Buying a House: How Much Are Solicitors Fees for Buying a House.
When you decide to buy a house, it’s not only the actual cost of the property that counts; there is a whole lot of other charges that come along. These additional fees include stamp duty, land registry and solicitor’s fee, which may sometimes add up to thousands of pounds. One of the essential costs that seem to house other minor charges is the solicitor’s fee. Many home buyers and sellers find it hard to understand this fee and its contents. However, this guide contains a detailed look into everything you need to know about solicitor’s fees concerning buying a house.
Understanding the Solicitors Fee
The process of buying a house requires a lot of legal work, which may be hard for you to understand. Additionally, the whole process is time-consuming and may end interrupting your busy schedule. Therefore, it is advisable to delegate such matters to a person conversant with state laws, especially property laws. Such delegation will bring about convenience and reliability alongside peace of mind.
However, hiring a solicitor to handle your property buying means you have to dig deeper into your pockets. The average cost of solicitor services ranges between £450 to £1,500, excluding stamp duty. The Solicitor fee comprises of standard legal fees and disbursements. You can opt to use an online conveyancing service such as My Conveyancing Specialist who will give an instant online quote which should be at the low end of the spectrum, or use a leading high-street solicitor such as Redkite Solicitors. Whichever you choose the same work will need to be done, online services can be less personal and lower cost whereas high-street solicitors can offer exceptional service at competitive rates.
This fee varies from one property to another and is often higher for leasehold than freehold properties. The solicitor may charge you a fixed price to cover the entire process or do an hourly rate.
How Much Are Solicitor Fees for Buying a House
As earlier mentioned, the solicitor fee comprises of standard legal fees and disbursements. The standard legal fees cater to the legal work done by your solicitor. On the other hand, disbursements are extra fees charged by third parties, mainly related to searches and which the solicitor pays on your behalf. Therefore, it is essential to understand these disbursements to avoid increased costs from ‘hidden charges.’
Here are some of the disbursements relating to the purchase of your potential house and their respective charges.
Bankruptcy search: This search aims at notifying the mortgage lender of your bankruptcy status. It costs between £2 to £4 for each person taking out the mortgage.
Electronic ID Verification: Your solicitor will need proof of your recent ID documentation and address. These will be verified using national records for accuracy. The charges are £2-£18 for each person taking out the mortgage.
Land registry office copies: Land registry search confirms that the seller of the property you wish to buy is the legal owner. It costs between £4-£8.
Local authority searches: This search confirms that the local authority authorities don’t plan to make any future changes that may affect your house. Such plans include road construction, reclaiming riparian land or setting up government institutions. The costs vary depending on the property’s location, but most solicitors charge between £100-£200.
Environmental search: Your solicitor will search to confirm whether there is contaminated land near your house. It costs around £30-£35 plus VAT.
Water and drainage search: This search seeks to check your property’s connection concerning water, drainage, and surface water drainage. The surface water drainage has a direct impact on the areas vulnerability to flooding. Most solicitors charge £30-£40 plus VAT, but the costs vary depending on the water company serving the area.
Telegraphic transfer fee: This is an amount that your bank charges to cater for the transfer of the money you use to buy the house to the seller’s solicitor. The average charges are £25-£45 plus VAT.
HMLR final search: Your solicitor conducts this as a final search on your property before completing the process. This search seeks to ensure that everything is in order. It costs between £3-£7.
Land registry charge: These are charges that your solicitor pays to have your new houses listed under your name in the land registry. They range between £20-£910, depending on the value of the property.
If not well understood, the solicitor’s fee may appear as ‘hidden charges’ adding to your estimated purchase costs. Therefore, it is vital to understand them before embarking on your purchase journey. Additionally, it is essential to note that the solicitor’s fee varies from one individual or firm to another and you should, therefore, shop around as you compare different quotes. Besides, it is advisable to look at customer reviews, as they tell more about the services of a particular solicitor.