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Solicitor Fees for Buying a House

Martha Lott

Written by

21st Jul 2022 (Last updated on 15th Aug 2022) 4 minute read

The average solicitor fees for buying a house in the UK are £2,339. This includes the solicitor’s legal fee, conveyancing disbursements and potential extra costs.

This article features a breakdown of the solicitor fees associated with buying your home. We’ll also look at when to pay the fees and what can affect costs.

This article will cover the following:
  1. What are Solicitor Fees Made up of when Buying a House?
  2. How Much are Solicitor Fees when Buying a House?
  3. Disbursement Fees for Buying a House
  4. Land Registry Charges
  5. Stamp Duty
  6. Extra Fees to Expect when Buying your House
  7. Solicitor Fees for Buying Leasehold
  8. Do you Need a Solicitor to Buy a House?
  9. When Do I Pay Solicitors Fees when Buying a House?
  10. Who Pays Solicitor Fees when a Sale Falls Through?
What are the Average Solicitor Fees for Buying a House?

We took a sample of 46 conveyancers’ fees across the UK to provide an average cost. The table includes the solicitor's legal fees, disbursements and then potential other costs. Compare My Move’s unique data shows that the average conveyancing fees in 2022 are as follows:

Solicitor FeesCost
Solicitor's Legal Fee£1,320
Conveyancing Disbursements£619
Potential Other Costs£400

Total

£2,339


What are Solicitor Fees Made up of when Buying a House?

Conveyancing fees will be made up of two parts:

  • Conveyancer's legal fees - Will cover the conveyancer's time and legal work.
  • Disbursements - So your conveyancer can pay for third-party services like searches.

How Much are Solicitor Fees when Buying a House?

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.

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

Property ValueFreehold Solicitor FeesLeasehold Solicitor Fees

Up to £100,000

£1,090

£1,270

£100,001 to £200,000

£1,190

£1,370

£200,001 to £300,000

£1,320

£1,490

£300,001 to £400,000

£1,390

£1,560

£400,001 to £500,000

£1,490

£1,650

£500,001 to £600,000

£1,750

£1,860

£600,001 to £700,000

£1,800

£1,960

£700,001 to £800,000

£2,000

£2,150

£800,001 to £900,000

£2,120

£2,290

£900,001 to £1000,000

£2,160

£2,340

£1000,001+

£2,550

£2,710

Average taken from the fees page of 46 Conveyancers from across the UK. 20% VAT is included.

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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 and pay on your behalf.

Property searches - £290

Your conveyancer will need to order property searches. They’ll include Local Authority Search, Environmental Search and Water and Drainage Search. They’re usually offered as part of a search pack costing between £250-£450.

Anti-money laundering checks - £5

Anti-money laundering checks are required so the solicitor knows where your money is coming from. This is a common disbursement and will be carried out at the beginning of the process.

Bank transfer fee - £40

The bank will charge you a bank transfer fee to send sums of money over £60,000. Our research shows this can cost between £25-£45 but averages at £40.

Mortgage property supplement fee - £220

If you’re buying with a mortgage, you’ll need to pay a mortgage property supplement fee as it requires more work for your solicitor.

SDLT Return - Varies

You’ll need to let HMRC know about your property purchase within 14 days of completion. You’ll have to do this even if you fall below the Stamp Duty threshold.

Land Registry Charges

Your solicitor will have to register the property in your name to transfer ownership. This is relative to the house price and whether or not the property has already been registered. It will cost between £20 to £500 online, and between £45 and £1,105 by post.

Property Value

Paying Online

Paying by Post

Below £80,000

£20

£45

£80,001-£100,000

£40

£95

£100,001-£200,000

£100

£230

£200,001-£500,000

£150

£330

£500,001-£1,000,000

£296

£655

£1,000,001 and over

£500

£1105

Costs taken from Gov.UK.

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Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty must be paid when you buy a house worth over £125,000 in England and Northern Ireland, over £140,000 in Scotland and over £180,000 in Wales. Below are the updated Stamp Duty rates. (England and Northern Ireland)

Portion of House PriceStamp Duty Rate

Up to £125,000

0%

£125,001 to £250,000

2%

£250,001 to £925,000

5%

£925,001 to £1.5 million

10%

£1.5 million+

12%

Use our Stamp Duty Calculator to calculate the amount of Stamp Duty you will need to pay.

Extra Fees to Expect when Buying your House

There are extra solicitor fees you may face, depending on the services you require. Below are the most common extra conveyancing fees.

Service

Cost

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

Delayed Completion

£100 - £200

Indemnity Insurance

Varies

Lease Extension

£1,280

Share of Freehold

£120

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Solicitor Fees for Buying Leasehold

Buying a leasehold property comes with extra work for your solicitor. These are the most common solicitor fees for buying a leasehold home.

ServiceCost

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

Leasehold Property Supplement Fee

£150

Leasehold Management Information Pack

£150-£500

Do you Need a Solicitor to Buy a House?

By law, you don’t need to hire a solicitor to buy a house. It’s a difficult task to take on the conveyancing yourself as it involves lots of legal work and documents. If you’re not familiar with the conveyancing process, you could make a costly and timely mistake. A solicitor or conveyancer will take care of the legal side of your purchase.

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When Do I Pay Solicitors Fees when Buying a House?

Your solicitor will ask for a deposit or a ‘payment on account’ at the start of the process. This is usually to pay for the conveyancing searches so your solicitor can order these right away. 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, but your solicitor will add this to your bill as they do this on your behalf.

Who Pays Solicitor Fees when a Sale Falls Through?

Most solicitors will offer a no sale no fee conveyancing guarantee for their service. This means that if the sale falls through, you won’t have to pay their legal fee. You’ll still have to pay for the searches and other third-party services they’ve ordered.

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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