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Fixed Fee Conveyancing is where a pre-agreed price is determined for the legal service being given - the price quoted at the start should then be the price you pay at the end of the process with the various disbursements included alongside the fixed fee. It is an alternative to the hourly rate service that some conveyancing solicitors still use.
Fixed fee conveyancing is common throughout the UK but there are still solicitors who will charge at an hourly rate. It’s important to make this distinction when comparing conveyancing solicitors so that you can budget accordingly and prepare for the final price.
Hiring a conveyancing solicitor is vital when buying or selling a property. It’s important to understand their service and the included costs before continuing. To help you search for the most appropriate solicitor for you, Compare My Move has created this guide to explain the meaning of fixed fee conveyancing and what it should include.
Fixed fee conveyancing (also known as fixed price or flat rate conveyancing) is when a pre-agreed amount of money is decided and charged for the agreed conveyancing service. It's commonplace throughout the UK but not all conveyancing solicitors will use it as some still work at an hourly rate. A fixed rate service is often preferred by customers as it allows them to budget for the expected costs rather than to have an estimated amount with possible surprise costs added on.
When you’re looking to find the right conveyancing solicitor, ensure you have researched whether they’ll charge at an hourly rate or through a fixed fee so that there are no surprise costs once the process is complete. The term ‘fixed fee’ usually relates to the price of the legal services offered, it’s important to note that not all of the third party costs will be included. Always ask for a quote from the solicitors that you’re interested in so that you can compare and work out an appropriate budget.
When hiring a fixed price conveyancing service, it would be wise to request a written quotation to outline what is included. Not only can this help when comparing services, but it will also explain what you’ll be getting for your money. Some quotes may exclude certain elements of the process, meaning additional costs could be added.
The fixed element of the quote doesn't usually include conveyancing disbursements as it’s difficult to conclude how many conveyancing searches are required. These should be included in the overall quote you are first presented with but be aware that they are an added cost on top of the fixed fee.
When receiving the quote, you should be presented with the pre-agreed fixed price for the legal service and then also any added disbursement costs. Some costs depend on the time it takes to complete the tasks and the workload they include. Many legal firms also include a fee for photocopying and added paperwork. It’s important to know that there are different costs included depending on whether you’re buying or selling the property.
To ensure you’re not being overcharged, we have included a list of a few elements that should be expected in the conveyancing quote. Below, we have listed a few standard items but it’s important to remember that every situation is subject to change and so there may be added extras not on our list.
When selling a property, the fixed price conveyancing quote should include:
When buying a property, there are more checks and searches to be completed and so there are more conveyancing disbursements. These include:
All these costs will vary depending on the property, the time taken to complete the tasks and the actual solicitor themselves. However, your fixed fee conveyancing quote should give you an exact price for all of these elements.
Like anything, there are both positives and negatives that arise when using a fixed fee conveyancing service. We’ve outlined a few important points to help you make an informed decision before finding the right conveyancer for you.
Using a fixed fee service can help reduce your conveyancing costs. However, there is still the risk of being overcharged when the law firm is looking to make a profit. Don’t forget that the quote should include disbursements but this will not be added to the ‘fixed fee’. These are unavoidable costs that you should be made aware of when the quote is immediately presented. However, there may be unnecessary extras that you should scrutinise before continuing.
To ensure you’re not overcharged, you must:
Now that you understand the term ‘fixed fee conveyancing’, why not save yourself both time and money by using Compare My Move’s free service to compare conveyancing quotes online. We can connect you with up to 5 licensed conveyancers in your area in an instant, all you have to do is fill out our quick and easy form to begin.