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How Much Are Conveyancing Fees in 2022?

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Gareth Brooks

2nd Jan 2020 (Last updated on 5th Sep 2022) 8 minute read

The average conveyancing fees for buying a house are £2,239 and £1,690 for selling a house. This includes the costs of the solicitor's legal fee, conveyancing disbursements and potential extra fees when buying and selling a house at the average UK price of £277,000 (includes 20% VAT.)

We've taken these costs from a sample of 46 conveyancers across the UK to reveal updated conveyancing costs for 2022. 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 which is why comparing conveyancing quotes 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. What Are Conveyancing Fees?
  2. How Much are the Legal Fees?
  3. Breakdown of Legal Fees
  4. Conveyancing Fees For Different Scenarios
  5. What Are Disbursements?
  6. Leasehold Conveyancing Costs
  7. Common Additional Costs to Expect
  8. What to Look for in a Quote
  9. When Do I Pay Conveyancing Fees?
  10. Finding the Right Conveyancer

What Are Conveyancing Fees?

Conveyancing fees are what you pay to your chosen conveyancer or solicitor. They cover the legal work when buying or selling a property. These costs include:

  1. Conveyancer's legal fee:
    Covers the legal work carried out by the conveyancer. This cost will cover their hourly or fixed rate, paying for their time and service.

  2. Disbursements:
    These are paid to your solicitor so they can buy third-party services on your behalf. Expect extra costs if your case is complex.

How Much are the Legal Fees?

Our research shows that legal fees can be as low as £575 and as high as £2,250, but the average fees range between £1,270 and £1,490. This is the average for buying and selling both leasehold and freehold properties valued between £200,001 and £300,000.

Your legal fee can vary depending on a few factors:

  • Using solicitor instead of conveyancer
  • Price of the property
  • Online conveyancing
  • Shared Ownership or Help to Buy
  • Lease extension, transfer equity, remortgage
  • If you're a cash buyer

Breakdown of Legal Fees

We've studied our data to bring you the average, highest and lowest conveyancing fees we found for buying and selling both freehold and leasehold properties.

Property TypeAverage FeeHighest FeeLowest Fee
Selling freehold property£1,270£2,250£575
Buying freehold property£1,320£2,000£575
Selling leasehold property£1,420£2,100

£625

Buying leasehold property£1,490£2,100£625

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Conveyancing Fees For Different Scenarios

We know that every conveyancing case will be different, so there isn't one universal cost. We've used our research to provide an average cost for a range of scenarios, including buying whiteout a mortgage, buying with Help to Buy, selling a leasehold with a remortgage and selling with transfer of equity.

Buying a freehold property without a mortgage - £2,119

We took the cost of a mortgage supplement fee (£220) off the average disbursement costs for buying a freehold property. This also includes the solicitor’s legal fee and potential other costs.

Buying a leasehold property with help to buy - £2,774

We’ve worked out the average leasehold fees along with the solicitor’s legal fee and average potential other costs.

Selling a leasehold property and remortgaging - £2,333

We looked at the average solicitor legal fee for selling a leasehold property, added the typical disbursements, worked out an average of the leasehold fees and added remortgaging costs.

Selling a freehold property and transferring equity - £1,888

We took the average legal fee for a freehold property and added the usual disbursements and then the cost of transferring equity.

What Are Disbursements?

The legal fee will make up most of the costs, but there are also conveyancing disbursements to pay. Many of the disbursements are fixed in price such as Land Registry searches. Others are relative to your house price such as Stamp Duty. Please find a full list of conveyancing disbursements below with updated costs for 2022:

Conveyancing Searches - £290

We found the conveyancing searches pack costs £290 across a sample of 46 conveyancers. This can range from £250 to £450 and will vary by location. The search pack will include a Local Authority Search, an Environmental Search and a Water and Drainage Search. Only applicable to buyers.

Anti-money Laundering Checks - £5

Anti-money laundering checks are carried out 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. Our research shows this averages at £5.

Bank Transfer Fee - £40

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.

Bankruptcy Check - £3

This is a common check for buyers who've applied for a mortgage and will reveal if you are close to being bankrupt. Our research found this costs £3 on average.

Mortgaged Property Supplement Fee - £220

If you still have a mortgage, your solicitor will need to liaise with your mortgage lender. This is so they can process the redemption of your mortgage. This extra work will be highlighted in the quote and applies to both buyers and sellers. This will cost £220 on average.

Title Deeds Copy - £4

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 and will cost £4. This is a solicitor fee for selling, so only applies to sellers.

Transferring Ownership With Land Registry - £438

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. Our research shows the average cost is £438. These are solicitor fees for buying a house only.

Stamp Duty Land Tax - £3,850

Stamp Duty will normally vary depending on the value of the property you’re buying and its location. The average homebuyer will spend around £3,850 on Stamp Duty for a house priced at the UK's average. To find out how much Stamp Duty you’ll need to pay, use our Stamp Duty Calculator. Applies to buyers only.

SDLT Return - £110

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. Our research shows this costs £110 on average.

Leasehold Conveyancing Costs

Buying a leasehold involves more legal work and disbursements than with a freehold. The average conveyancing fee for buying a leasehold property is £1,370 and £1,420 for selling. Costs will vary depending on the complexity of the case.

We’ve listed some of the common conveyancing fees you can expect with a leasehold property.

Buying:

  • Landlord Sales Pack - £280
  • Notice of Transfer Fee - £190
  • Notice of Charge Fee - £140
  • Deed of Covenant - £280
  • Certificate of Compliance - £250
  • Engrossment Fee - £120-£150 but will vary depending on the developer or leaseholder

Selling:

  • Leasehold Property Supplement Fee - £150
  • Leasehold Management Information Pack - £150-£500

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Common Additional Costs to Expect

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

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

Some fees will be added to the legal fees or charged separately. These are the most common extra charges faced with conveyancing:

  • Remortgage - £500
  • Gifted Deposit - Varies
  • Help to Buy ISA Fee - £120
  • Help to Buy Equity Loan Supplement Fee - £340
  • Shared Ownership - £330
  • New Build - £360
  • Unregistered Property Fee - £100-£200
  • Delayed Completion - £100-£200
  • Indemnity Insurance - Varies
  • Transferring Equity - £530
  • Lease Extension - £1,280
  • Share of Freehold - £120

What to Look 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. Often the quote will only show the conveyancer’s legal fee and not the costs for the disbursements.
  • Some firms will try and list certain disbursements or services in the quote and call them potential costs such as photocopying and postage fees. The majority of these should 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. This should include Land Registry Search, Bankruptcy Search and Land Registry Fees.
  • You shouldn’t be paying VAT on your disbursements. This means you should only be charged the original price for the service.
  • Always compare conveyancing quotes to ensure you’re getting the best price for your conveyancing.
  • If you’re not sure about items listed in the quote, ask before you commit to paying for something you’re unsure of.

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When Do I Pay Conveyancing Fees?

If you're buying, you'll have to pay the conveyancing searches upfront. The relevant authority will need 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.

Finding the Right Conveyancer

Many estate agents will have a list of recommended conveyancers. It’s important to remember they'll be earning a commission if you use them, so they might not be the best fit for you. It’s always best to ask people you trust for recommendations and use comparison websites to save on conveyancing costs. If you have a complex case, make sure the solicitor can help with your specific query.

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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