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How Much Are Solicitors’ Fees For Selling a House?

Property Saviour » Contract of Sale » How Much Are Solicitors’ Fees For Selling a House?

It is reasonable to wonder how much solicitors’ fees are when selling a house, as they can impact the total cost.

We are often asked, do I need a solicitor?

The legal process of selling a house is not always an enjoyable one, but it is undoubtedly an important one. Solicitors are key players in making sure the transaction runs smoothly, providing legal advice, preparing documents, and communicating with everyone involved in the sale.

To help clarify this, we have created this guide to provide an in-depth overview of solicitors’ fees and the factors influencing them.

Table of Contents

What’s the difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor?

The difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor can be confusing, as they both handle property sales.

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring ownership from one person to another, while solicitors are qualified legal professionals who can manage various legal matters, with conveyancing being one of them.

The main difference lies in their roles; conveyancers solely focus on property transactions, while solicitors have a broader knowledge of the law. Both can help with property transfers, but solicitors are better prepared to deal with complex scenarios such as disputes or any other legal matters outside the scope of conveyancing.

Which one should I use?

It all depends on your individual needs and how complex your property transaction is. A more complicated sale that has aspects like boundary disputes and restrictive covenants may be better suited for a solicitor. They can also give legal advice more than just conveyancing, which can be beneficial if you come across extra-legal issues during the transaction.

A solicitor brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you deal with complex transactions. They can also represent you in court if any disputes arise, something a conveyancer wouldn’t be able to do.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide. If you estimate a straightforward property sale, then a conveyancer should be more than enough. The cost difference between the two shouldn’t be too much for a property sale.

How much are solicitors fees
A solicitor brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you deal with complex transactions. They can also represent you in court if any disputes arise, something a conveyancer wouldn't be able to do.

Who is more expensive?

Solicitors are more expensive than conveyancers due to their greater legal expertise and qualifications. Solicitors are capable of dealing with a wide variety of legal matters beyond conveyancing, and their fees often reflect the extra knowledge and experience.

On the other hand, conveyancers who specialise solely in property transactions usually have lower operational costs and offer more affordable fees.

It’s important to compare quotes, as fees may differ greatly between individual solicitors and conveyancers. Other factors like location, reputation and the complexity of the transaction can also affect the cost.

You get what you pay for and if you want the best advice and guidance then we recommend appointing a solicitor.

How much are solicitors’ fees for selling a house?

Solicitors’ fees for selling a house can differ greatly depending on the property’s value, its location, and whether it’s an uncomplicated transaction. It’s hard to give an exact number, but here’s a rough estimate of average solicitor fees for a home sale:

Service

Cost

Solicitor’s fee

£1,300 inclusive of VAT

Disbursements

£100 inclusive of VAT

Other costs such as searches

£400 inclusive of VAT

Remember to discuss abortive fees with your solicitor, in case the property chain collapses or the buyer decides not to proceed. Ensuring that you are aware of these fees upfront will help avoid any surprises if the sale does not go through.

Average Legal Fees for Selling Freehold vs Leasehold

Legal fees for selling a property can vary depending on whether it is freehold or leasehold.  Here are the average legal fees for selling both types of properties based on the value of the property:

These estimated fees include 20% VAT.

Property's Value

Freehold Solicitor Fees

Leasehold Solicitor Fees

Up to £100,000

£1,100

£1,300

£100,001 to £200,000

£1,200

£1,400

£200,001 to £300,000

£1,300

£1,500

£300,001 to £400,000

£1,400

£1,600

£400,001 to £500,000

£1,500

£1,700

£500,001 to £600,000

£1,600

£1,800

£600,001 to £700,000

£1,850

£2,100

£700,001 to £800,000

£2,000

£2,500

£800,001 to £900,000

£2,100

£2,700

£900,001 to £1000,000

£2,200

£2,900

£1000,001+

£2,500

£3,000

Who organises a home survey?

The buyer is responsible for organising a home survey. This is an important part of the “Property Due Diligence” principle, followed in the UK and many other parts of the world.

Due diligence means the buyer must conduct thorough research on their potential investment, in this case, a home. Although this may not seem fair initially, it is common in all industries.

Whether you are buying a new car, a pet, or even a light bulb, sellers will not highlight any flaws in their products. Instead, they will focus on why you should make the purchase. Therefore, you are responsible for researching, comparing, and examining potential faults.

The same principle applies when buying a new home, although the scale of the investment is much larger. Since property purchases involve a higher risk, it is wise to protect your investment by hiring reliable solicitors, conducting thorough research, and arranging for a home survey.

In some rare cases, the seller may choose to pay for a home survey and share the results with potential buyers as a gesture of good faith. However, they are not legally obligated or particularly encouraged to do so.

It is generally accepted that the person who wants the survey report should commission and pay for it. In most cases, this responsibility falls on the buyer.

During the process of buying a house, many people choose to have a house survey done on the property they want to purchase.

The purpose of the survey is primarily for the buyer’s benefit. It provides information about the condition of the property and any potential risks. Typically, it is the buyer who arranges and pays for the survey.

Remember to discuss abortive fees with your solicitor, in case the property chain collapses or the buyer decides not to proceed

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed, a plant with white flowers, can be a serious nightmare for property owners.   It can grow as much as 10 cm per day, causing considerable damage to building structures and substructures. 

Common damage includes cracks in the tarmac, paving, foundations, and wall structures, reducing the property’s value.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has published a paper on Japanese Knotweed and its treatment. Treatment over an extensive period of 3 to 5 years is recommended to eradicate the plant.

How To Identify Japanese Knotweed
If your property has Japanese Knotweed, it will be down-valued by a surveyor, possibly making it unmortgageable.

What Are Disbursement Fees for Selling a House?

You will pay fewer conveyancing disbursements when selling compared to buying.

Below, we have listed the main disbursements you can expect to pay:

  1. Anti-money Laundering Checks – £5

Your solicitor carries out this check to ensure you are not involved in money laundering. If you use multiple accounts to pay your fees, your solicitor may become suspicious. This is a very common check when buying and selling.

  1. Bank Transfer Fee – £40

A bank transfer fee is required when your conveyancer needs to transfer an amount over £60,000. This fee is often used to pay off your mortgage or to transfer the final sale funds to your account. We have found that the average cost, including VAT, is £40, but it can range between £25 and £45.

  1. Mortgaged Property Supplement Fee – £220

If you are selling your house and still have a mortgage, your solicitor must communicate with your mortgage lender to process the redemption. This extra work will be indicated in the quote.

  1. Title Register Copy – £6

Your conveyancer needs up-to-date copies of the freehold Title Register and filed Title Plan. These can be found on HM Land Registry and serve as proof that you are the owner of the property. The Title Register consists of a property register and a plan of the property.

Additional Solicitor Fees to Expect when Selling

There may be additional costs involved if your case is complex. Some costs, like Shared Ownership, will be evident from the beginning. However, unexpected fees may arise during the process, such as delayed completion fees.

Here are the most common extra charges associated with conveyancing:

Service

Cost

Remortgage

£500

Shared Ownership

£330

Unregistered Property Fee

£100-£200

Delayed Completion

£100-£200

Indemnity Insurance

Varies

Transferring Equity

£500-3600

Solicitor Fees for Selling Leasehold

Selling a leasehold property typically incurs higher legal fees than a freehold property. It is important for these fees to be clearly stated in the initial quote.

When selling a leasehold property, you can anticipate paying the following costs:

Leasehold Property Supplement Fee - £150

Selling a leasehold property requires additional legal work from your conveyancer, which is why there is a supplemental fee to cover their time.

Leasehold Management Information Pack - £150-£500

The Leasehold Management Information Pack contains information about ground rent and service charges. Your solicitor must provide this to the buyer as part of the official leasehold inquiries.

What Affects the Cost of Legal Fees when Selling?

There are certain factors that could dictate the cost of your legal fees.

Whether you’re using a solicitor or conveyancer

Solicitors typically charge higher legal fees because they are qualified in various property laws, enabling them to assist with complex cases.

On the other hand, conveyancers specialise solely in conveyancing, which is why they usually offer more affordable rates.

Value of property

Solicitor fees are typically determined by the value of your property. The fees increase as the price of your house goes up.

It is important to consider whether a fixed fee or a percentage-based service would be more advantageous for you.

Complexity of sale

The amount you pay for conveyancing fees depends on how complex the sale is. If you’re selling a Shared Ownership home or re-mortgaging, your solicitor will need to do more work.

Leasehold or freehold

The legal fees and disbursements will be higher if you sell a leasehold home. This is because selling a leasehold property requires more legal work, which takes up more of their time.

What does a solicitor charge for
Solicitors' costs are sums paid for legal services and include solicitors' fees and charges, disbursements, expenses, remuneration and any additional liability incurred under a funding arrangement.

What's Included in Solicitor's Fees?

The legal fee will cover the solicitor’s work, which includes the following:

  • Creating a draft contract
  • Conducting pre-contract enquiries
  • Liaising with the mortgage lender and the buyer’s solicitor
  • Exchanging contracts on your behalf
  • Transferring funds to you
  • Approving the deed of transfer
  • Receiving title deeds.

Do you Need a Solicitor when Selling a House?

Legally, you are not required to hire a solicitor when selling a house. However, it would be quite challenging to sell without their expert assistance.

Solicitors are professionals in the industry who thoroughly understand how the process should be handled. Unless you are confident with the legal aspects, hiring a solicitor or conveyancer is always advisable, as numerous tasks need to be undertaken.

When do I pay solicitor’s fees when selling my house?

When buying a house, most fees are paid once the house sale is completed. However, the base fee will be paid at the start of the agreement between the solicitor and yourself.

Often, the final payment is due one day before completion. We recommend talking with your solicitor to see what agreement they have set up with you if you have any doubts. Some solicitors offer a ‘No completion, no fee’ deal, so it’s worth checking if your solicitor provides this option.

Expect to pay around £190 – £300 upfront, with the remainder due once the house is sold.

What are solicitor fee
Whether or not you lose money will depend on the type of solicitor you choose. Some solicitors offer a no-sale, no-fee service, which can save you money.

Will I still be charged solicitor fees if the sale falls through?

This is a frequently asked question, and it’s not surprising. Nobody wants to lose money, especially if it could be a large amount.

Whether or not you lose money will depend on the type of solicitor you choose. Some solicitors offer a no-sale, no-fee service, which can save you money. However, you will still have to pay disbursement fees regardless.

As the seller, you’ll be glad to know that the amount you must pay will be much less than a buyer’s. This is because there are fewer disbursements involved in a sale compared to a purchase.

How to make the buyer pay your solicitors fees?

It’s understandable that sellers would want to save on solicitors’ fees. But, a reliable, experienced solicitor can really make all the difference when it comes to a successful property sale.

By getting quality service at an affordable price, you can have a smooth and stress-free experience when selling your home.

Did you know that if you sell to Property Saviour, we will pay your solicitors’ fees? Get a hassle-free sale without any fees.

Just fill in this free 15-second form, and we’ll send you a free, no-obligation quote for your home.

Anti-social Neighbours

The issue of anti-social neighbours is becoming increasingly common in the UK.  Noise, damage, and threatening behaviour can quickly turn a once-pleasant area into an undesirable part of town.

Buyers prefer to live in quieter areas. If you are experiencing anti-social behaviour, it may be worth reporting the problem to your local council.  It is highly unlikely that your local council will buy your home as most are practically bankrupt due to mismanagement of funds.

Even if you have a boundary dispute, we’ll buy your home.

Damp in your problem property

Rising and penetrating damp are major concerns for sellers in older properties. Rising damp is common in homes without a damp course or a neglected house perhaps awaiting probate.

Penetrating damp can be caused by leaky roofs, missing pointing and blocked gutters. Both types of damp can lead to severe dry rot and a substantial repair bill.

How To Sell a Problem House?

At Property Saviour, we understand that selling a property can be challenging, especially in poor condition. That is why we specialise in buying properties quickly, no matter their condition.

Whether your property has fire damage, structural defects, subsidence, flooding, or boundary disputes, we have a solution for you.

Our process is simple and straightforward. We offer a 100% cash sum and work at your preferred pace. As reputable house buyers with substantial financial backing, we can provide a competitive price for your problem property.

With Property Saviour, you can trust us to ensure a smooth transaction.

If you want to sell your problem property quickly and easily, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you every step of the way.

Sell with certainty & speed

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