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  • 22 May 2024

    Unbox conveyancing costs and avoid hidden charges

    Many individuals are familiar with the usual fees associated with conveyancing, but there are extra charges that might surprise both buyers and sellers throughout the conveyancing journey. Being knowledgeable about these possible extra costs is crucial for facilitating a seamless and thoroughly prepared property transaction.

    Conveyancing fees include two main components: the Legal Fees and the Disbursements. The Legal Fees, also known as the basic fee, represent the charge for the Conveyancing Solicitor's services to perform the necessary work. On the other hand, Disbursements encompass the costs that the conveyancer incurs on your behalf, which can include property search fees, registry fees, and stamp duty.

    What are the additional costs involved in conveyancing? 


    Conveyancers usually detail within their quote the cost of basic searches such as those involving local authorities, drainage and water and the environment. Nonetheless, depending on the property's location or unique conditions there might be a need for more specialised or unexpected searches. These additional searches can lead to extra charges, making it crucial to consult with your conveyancer about the possibility of requiring any extra searches.

    Leasehold properties

    When purchasing a leasehold property, it's important to be mindful of extra expenses that come with the lease. These can encompass ground rent and service charges, essential details you'll want to understand fully before making a commitment. Ensure that your conveyancer scrutinizes the lease agreement thoroughly and briefs you on these potential financial obligations.

    Management Packs

    For Leasehold Properties or for Freehold Properties where there is a management company, your conveyancer will require a ‘Sales Management Pack’ from the management company. The sale management pack contains various documentation relating to the areas managed by the management company. If you are selling the property, it is your obligation to provide the sales management pack to your buyer and you will therefore incur the associated cost for this. If you are purchasing, the Sales Management Pack will reveal any additional costs which may be incurred and your conveyancer will notify you of this costs, once they have the information of these. 

    Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

    Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a familiar expense in the realm of property dealings, yet it might be seen as an unforeseen cost due to its variability based on the property's worth and the specific situation of the purchaser. It's crucial to engage with your conveyancer to precisely determine the SDLT that will apply to your acquisition.

    Property Surveys

    Securing a property survey, though not linked directly to the conveyancer's fees, is an essential investment. This process can reveal hidden concerns with the property, including structural flaws or moisture-related problems, which might not be apparent at first glance. By identifying and addressing these problems promptly, you can avoid substantial costs down the line.

    Mortgage fees

    When considering a mortgage to fund your property acquisition, it's important to recognize that the application process might come with several associated costs. These can range from arrangement fees and valuation fees to fees for using a mortgage broker as well as lender associated admin fees. It's crucial to have a detailed conversation with both your lender and mortgage broker to fully grasp the financial commitments involved.

    Transfer of ownership costs

    In certain situations, extra expenses might emerge when transferring ownership. Such costs can stem from handling lost or faulty documents, securing indemnity insurance for protection against possible hazards, or rectifying any issues with the title. Your conveyancer will be able to guide you on these potential expenses and the best ways to manage them.

    Chancel repair liability

    While it's uncommon, certain properties carry an old obligation to contribute towards repairs of the nearby parish church, referred to as chancel repair liability. This responsibility can lead to unforeseen expenses, making it crucial to investigate this possible liability while undergoing the conveyancing process.

    Bank transfer fees

    Throughout the conveyancing process, there may be a need for multiple bank transfers, including moving the deposit or paying the remaining balance of the purchase price. Being mindful of these bank transfer fees in advance is prudent, as they can accumulate over time.

    Choosing a conveyancer

    Conveyancing firms often prominently feature their basic legal fees in their advertising, leaving out the disbursement fees or additional costs. Such quotations can be misleading, giving the impression that the total cost will be low. It's crucial to request a complete breakdown of all costs and disbursement fees before moving forward with any quote.

    When choosing a conveyancer, it's important to look beyond their charges. Seek out a professional with a strong reputation and ample experience, someone who can steer you smoothly through the transaction and expertly manage any unforeseen expenses. A skilled conveyancer becomes an essential partner in acquiring your ideal property, ensuring there are no unexpected financial setbacks.

    Instead of immediately settling for the initial offer that comes your way, take the time to explore and contrast the services of different conveyancers. When making your choice of a conveyancer, keep these key points in mind: 

    • Resist the urge to automatically opt for the conveyancer suggested by your Estate Agent or Mortgage Adviser. 
    • Ensure you obtain a comprehensive quote, review it meticulously, and scrutinise the fine print for any concealed charges. 
    • It’s also wise to directly inquire with the conveyancer about the possibility of any additional fees being tacked onto your initial quote.


    At Hegarty we offer fixed-fee packages for our conveyancing services, so you can be sure of your costs from the outset. 

    How much you will have to pay for your conveyancing depends on whether you are buying or selling property (or both), the value of the property you are selling / purchasing, and whether the property is leasehold or freehold. Our quote will show you how much you can expect to pay based on your individual circumstances, with no hidden extras. 

    Our quote will list all the fees that will be applicable to your transaction and will include a detailed breakdown of all costs involved. Our aim is to ensure our clients receive clear and honest pricing from the outset. We want our clients to be able to make an informed decision when choosing a conveyancer. Our team are always happy to talk you through the quote and are on hand if you need further information or advice before making a decision.

    Contact our team today

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