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Cheap Conveyancing, Is It Worth It?

Martha Lott

Written by

16th Aug 2021 (Last updated on 16th Aug 2021) 5 minute read

Cheap conveyancing quotes may seem ideal at first glance, but when you look further into what the quote is offering, you’ll soon realise it’s just the cost of the solicitor’s legal fee and won’t include the extras.

A genuine conveyancing quote should include the conveyancer’s legal fee and the conveyancing disbursements such as the cost of property searches, Stamp Duty and Land Registry fees.

In this article, Compare My Move explains what to expect from a conveyancing quote and what to watch out for with cheap conveyancing solicitors.

This article will cover the following:
  1. Understanding Conveyancing Costs
  2. What to Expect in a Conveyancing Quote
  3. Is Online Conveyancing Cheaper?
  4. What to Look out for in Low Price Quotes
  5. What Type of Property is the Cheapest for Conveyancing?
  6. What's the Difference Between an Estimate and a Quote?
  7. Do you get Cheaper Quotes in Different Parts of the UK?
  8. Does Paying More Mean you will get a Better Service?
  9. Are Conveyancers Cheaper than Solicitors?
  10. No Sale No Fee Conveyancing
  11. Homebuyers Insurance
  12. How Can Compare My Move Provide Cheaper Quotes?
  13. Learn More About Conveyancing

Understanding Conveyancing Costs

In 2021, the average conveyancing fees for buying a house are £1,040 and £1,000 for selling a house. Conveyancing costs are made up of the solicitor’s legal fee and then the disbursements such as property searches.

Many conveyancers offer a fixed fee conveyancing service so the price you receive upfront won’t change throughout.

Some conveyancers still charge an hourly rate, but you should be aware of this as it seems cheap at first, but typically doesn’t include third-party costs for searches.

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What to Expect in a Conveyancing Quote

It’s important to know what to expect in your conveyancing quote to ensure there’ll be no hidden costs added. Below we’ve included a breakdown of the usual items and costs you’ll find in a conveyancing quote for buying a house priced at the UK’s average.

ItemCost

Solicitor’s legal fee

£569

Property search pack

£290

Anti-money laundering checks

£6

Bank transfer fee

£40

Transfer ownership with Land Registry

£135

Stamp Duty

Varies

It’s important to note that these are just average costs, and each conveyancer or solicitor will have a different legal fee, councils will have different prices for searches and other costs will depend on your situation.

Is Online Conveyancing Cheaper?

Online conveyancing is typically cheaper than traditional conveyancing. They can charge less for their service because they tend to take on a lot of cases at once, whereas in traditional conveyancing, you usually only deal with one solicitor throughout the process.

Some people dislike online conveyancing as they believe their case will be rushed and therefore open to mistakes that could delay the process. Others prefer this method of conveyancing because everything is done online with no need to sign documents in person.

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What to Look out for in Low Price Quotes

There’s an abundance of cheap online conveyancing quotes with prices advertised as low as £99. It’s important to be aware that this will sometimes be the solicitor’s legal fee and other times won’t even cover the cost of their full fee. It won’t include the important other costs that make up most of the service.

For an average priced house, it’s important to avoid any quotes that are well under £1,000. If you think a quote seems too cheap, then it probably is too good to be true.

What Type of Property is the Cheapest for Conveyancing?

Conveyancers and solicitors base their conveyancing quotes on the value of the property you’re buying or selling. The higher the house is priced, the higher your conveyancing costs will be.

If you’re buying a freehold property then you’ll experience cheaper conveyancing fees than if you were to buy a leasehold property. Buying a leasehold involves additional conveyancing work, therefore a higher legal fee.

Conveyancing for a Shared Ownership or Help to Buy property will also require more conveyancing work so will be more expensive than traditional conveyancing.

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What's the Difference Between an Estimate and a Quote?

A quote is an agreed price that should not change throughout the process, whereas an estimate is a rough idea of a price that is subject to change. It’s essential to get a full quote and a breakdown of the quote before you commit or pay for any service.

Do you get Cheaper Quotes in Different Parts of the UK?

Depending on where you live in the UK, you might receive cheaper conveyancing quotes. Typically, the solicitor’s legal fee will be a fixed fee that shouldn’t change much for the average house price.

An important part of the conveyancing quote will be the property searches, which will vary in price depending on each local council and their set prices.

According to the City of London council website, a Local Authority Search will cost a total of £133.20, whereas Manchester Council’s Local Authority cost is £74.50 for the standard search of the Con29 and LLC1.

Below we will compare different cities in the UK and the cost of a Local Authority Search.

Cost of conveyancing searches across the UK:

CityCost of Conveyancing Searches

London

£133.20

Manchester

£74.50

Bristol

£110

Cardiff

£116.40

Leeds

£72.70

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Does Paying More Mean you will get a Better Service?

In short, no, paying more for your conveyancing doesn’t guarantee a better service. The only reason you’d pay more for your conveyancing is if:

  • The property has a high value
  • You're buying a leasehold property
  • You're buying with Help to Buy
  • You're buying with Shared Ownership

The amount you pay for standard conveyancing doesn’t determine how long the conveyancing process takes either. The process usually takes between 8 and 12 weeks, regardless of how much you pay.

Conveyancing searches typically take the longest time to be returned, although some councils offer a quicker service for an additional fee. The majority of the process is made up of legal practices and dealings with mortgages, which are third-party services that will take the same amount of time for most people.

Are Conveyancers Cheaper than Solicitors?

Solicitors tend to charge more than conveyancers because they are more qualified in a range of areas of property law. They can help with more complicated conveyancing cases that could involve lease extensions, transfer of equity or remortgaging.

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No Sale No Fee Conveyancing

With no sale no fee conveyancing, you won’t be required to pay the solicitor’s legal fee if the sale falls through.

It’s a good guarantee to have, but it should be noted that you’ll still have to pay other third party costs such as your property survey and property searches, even if the sale falls through.

Homebuyers Insurance

For a one-off payment of £50-£95, a HomeBuyers Protection Insurance will help towards covering some of your legal fees, surveying costs and mortgage lender fees if the transaction falls through.

How Can Compare My Move Provide Cheaper Quotes?

Using a comparison site for your conveyancing will help you get a wide range of quotes, allowing you to find the best deal.

By using Compare My Move, you can get prices from up to 5 conveyancers to help find the best price for you.

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.

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