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The guide to keeping conveyancing costs low

Conveyancing costs can be astonishingly high even though when they have appeared to be comparatively low in the quotes. But not to lose hope, keeping in mind a few simple things can save you hundreds and thousands of pounds.

  1. Knowing what an accurate quote looks like:
    An accurate conveyancing quote has two parts-
    1. Solicitor’s basic fee: This is the fee you have to pay to the solicitor for doing the job of conveyancing. It varies depending on the type of property, the area surrounding the property, the purchase or sell price and cash buy or mortgage. However, most solicitor’s charge up to £500 for their services.
    2. Disbursements: The amounts your solicitor pays to others on your behalf. These are fixed charges. But often conveyancers/ solicitors make up new disbursements to rip off the customers.
  2. Beware of the tricky quotes:
    You can consider a quote as tricky if-
    1. Unusual and new disbursements are added
    2. The basic fee seems too low
  3. Knowing your costs as buyer or a seller: Regardless, you’re a buyer or a seller, know what you have to pay to your solicitor and as disbursements. Check online for the details on the costs.
  4. Beware of the extras: You can find extra charges appearing as disbursements and in the small prints of the terms and conditions. These are usually the overhead of their business which you shouldn’t have to pay for and the company’s scheme to make some “extra.”
    1. PI contribution (up to £50): PI stands for professional indemnity which should be a part of the solicitor’s basic fee. But some companies charge it as an extra.
    2. Postage, photocopying and phone calls (up to £50): This one has absolutely no right to be itemized.
    3. Stamp duty tax return (£50): It should be included in the solicitor’s basic fee.
    4. Dealing with your lender (up to £150): A classic that appears in the small prints of quotes specially the online ones.
    5. Dealing with leasehold property (up to £250): This one doesn’t stand a chance in an honest marketplace because a quote usually simply allows you to state if you’re buying a leasehold or a freehold property.
  5. Compare the quotes:
    1. Look for the disbursements in the quotes: Many companies while quoting, do not show the disbursements- a trick they’ve been pulling for years to attract the customers. As a result, the quotes appear to be cheaper than they actually are and buyers and sellers become their victims who have to end up paying way more than what the quotes first appear to be.
    2. Meticulously go through the small prints in the quotes: Look out for the words/numbers written in small prints in the quotes prepared by the conveyancing firm. And if you can’t find any, then you can be certain that it is one honest firm not looking to swindle the customers.
    3. Get at least three or four quotes for solicitor’s basic fee: This will prevent you from getting euchred.
  6. Avoid hiring solicitors recommended by local agents: The state agents are generally concerned about the commission they will be receiving from the local firms rather than providing you with an excellent service.

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