Compare & Save on Conveyancing Solicitors

Speak to accredited Conveyancers & save today!

Our partners are regulated by the SRA, CLC, LSS or LSNI

Accredited Conveyancers with competitive rates

Over 300,000 movers saved with Compare My Move

Connect with up to 4 accredited Conveyancers

What are Disbursements? Conveyancing Disbursements Explained

Martha Lott
Written by Martha Lott
1st March 2019 (Last updated on Friday 1st March 2019)

Disbursements are fees that your conveyancer will have to pay on your behalf to third-party services, such as conveyancing searches and stamp duty. Most of the time, conveyancing disbursements won’t appear in your quote, which is why it’s always important to ask for a breakdown of the costs involved.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about conveyancing disbursements, from disbursements when selling and buying a house to things to be aware of with conveyancing disbursements.

This article will cover the following points

What Does Disbursement Mean? What are Disbursements When Buying a House? What are Disbursements When Selling a House? When Do I Pay Conveyancing Disbursements? Conveyancing Disbursements Save on Your Conveyancing with Compare My Move

What Does Disbursement Mean?

Conveyancing disbursements are payments that you make to your conveyancer for third-party services. Your conveyancer will pay for the services on your behalf. Conveyancing fees will be made up of part legal fees for your conveyancer and part disbursements for the additional services your conveyancer has to carry out.

You will need to pay disbursements for both buying and selling a house, although you won’t have to pay as many disbursements for selling a house as you would with buying a house. Be wary of a conveyancing quote that looks too cheap, they likely haven't included the costs of disbursements in their quote.

What are Disbursements When Buying a House?

There will be more disbursement fees for when you’re buying a house than selling a house. We will cover the disbursements when buying a house, from local authority searches to stamp duty.

Property Searches - £250-£450

You can usually buy a property search package made up of local authority search, water and drainage search and environmental search.

Local Authority Search 

A local authority search is one of the main conveyancing searches when buying a house. The local authority search will tell you vital information on the area around the house you plan to buy such as if the property is a listed building or not or if the property is located in a conservation or tree preservation area.

Water and Drainage Search 

You will need a water and drainage search when buying a house. The water and drainage search will be able to tell if the property is connected to the public water and sewer system and how the house is charged for water services.

Environmental Search 

Environmental searches are a vital part of the conveyancing searches for buying a house. They will be able to tell if the land around the house has an environmental risk or not. The environmental search will highlight if the land is contaminated underneath and surrounding the house.  

Stamp Duty - 0-12% 

Stamp Duty will have to be paid when buying a house. First-time buyers who are purchasing a house up to the value of £300,000 will be exempt from paying Stamp Duty.

Land Registry Search - £30

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to carry out searches with the Land Registry to prove that the seller is the legal owner of the property. They will need to check the Land Registry for the title register and title plan.

Bankruptcy Search - £2-4

Your mortgage lender may require a bankruptcy search to be carried out to check that you haven't been bankrupt in the last 5 years. This is to make sure you will be able to pay back your mortgage repayments.

The prices shown are usually fixed, but can vary depending on location, your situation and other factors.

What are Disbursements When Selling a House?

You won’t have to pay as many disbursements when you’re selling a house as you would with buying a house. Here we will cover the disbursements needed to be paid for selling your house.

Land Registry Search - £30

Your conveyancer will need to obtain Land Registry copies to prove that you are the official owner of the house. They will have to search for the title register and title plan.

Telegraphic Transfer Fee - £25-£45

When selling your house, you will need to pay your conveyancer to sort out the telegraphic transfer fee to pay off your existing mortgage.

The prices shown are usually fixed, but can vary depending on location, your situation and other factors.

When Do I Pay Conveyancing Disbursements?

With conveyancing searches, the council will usually require payment as soon as the searches have been ordered. You should expect to pay some fees upfront, throughout and at the end of your conveyancing process, but you should ensure at the beginning you’ve been told the full quote with a breakdown of the costs, so you know what to expect and budget in.

Conveyancing Disbursements

In some circumstances, you may have to pay for additional disbursements such as a chancel repair liability search or coal and other mining searches, but these are rare.

Sometimes your conveyancer will quote you only their legal fee at the beginning of the process, which doesn't include the costs of disbursements. Many people will fall for this, ending up with a surprise bill at the end of their conveyancing.

You should always ask for a full quote upfront and a breakdown of the fees and disbursements in case your conveyancer is over-charging you.

Save on Your Conveyancing with Compare My Move

To save time, money and stress on your conveyancing, fill out our quick and easy form to be connected with up to 4 licensed conveyancers or conveyancing solicitors. We have a network of fully regulated and trusted conveyancers ready to help with your house move.