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Conveyancing costs: An overview

Conveyancing is a lengthy process that involves quite a lot of money. If not careful, one can get snookered in the process specially when it comes to solicitor’s fees. Beware of the extra fees that solicitors charge upon their fees. Here is an overview of the costs involved in conveyancing-

Solicitor's fees: You have to pay the solicitor £350 - £500 for doing the job of conveyancing for you. Solicitors may ask for an additional £80-140 for making searches against the property.

Disbursements: The amounts your solicitor pays to others on your behalf.

Searches against the property:

  1. Drainage and mining search- The buyer’s solicitor will do a drainage search to find out if the house’s drainage system is in working order i.e. if the house is connected to public drains. It costs £45 to do the search. The solicitor will have to do a mining search too which does not cost more than £250.
  2. Environmental search- The solicitor has to search the areas surrounding the property to gather information such as whether there have been any incidents of environmental pollution or damage in the area caused by the local firms or industries. It costs £40 to do an environmental search.
  3. Local authority search- A local authority search reveals if there have been any complaints made against the property with Local Council. The fees in a local authority search can vary a great deal ranging from £40-300.
  4. Land registry search- A land registry search is made after the signing of the contract and registering the buyer as the new owner of the property. This is to make sure that the state of the registration has not been altered and that the buyer has priority for at least 30 days following the registration over all the attempts to change it. A land registry search costs as much as £3.
  5. Chancel repair liability search- This is to determine whether you are liable to contribute for the repairs of the local parish/church. It costs £20.

Mortgage fees:

  1. Purchase- Given that you are buying the property with mortgage, your solicitor will work as your lender’s as well as your representative and charge you £50-75 excluding the price of the mortgage. Also, your solicitor will check whether you are bankrupt which will cost £2.
  2. Sale- If you are the seller and your property has a mortgage on it, your solicitor will pay off your lender which will cost you £50-75 save the mortgage money.

Land registration fee: The land registration fee (£220) is paid to the Land Registry for registering your name as the owner of the property or/any mortgage charge. A land registry document stating your ownership costs £6-12.

Stamp duty land tax: This is paid to the government and is calculated on the value of the property. The rate is 0% up to £125,000, 1% of the price up to £250,000, 3% if the price is more than £250,000 and 4% if the price exceeds £500,000. An additional fee of £25 known as SDLT completion fee has to be paid to the HM Revenue and Customs if due.

Telegraphic Transfer fees: This is the fee banks charge when they transfer the buyers’ money to the seller’ solicitor. It costs about £40.

VAT: It is payable on the solicitor’s fees at a rate that changes with time. The rate is presently 17.5%.

< previous Dos and don’ts of residential conveyancing and moving houses

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