How Much Are Solicitor’s Fees for Selling a House?

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Solicitors’ fees for moving house

To answer the question on solicitor fees let’s clarify conveyancing as it is a term that is used a lot when discussing selling houses. It is basically the legal process of transferring property ownership and encompasses all the legal work needed before the purchase and sale of the property. The conveyancing fees are what get paid to a solicitor to manage the sale of the property.

According to the Halifax building society conveyancing fees can cost on average anywhere between £850 – £1,500 depending on the value and location of the property for a standard sale. Note on top of this you will have the costs of disbursements – which are the unavoidable extra costs from third parties undertaken by the solicitor but paid for by the seller such as Searches, Land Registry fees and Stamp Duty. Solicitiors should charge you at cost however you will probably need to pay for the disbursements up front.

There’s a chance you’ll have to pay a small fee in advance if you’re selling your home. If you do have to pay fees upfront make sure the money will be held in the firms “escrow” or “client” account. Also check that you get a refund should the sale collapse. Generally the remainder will be paid throughout the conveyancing process and on the day of completion.

You can be charged in one of two ways

  • On a FIXED FEE basis – it is important to make sure you understand what the fixed price includes and if it includes disbursements in addition to the basic conveyancing fee. Gaffsy strongly advises against agreeing to an hourly fee estimate as solicitors’ fees can range from £150 to £350 per hour and if complications arise while selling your house the number of hours the solicitor will need to work will go up a lot and therefore so will the fees you owe.
  • The other common fee basis is on PERCENTAGE OF PROPERTY PRICE – the bigger the house the greater the fees similarly the smaller the house the less expensive the fees will be.

Tips to ask solicitor when selling your house:

  1. Get quotes from more than one legal representative before you choose which one to use. This will give you a much better idea of what the price should be as they should all come in around the same level.
  2. Ask if the solicitor you are considering provides a no-fee conveyancing service which means if the sale falls through you will not be charged legal expenses. However, it is important to note that you will still probably need to pay for any, if not all the disbursements that your solicitor has already paid.
  3. Before instructing your solicitor ensure they are on your mortgage lenders approval panel or the process will take a lot longer .
  4. Request a quote in writing again so you can compare all the quotes and make sure it  lists and includes the foreseeable disbursements that you will have to reimburse your solicitor for as he will pay them on your behalf.
  5. If the quote looks too cheap it will almost certainly have hidden charges embedded in the small print therefore make sure you read the small print for hidden or additional charges before you agree to use a solicitor’s services.

What solicitors’ costs do you pay when selling a house?

Generally, there are two categories the legal fees and the disbursements below is a breakdown of the costs for selling a freehold property:

  • Conveyancers basic fee – your solicitors time and expertise during the sale.
  • ID check – money laundering regulations require identity verification.
  • Bank TT fees – Telegraphic transfer fees are charged by a bank or building society to send sums larger than £60,000. Similarly, if you have a mortgage to redeem than another TT fee will have to be paid.
  • Office copies and Title plan -official copies of the freehold Title Register and filed Title Plan held at HM Land Registry which prove the seller owns the property and will also show any legal charge or notices registered against the title.
  • Transferring ownership- transferring your name with your buyer’s name on completion.
  • Buyer Enquiries – a background check on the potential buyer 
  • Property Information Form- also known as a TA6 form, and a TA7 form if you are selling a leasehold property.
  • Drafting the contract of Sale.
  • Contract signing.
  • Exchange of contracts.
  • Receive Deposit.
Selling a house? A sample of a straight forward sales conveyancing quote  
Conveyancer’s basic legal fee £300-£1,500 
ID check – anti money laundering £6-£20 
Bank TT fees £20-£50 
Office copies & Title Plan £6-£24 
Transferring of ownership £200-£500
** make sure you add the vat and check if your property requires any of the additional conveyancing fees

When might there be extra solicitor fees?

If the sale is more complex there maybe additional costs to be aware of and it is therefore important to be aware of these too.

  • Leasehold properties may incur extra fees for management agents pack, leasehold management information pack and a leasehold supplement fee for the extra work .
  • Delayed completion – if your completion is delayed there may be an extra charge as the solicitor will need to return to the case to finish it off.
  • Guarantor Involvement – a buyer’s solicitor may charge more if the buyer is a using a guarantor mortgage as it may require a solicitor providing additional pieces of information to the lender.
  • Indemnity Insurance – if you don’t have time to wait for searches and you need to protect against any unforeseen then a policy will involve extra work and cost.
  • Unregistered property – if a property has not been registered at HM Land Registry your solicitor will have to prove or establish ownership. If it as be inherited and is a probate property if will likely involve further work. These will likely increase the fees owed.
  • Defective title – if your solicitor finds something missing from the title and it needs to be corrected before the sale this will incur additional charges.
  • Power of Attorney – if the buyer or seller is using someone else to represent them then there will extra charges to process the extra paperwork.
  • Statutory declarations – for any new legal obligations surrounding the property that are not in the deeds then a solicitor will need to draft an additional legally binding document this will obviously involve extra work and further fees.
  •  Trusts and Transferring Equity – if funds need to be paid somewhere other than into a bank it may involve additional legal and tax related processes. Similarly, if a solicitor has to liaise with specialists to make sure everything is legally compliant this will involve an additional fee.
  • Help to buy schemes, ISA– due to extra checks and processes your solicitor may make a supplementary charge
  • Gifted deposit- if you are buying a property with a gifted deposit extra money laundering checks will have to be carried out and this will incur a cost.
  • Declaration of solvency – in order to sell a property under market value a document that confirms the seller was not insolvent is required and a buyer will need to take out separate indemnity insurance.
  • Right to Buy – if you are buying your property from the council this will involve specifically related processes which will increase the fees.
  • Retentions – if paperwork is required to protect completions funds that have been held back then this work will be an additional fee.
  • Restrictions – if there is need to use RX1 and or RX4 form due to restrictions on the property then the solicitor may charge an extra fee.
  • Licence Agreements – should the seller want to remain in the property after completion a licence agreement protects the buyer until this end point.
  • Shared Ownership – as there may extra work involved with dealing with multiple owners’ solicitors will likely charge more.
  • New Build Property – in order to carry out more in-depth analysis of the land surrounding the property, the warranties, service charge obligations, ground rents as well as the finished product they may want to charge more.
  • Properties with Sitting Tenants require additional checks to be carried out as the buyer’s solicitor will want to verify documentation.
  • Enforcement notices, Underpinning, Structural matters – will require extra investigative work and result in further costs.
  • Fast Sale – if you need your solicitor to prioritise your case and expedite it then they may charge more. Please note if you are selling your property to Gaffsy we can assist with these expedited fees.
  • Bankruptcy & Repossession – if notices need to be removed from the title deeds and/or if a solicitor is required to attend court to stop a repossession, then additional costs are likely to be applied.

What are the typical costs for these additional fees?

Proving source of funds £100.00
Help to buy ISA £50.00
Title deeds (greater for leasehold) £6-£12
Help to buy scheme £300.00
Mortgaged supplement £50 – £150
Leashold property supplement £100-£200
Unregistered property supplement £100-£200
Managing agents pack £150-£300
Leasehold Management Information Pack £150-£500
Indemnity Policies £20-£300
Corresponding and collecting in funds from third parties  £80-£150
Deed of Covenant £125-£200
3week exchange of contract £100-£200
3week completion deadline from exchange of contract £100-£200
5 working day completion from exchange of contract £100-£200
Defective titles £50-£100
If a guarantor is involved £150-£300
Contaminated Land £95-£150
Purchasing leasehold title and share of freehold title £95-£150
Certificate of compliance £95-£150
Solar panel documentation £100-£150
Private drainage £75-£150
Building Regulation Enforcement Notice £50-£100
Underpinning & structural matters £100-£200
Standard Statutory Declaration £75-£150
On purchase check Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement  £75-£150
Retentions £50-£100 
HMLR ID1 forms £50-£100
Restrictions on Register with HMLR £75-£300
 Entry of Bankruptcy certificate on title £50-£100
HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupation) £75-£150 
Moving a mortgage £95-£150

Gaffsy’s thoughts

The costs are obviously a key consideration when deciding which solicitor to instruct so it is important to shop around. But it is also very important to consider the solicitors service level, as a number of sales fall through due to slow unresponsive legal representatives. If the solicitor took a long time to respond to your quote request this could be an early warning signal as to the level of service you can expect throughout the sales process.  Therefore, before you instruct a solicitor ask them how regularly you can expect updates, make sure they use email rather than post and make sure they are willing to provide you with their direct line and check out review sites like Trust Pilot, Feefoo, Google reiews.

Note according to the latest data 40% of all property sales fall through before completion but of those two thirds of them are preventable and many actually can be avoided simply buy speeding up the process and having the right people by your side whilst you sell your house.

Therefore, if you are selling your house and want to avoid legal fees contact Gaffsy, who guarantees to buy any home, house, flat whether it is freehold or leasehold, no matter the condition or the circumstances.  T

Remember there are absolutely no fees involved in selling Gaffsy your property and on top of that Gaffsy will cover your legal costs.   As a professional cash house buyer Gaffsy will ensure the property sale moves forward at a pace that suits everyone.

Finally, if your sale has fallen through or you have hit a bump in the road in the sales process and need to sell your house today Gaffsy can help, by making you cash offer. We know every customer and property is different and we are able to help you navigate the process.  

Contact us to get an offer today or call us on  +442074594546 we will provide you with an immediate free valuation, a no obligation cash offer with no fees and no hidden costs.

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