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How Much are Conveyancing Costs in 2019?

Martha Lott
Written by Martha Lott
6th November 2018 (Last updated on Wednesday 10th April 2019)

The average conveyancing fee when buying a freehold home is around £1,040, and the average conveyancing fee for selling a home is around £1,000. These are the legal fees associated with buying and selling the average UK home priced at £232,797, and include 20% VAT. 

These are estimates based on a sample of conveyancing fees from across the UK, and true conveyancing costs will differ by property price, area, conveyancer and complexity of service. There will be additional disbursements on top of the legal fee when buying and selling your home.

Hiring conveyancing solicitors is vital when you’re either selling or buying a house. You’ll need a property conveyancer to pay the disbursements on your behalf throughout the selling and buying process.

The thought of conveyancing costs can be daunting, and having a breakdown of what fees to expect throughout the process will 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 points

What are Conveyancing Fees? How Much are Conveyancing Fees? Conveyancing Fees for Buying a House Leasehold Disbursements Conveyancing Fees for Selling a House When Do I Pay Conveyancing Fees? What is Fixed Fee Conveyancing? Additional Conveyancing Costs Save on Conveyancing Costs

What are Conveyancing Fees?

Conveyancing fees are made up of the legal fee you will pay to your conveyancer for their service and the conveyancing disbursements that your conveyancer will pay on your behalf to third party services.

The legal fee will be paid to your conveyancer for you using their service. Additionally, you'll have to pay disbursement fees for the transactions your conveyancer will do on your behalf. Most of the costs will come from the buyer’s side of the transaction, but here are the main disbursement fees to consider:

  • Environmental Searches
  • Local Authority Searches
  • Land Registry Searches
  • Drainage Search
  • Bank Transfer Fee
  • Transferring Ownership
  • Land Registry Title Deed Copies
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Telegraphic Transfer Fee

If you're worried about the costs, it is possible to do your own conveyancing. It's not as straightforward as hiring a professional as you will be responsible for arranging searches, sorting out Land Registry documents and arranging the completion date. 

If you want to save stress, time and effort, it's always advised to hire a professional conveyancer. Get cheaper quotes by comparing conveyancers with Compare My Move.

How Much are Conveyancing Fees?

The average conveyancing costs for buying a house is around £3,723, which includes £1,000 in conveyancing fees and £2,588 in disbursements. The disbursements are made up of £290 in search fees; £135 in Land Registry fees; £40 in transfer fees; £2 bankruptcy search, £6 land registry title deed search; and £2,115 in Stamp Duty.

The average conveyancing costs for selling a house is around £1,080, which includes £1,040 in conveyancing fees and a £40 transfer fee.

These are estimates based on an average house price of £230,776 (December 2018 UK House Price Index). Please note that this is just a guideline for an average cost and conveyancing fees will vary depending on the value of your home and the conveyancer that you choose to go with. It will cost more to purchase a leasehold property.

Conveyancing Fees for Buying a House

Compare My Move took sample costs from 50 licensed conveyancers across the UK to explore the legal costs behind buying a house.

Your conveyancer will charge a basic legal fee for the buying process, not including disbursement costs. An indication of legal costs are shown in the table below, followed by the additional disbursements. Conveyancing costs will be relative to your house price and the amount of work the solicitor has to do. Conveyancing fees will usually be fixed, and should be fully explained and costed.

It should be noted there is no one price for conveyancing fees and the price you pay will vary depending on how much the house is worth, the conveyancer and the location of property. Find out more about why leasehold conveyancing costs extra in our freehold vs leasehold guide.

Solicitors Fees for Buying a House (VAT included)

Property ValueAvg Freehold Cost*Avg Leasehold Cost*
Up to £100,000£860£1,030
£100,001 to £200,000£930£1,110
£200,001 to £300,000£1,040£1,230
£300,001 to £400,000£1,120£1,310
£400,001 to £500,000£1,200£1,390
£500,001 to £600,000£1,410£1,560
£600,001 to £700,000£1,440£1,630
£700,001 to £800,000£1,670£1,850
£800,001 to £900,000£1,810£2,010
£900,001 to £1,000,000£1,900£2,100

*We took a sample of fees from 50 licensed conveyancers across the UK to find these averages, but this is just an indication of costs. Fees will greatly vary depending on your situation and conveyancer.

Disbursement Costs when Buying a House

These are the extra costs paid by your solicitor to third parties on your behalf, called disbursements. Many are fixed price such as title deed searches, and others are relative to your house price such as Stamp Duty. We used the average UK house price of £230,000 to work out these average disbursements.

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. These searches will include local authority searches, environmental searches and drainage reports. Extra searches can add to the cost, for example mine searches will add around £80.

Land Registry Title Deeds - £6

Your conveyancer has to prove that the seller is the legal owner of the house through obtaining official copies of the title deeds with the Land Registry.

Land Registry Transfer of Ownership - £135

Your conveyancer has to register you as the new owner of the property you are buying by transferring ownership with the Land Registry. This is relative to your house price, and will cost between £20 to £455 online, and between £40 and £910 by post. The transfer of ownership for a £230,000 house will cost £135.

Telegraphic Transfer Fee - £40

A telegraphic transfer will be a fee charged by the bank to transfer the money to your solicitor used for buying the house. This can cost between £25 to £35, but we found the average fee was around £40 when including VAT.

Stamp Duty Land Tax - £2,115

Stamp Duty will vary depending on the value of the property you’re buying. The average homebuyer (£230,000) will spend around £2,115 on Stamp Duty. Cost will be different if paying the Wales Land Transaction Tax. If you're a first-time buyer buying a property under £300,000, then you are exempt from paying stamp duty.

Property Purchase PriceStamp Duty RatePayable Amount
Up to £125,0000%£0
£125,000 - £250,0002%£0 - £2,500
£250,000 - £925,0005%£2,500 - £36,250
£925,000 - £1,500,00010%£36,250-£93,750
£1,500,000+12%£93,750+

Leasehold Disbursements

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, simply because there's a large amount of extra work involved. The sample of conveyancers we looked at added an average of £230 in legal costs for leasehold compared to freehold properties.

On top of this, there are a range of extra disbursements faced by leaseholders. The cost of these 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. 

Leasehold DisbursementCost*
Landlord Sales Pack£280
Notice of Transfer fee£190
Notice of Charge fee£140
Deed of Covenant£280
Certificate of Compliance£250

*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.

Conveyancing Fees for Selling a House

Here’s our breakdown of conveyancing fees for selling a house. There’s not as many conveyancing fees for selling as there are for buying a house. Below is an average conveyancing fee for selling a house, followed by other disbursements that come with selling a house. It should be noted there is no one price for selling conveyancing fees and the price you pay will vary depending on how much your house is worth, the conveyancer and the location of property.

Solicitor Fees for Selling a House (VAT included)

Property ValueAvg Freehold Cost*Avg Leasehold Cost*
Up to £100,000£820£990
£100,001 to £200,000£880£1,050
£200,001 to £300,000£1,000£1,170
£300,001 to £400,000£1,090£1,260
£400,001 to £500,000£1,160£1,340
£500,001 to £600,000£1,330£1,490
£600,001 to £700,000£1,390£1,550
£700,001 to £800,000£1,600£1,770
£800,001 to £900,000£1,730£1,880
£900,001 to £1,000,000£1,840£2,000

*We took a sample of fees from 50 licensed conveyancers across the UK to find these averages, but this is just an indication of costs. Fees will greatly vary depending on your situation and conveyancer.

Disbursement Costs when Selling a House

Land Registry Title Deeds - £6 

Getting land registry copies to the buyer’s conveyancer will prove that you are the legal owner of the house you’re selling.

Telegraphic Transfer Fee - £40

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

When Do I Pay Conveyancing Fees?

If you’re buying a property, you will have to pay upfront for the conveyancing searches that your conveyancer will order as the council will require the money straight away. Additionally, you will have to pay fees to your conveyancer throughout the process and on 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. 

What is Fixed Fee Conveyancing?

Fixed fee conveyancing means that you'll have pre-agreed a price for the job and it 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 and save money by knowing exactly how much it'll be. It's also important to see if the conveyancer is offering a 'no sale no fee' service, as this means if the sale was to fall through, you won't be charged the legal fees. 

Fixed fee conveyancing is becoming increasingly popular now and it's rare that conveyancers will charge an hourly rate. Using a fixed fee service will work out cheaper as if any delays or issues were to crop up slowing down the process, you will still be charged per hour. 

Additional Conveyancing Costs

We’ve covered the basic legal costs and disbursements involved in buying and selling a home. But there are a few circumstances that may incur extra costs. Conveyancing is usually a fixed fee, meaning you pay a set price for a set service. However there are a few common scenarios which will make the conveyancing process more complex, meaning extra work for your conveyancer and extra costs for you. 

If the quote seems too cheap, then you know this won't cover the whole process of conveyancing costs. More often than not, the quote will just show the conveyancer's basic fee and won’t include the cost of disbursements and additional hidden costs.

It’s essential to read the small print and ask the conveyancer for the full itemised list of costs involved. Your quote breakdown should feature a full list of the disbursement services and how much they are. Ask if there are any additional or hidden costs that could be specific to your property, such as:

  • Leasehold Property - If you're selling a leasehold property, your conveyancer will charge more as this transaction is typically more time consuming. This usually costs an extra £100 – £200 plus VAT.
  • Private Draining Searches - If your conveyancer has to order searches on private draining, this will cost an additional £75-£150 plus VAT.
  • Solar Panel Documents - If you have or going to have solar panels at your new house, your conveyancer can charge between £100-£150 plus VAT to deal with the documents.
  • 5 Days Between Exchange and Completion - Your conveyancer will charge between £100 - £200 plus VAT if you complete 5 days after exchanging contracts. 

Common Extra Costs

These extra costs should be clearly outlined, though in some circumstances can come as a surprise if the upfront legal costs seem low. For example, the vast majority of conveyancers we researched included the cost of filing a Stamp Duty return in their upfront legal costs. Some however had it as an optional costed service, thereby acting as an added cost for the majority of homebuyers.

Additional ServiceExtra Cost*
Help to Buy ISA£60
Help to Buy Equity Loan£300
Right to Buy£230
Shared Ownership£310
New Build£290
Transfer of Equity£530
Stamp Duty Return£110

*These costs were taken as an average from a selection of 50 conveyancers from across the UK. The true costs will vary from conveyancer to conveyancer, but always ensure you understand fully the services you require.

Save on Conveyancing Costs

Now that you know what to expect when it comes to conveyancing fees, why not save time and effort finding a conveyancer Compare My Move will connect you with up to 4 licensed conveyancers or conveyancing solicitors in your area, just fill out our quick and easy form.