Conveyancing Costs Purchase

Conveyancing costs for buying a property consist of the payments, search fees and charges incurred during the course of a house or flat buying process.

Conveyancing costs when buying a property are normally made up of the conveyancers or conveyancing solicitors legal fees plus the legal disbursements (third party payments) required to be made throughout the course of the house buying process.

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Buying a Property - What Conveyancing Costs will I Pay?

  • Solicitors Legal Fees are the conveyancers labour costs for dealing with the legal work undertaken on your behalf for the purchase and (where appropriate) on behalf of any new mortgage lender.  Legal Fees will normally attract vat in addition to the legal fees.
  • Disbursements are costs payable to third parties for services or information provided to the conveyancing solicitors to enable them to carry out the work for your purchase.  In a purchase transaction disbursements usually form the largest share of the total conveyancing costs incurred.

Disbursements - What are they?

The largest share of the total Conveyancing Costs paid when buying a property will usually be the disbursements.  This will definitely be the case if the purchase price is over £125,000 as Stamp Duty Land Tax will be payable.  The legal disbursements when buying a property normally consist of:

The Land Registry Fee

The Land Registry is the government department that deals with the ownership of land in England and Wales. All property purchases will attract a Land Registry fee as part of the total conveyancing costs. The Land Registry Fee payable is calculated on a fee scale dependent on the purchase price of the property you are buying.

The Land Registry Fee Scale 1
Purchase price of Property £’s Land Registry Fee
0 - 50,000 £40
50,001 - 80,000 £70
80,001 - 100,000 £120
100,001 - 200,000 £190
200,001 - 500,000 £270
500,001 - 1,000,000 £540
1,000,001 and above £910

Stamp Duty Land Tax

Stamp Duty Land Tax is payable on all property transfers that include financial consideration above the current threshold, including purchases. The current threshold for a property purchase transaction to attract Stamp Duty is £125,000. This figure is subject to revision by the government at any time

Stamp Duty Land Tax (Current rates)
Purchase price of Property £’s Stamp Duty Land Tax payable as a % of the Purchase Price
0 - 125,000 0%
125,001 - 250,000 1%
250,001 - 500,000 2%
500,001 and over 4%

Conveyancing Searches

Whenever a property is purchased it is recommended that necessary searches are carried out in order to obtain the full information available for the property. In cases where purchases are made with the aid of a mortgage or other form of secured lending it will be compulsory. The searches required will usually include the following:

  • Local Search or Local Authority Search - Sent to the local authority in the area which the property is located
  • Drainage and Water Search - Sent to the water authority which serves the property
  • Environmental Search - Carried out by a risk management consultant to ascertain the level of environmental risk associated with the property
  • Chancel Check - carried out to check if the property has potential for chancel repair liability
  • Coal Authority Search - carried out on property in areas affected by past or present coal mining

In the event that your purchase property requires additional searches your conveyancing solicitors will usually let you know what searches are required and give you a costing.  As a general rule you should allow around £250.00 for searches where required, although some London Boroughs charge more for local searches in their area.  If in doubt check with the local authority and remember if your conveyancing solicitors use a Law Society recommended NLIS provider (an online provider for speed, efficiency and quality purposes) a fee will also be payable to the NLIS provider for use of the hub.

  • Post-exchange Land Registry Searches. These are mostly carried out online and usually cost between £2 - £10
  • Other legal disbursements - most property purchases will not pay any other disbursements that those dealt with above and buying a property may not always involve all of the above disbursements.  In some instances conveyancing costs may include additional disbursements not mentioned above.  An example would be the cost of arranging a suitable legal indemnity policy where the property has a title defect which the sellers refuse to rectify.  These types of situations are not uncommon in purchase conveyancing transactions.

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