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How to Prepare for Solicitor Fees When Buying a House in the UK

by Mark Whitcroft

Are you planning to buy a house in the UK? Then you need to know that one of the most important steps in the process is hiring a solicitor or a conveyancer.

Choosing between a dedicated conveyancer and solicitor is a matter of personal choice. The majority of people in the UK are happy to instruct conveyancers to handle their property sales and purchases.

What’s the difference between a solicitor and a conveyancer? A solicitor is a legal professional with training in different branches of the law and can provide legal services in a variety of legal fields. A conveyancer is a specialist in the legal aspects of property sales and purchases. Typically, a conveyancer is less expensive than a solicitor. Many large law firms hire conveyancers to offer property services on their behalf.

A solicitor or conveyancer will help you with the legal aspects of the transaction. Hopefully they can help the purchase run smoothly. But it's important to prepare for the cost of hiring one before you begin the buying process. Here's what you need to know about these fees when buying a house in the UK.

Lawyer spelt out

  1. What are solicitor or conveyancer fees for buying a house?
    These fees will cover their work and any other expenses include: conveyancing charges, HMRC Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) submission, admin fees, HM Land Registry charges and Registration fee; and Local Authority and related searches. The fees vary depending on the location of the property, the type of property, and the solicitor you choose to work with. TOP TIP: Worth hiring a solicitor or conveyancer that covers both sides of the transaction if you are selling a house too. This helps with coordination of both your transactions.
  2. How much can I expect to pay for solicitor or conveyancer fees?
    The cost of these fees for buying a house can range from £500 to £3,000 or more. It's important to get a quote upfront so you can budget accordingly. Keep in mind that the cheapest option isn't always the best option. You want to work with a solicitor or conveyancer who has experience in property transactions and can provide quality services. Worth checking out review sites for other people’s recent experiences.
  3. What additional expenses do I need to consider?
    In addition to solicitor or conveyancer fees, there are other expenses to consider when buying a house. These include stamp duty. Your solicitor should be able to provide you with an estimate of these costs.
  4. How can I reduce my solicitor or conveyancer fees?
    One way to reduce your fees is to shop around and compare prices. You can also try negotiating to see if they can offer a lower fee. Another option is to consider using a fixed fee service that can provide cost savings and transparency. TOP TIP: Worth hiring a solicitor or conveyancer that doesn’t have most of their team based in a major city. Their team overheads will be lower and so your fee could be lower.
  5. When do I need to pay my solicitor or conveyancer fees?
    Your solicitor will typically require payment of at least part of their fees before completion of the purchase. It's important to factor in these costs when you're planning your budget for the house purchase.

Checklist: Things to consider when budgeting for solicitor or conveyancer fees

  1. Get a quote from your solicitor or conveyancer upfront
  2. Shop around and compare prices
  3. Consider using a fixed fee service
  4. Factor in additional expenses, such as search fees and stamp duty

Solicitor or conveyancer fees are an important consideration when buying a house in the UK. By understanding the costs and budgeting accordingly you can ensure that the process goes smoothly.