If you’re in the process of buying a home, it’s vital to consider all the costs involved.
There’s more than just the price of the house to budget for, after all.
Many people assume that if you’re buying a house, once the deposit is saved, you’re good to go. However, in reality there are many costs you’ll need to plan for before that big purchase can go ahead. Solicitor and conveyancer fees are just one of these.
The road to buying a house can be a lengthy and stressful process. That’s why most buyers and sellers get professional help with all the time-consuming paperwork and legal issues by hiring a solicitor or conveyancer (a specialist property lawyer). You can find out what the differences are between a solicitor and conveyancer here.
A solicitor and conveyancer will conduct local authority, water authority and Land Registry searches on your behalf. They’ll also check the property titles and advise you of any issues that could come up in the future, and oversee the completion of the property purchase.
It’s hard to put an exact cost on what your legal fees will be when you buy a home and it will largely depend on whether you choose a solicitor or conveyancer.
Solicitors’ fees vary from one professional to another, and you can be charged based on the services they supply. For example, some solicitors may charge a set fee, which is a percentage cost based on the price of the property you buy. So say your new home costs £125,000 and the solicitor’s fee is 1%, you’ll pay £1,250.
The benefit of this is that the price is capped and you shouldn’t have to pay a penny more for their services.
If, however, a solicitor charges you for each individual service they provide, you could end up paying anything from £500 to £1,500. You’ll also be charged separately for local Land Registry searches, which could end up costing a few hundred pounds more.
It’s hard to know which solicitor to choose, unless they come recommended by someone you know and trust. Sometimes your estate agent will have a solicitor they work closely with who they may recommend. It’s still a good idea to get a few quotes so you can compare, though.
A conveyancer will usually charge less than a solicitor as their legal expertise is in property only, and the cost of their services often depends on the value of the home you’re buying.
If there are any complex issues that arise during your property purchase that are outside your conveyancer’s expertise, you may need to employ a solicitor too. It may, therefore, be worth budgeting for this – although it’s always good to have a little more saved in case of emergencies.
Keep in mind that a conveyancer usually only deals with customers online and over the phone. If you prefer discussing matters face-to-face, a solicitor is probably a better option for you.
Whichever you end up choosing, look online at the Law Society’s website to find a legal professional.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.