indicative cost.

What is Fixed Fee Conveyancing?

Fixed fee conveyancing means that you'll have pre-agreed a price for the job. This shouldn't change throughout the process as the conveyancer is offering a fixed fee. Make sure that it's clear what their fixed fee is offering and if it covers the disbursements and not just the basic conveyancing fee.

By using a conveyancer who offers a fixed fee, you'll be able to budget accordingly by knowing exactly how much it'll be. It's also important to see if they offer a no sale no fee conveyancing service. This means that if the sale was to fall through, you wouldn't be charged the legal fees. Alternatively, you could consider Home Buyer Protection Insurance.

Fixed fee conveyancing is becoming increasingly popular, making it rare for conveyancers to charge at an hourly rate. Using a fixed fee service will work out cheaper as if any delays or issues were to delay the process, you wouldn't be charged per hour.

When Do I Pay Conveyancing Fees?

If you're buying a property, you'll have to pay for the conveyancing searches upfront as the relevant authority will require payment before they produce the search results. Additionally, you will have to pay fees to your conveyancer throughout the process and upon completion. Land Registry fees will have to be paid after completion.

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.

Although each conveyancer is different, you may be required to pay their legal fee upfront or at the end of the process. Always make sure you ask for a breakdown of the quote and find out about any hidden or additional fees that could crop up to avoid a surprise bill.

Do I Need a Conveyancer or a Solicitor When Buying a House?

You'll need either a conveyancer or solicitor when buying a house to help with the legal side of the purchase or sale.

A licensed conveyancer and a conveyancing solicitor are both qualified professionals and should be regulated by the SRA, CLC, LSNI, LSS or CILEx. They can both help you with the process of buying or selling property.

The difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor is that a solicitor usually takes on other legal work such as family law or wills in addition to conveyancing.

Do I Have to Hire a Conveyancer or Solicitor?

There's no legal requirement to hire a conveyancing solicitor, but as the conveyancing process for both buying and selling involves a lot of legal work, it would be extremely difficult if attempted without the expert help of a conveyancer or solicitor.

Learn More About Conveyancing

This is part of our conveyancing guide. In our next article, we discuss the steps to pull out of a house sale and when it's most appropriate to do so. To learn more, read can you pull out of a property sale or purchase.

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 at RMNJ Solicitors, 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.