Solicitors Fees For House Sale
In this blog post we will be looking at the solicitors fees involved with selling your home, how much they are, and if there is a way to avoid them.
Alexandra Ventress ★ Digital Content Writer
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When it comes to selling a house, it feels like all you seem to do is pay fees and bills. Forking out for EPCs, removals costs, and mortgage charges, to name but a few.
And just when you think you are finished with paying for fees, you have to pay the conveyancing solicitors fees. But how much are conveyancing fees? How much do solicitors fees for selling typically cost? And is there a way to avoid paying them?
In this blog post, we will be looking at conveyancing fees when you sell your home, how much they can affect your total profit, and how they compare to estate agency fees.
What is a conveyancing solicitor?
Before we get into the solicitors fees for selling a house, we will first look at what a conveyancing solicitor is and what their role involves. Whether you are selling or buying a house, chances are you will need a conveyancer or a conveyancing solicitor. Once you have found a buyer for your home, you begin the legal process of selling your house. This process is also known as conveyancing and this is where conveyancers and solicitors become involved.
Whether you use a solicitor or a conveyancer to progress your house sale, the role they play will be pretty much identical, as it is their job legally progress and undertake all legal aspects of your house sale. The main difference between solicitors and conveyancers is the knowledge that they hold. A licensed conveyancer has specialised, in depth knowledge of property but is not well versed in other aspects of the law. On the other hand conveyancing solicitors have a wide range of knowledge on lots of different aspects of the law and can tackle complex legal issues.
What are the average solicitors fees for house sale?
When it comes to conveyancing fees, there is no straight answer. There are many different types of solicitors, from no win to fee, to online, fixed fee and high street.
The average conveyancing fees for a typical house in 2022 were £1046. According to data from SOLD, these are what the average cost for conveyancing fees in 2022 look like, depending on house value, and excluding disbursements:
|Average Solicitor Fee Freehold
|Average Solicitor Fee Leasehold
|Up to £100,000
Whilst it can be tempting to go with the solicitor with the cheapest conveyancing fees, this does not always guarantee quality. Similarly just because a conveyancer has more expensive fees is also not a guarantee of quality. The best way to ensure you are getting good value for money is to shop around and ask for different quotes from various firms as well as reading reviews from multiple sources to ensure you are getting a well rounded opinion.
How are legal fees calculated when selling a house?
A good rule of thumb for calculating how much you should expect to pay in solicitors fees is to look your property sale. Is it a fairly straightforward transaction or are there bumps in the road? The more complicated your house sale will be, the more you can expect to pay. Properties with an easy ownership structure with straight forward buyers will require very little additional costs and so therefore will be cheaper.
Whilst both solicitors and conveyancers can handle the legal progression of your house sale, it is typically cheaper to use a conveyancer as they only handle land transfers. However, should you be selling because of a divorce, probate or bankruptcy then you may be better off using a solicitor as they are trained in all aspects of the law.
What is the difference between legal fees and disbursements?
When you get your bill from the conveyancer, you will see the conveyancing costs will be divided into two sections, legal fees and disbursements. Legal work is the standard rate that conveyancers and solicitors will charge for progressing your house sale. Conveyancing disbursements are third party costs that cover services such as searches.
What do conveyancing solicitors do?
Now we know how much you would need to pay your solicitor for conveyancing process, we will take a look at what it actually involves. As we have already discussed, the legal fees will cover the standard rate whereas disbursements cover the third party work.
These disbursements are work that your solicitor may undertake, including:
- Anti money laundering checks
- Drafting contracts
- Responding to enquiries
- Liaising with the land registry to ensure your property is properly registered
- Approve deed of transfer
- Organising property searches
- Transfer ownership
- Communicate with buyers solicitor
- Conduct the bank transfer fee
- Should you still have a mortgage, your solicitor will liaise with your lender on your behalf
There are extra legal fees that you may need to be wary of, which we have listed below:
|Property fraud fee
|Transferring of ownership
|£200 - £500
|Money laundering checks
|£20 - £30
What is fixed fee conveyancing?
A no sale no fee conveyancer is another alternative from your standard conveyancer. With a ‘no sale no fee conveyancer, you don’t risk having to pay hundred in legal fees if your house sale falls through. The conveyancer will also not be paid until they complete the sale so it gives them extra motivation to complete. However you will need to be aware that there can be extra fees involved with this method of conveyancing. These additional fees are in the form of deposits and other hidden costs that will be charged regardless of whether or not the sale goes through. Another disadvantage is not all conveyancers offer a ‘no sale no fee option.
What happens if I don't pay the solicitors fee for selling a home?
If you do not feel as though you received the level of service that you agreed to, then you are within your rights to complain and request a reduction or a refund. However you need to bare in mind that this can be a bit of a grey area in the world of property as once you have moved house, it is often viewed that the job of the solicitor is done. Once you have received your conveyancing bill, you have one year to register any complaints that you may have.
If you have forgotten to pay your bill or have been putting it off due to money issues then you may find yourself in trouble. If you owe a solicitor or a conveyancing firm money then they will contact you requesting settlement. If you still do not pay you can find yourself being given a County Court Judgement (CCJ). This will negatively impact your credit and will mean additional costs such as interest and additional charges.
If your conveyancer or solicitor does chase you for payment, you will receive a letter that includes a statement laying out what is owed, including interest charges. There will also be an information sheet which must be filled out and completed within 30 days. On this form you will be given the option to either accept or contest the debt. If you accept, then you may be able to agree a payment plan with your solicitor but if you contest you may end up in court.
When do I pay conveyancing solicitors fees?
As with an estate agent, you pay the conveyancing solicitors fees when the house sale is complete. However, there may be a basic fee that you may have to pay at the start of the process. Typically, payment is due the day before completion, however, every conveyancer is different and it is always worth checking. The upfront fees you might expect to pay are usually between £190-£300 with the rest of the payment due once the sale of your house is complete.
Can you avoid legal fees for selling?
There are a couple of ways that you can avoid costly solicitor fees when selling a property. The first is by progressing the sale by yourself. This is called diy conveyancing and is not recommended. Whilst it is not a legal requirement to use a conveyancer it may be within your best interest to use one. You would need to have a good understanding of the legal side of the house sale as well as feeling confident to liaise with your lender and undertake all of the other tasks that a conveyancer would. And if there was an issue with the conveyancing you put the house sale at jeopardy and risk financial loss.
If you don’t fancy having to fork out for pricey solicitor’s fees for selling your home, but don’t want to progress the sale yourself then there is no need to worry! There is a way to avoid those all consuming solicitor fees!
Here at The Property Selling Company we believe that a house sale should be three things; fast, effortless, and free. Because its our mission to change the ways you sell houses, we will cover all of the fees involved with selling a house for you- even the solicitors fees!
We will be working alongside you every step of the house selling process, covering everything, so you won’t have to. The days of expensive solicitor fees and legal work are over, and our team of property experts will continue to be there, even after the process is complete.
We will market your property on popular property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, organise viewings, negotiate better deals all for free!
If you are ready to sell your home home in as little as 28 days, then get in touch today and fill out one of our fast, free, no obligation forms for your house valuation today!