When you sell or buy a home you will probably want to get some conveyancing quotes so you can understand what you’re going to pay in legal fees. These quotes can all be presented very differently which can make it really hard to compare.
This article aims to cut through some of those common terms and cut through the legal jargon so that you are able to make a fully informed decision when deciding on a conveyancer.
What fees can you expect to pay?
The legal fee or professional fee is the fee that the conveyancer charges for the work that they are going to do. If the property is leasehold, you’ll probably find that the legal fee may be higher or that a leasehold supplement will be charged.
In addition, if you’re buying with a mortgage, it’s common place for an additional fee to be charged for the work on behalf of the mortgage lender.
How are fees calculated?
Some conveyancers like Enact offer fixed fees, so that means they will only increase if there are unforeseen amendments that cause the circumstances of your move to change.
Alternatively, some conveyancer’s base their fees on the time they think they are going to spend on the case. If your conveyancer works on time spent, they will record the time used on every phone call you or other parties make and it will eat into your allotted time. If you use all your estimated hours or go over it, you’ll probably find you end up paying more than the original quote.
Third party expenses
Disbursements, third party expenses, and out of pocket expenses all essentially mean the same thing. They are not fees the conveyancer earns, but instead are fees that are paid to third parties on your behalf. So, for example land registry fees are paid to the land registry, local search fees are paid to the local authority and stamp duty land tax will be paid to the inland revenue.
When you’re comparing quotes just make sure that the exact circumstances of your case have been taken into account and that all disbursements are present on the quote. This will make sure that you avoid any nasty surprises later down the line.
When are conveyancing fees paid?
In terms of timing when fees are payable, the vast majority of the legal fees are usually paid right before completion. You will generally find though that searches for example do need to be paid up front.