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Moving Home? Make Sure Your Conveyancing Quote is a Fair One

View profile for Melanie Leadbitter
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Conveyancing in England and Wales has become a highly competitive business with some, less honourable firms employing dubious tactics to make their quotes appear cheaper than they actually are. Follow these tips for a fair, value-for-money quotation. 
The Quotation should clearly set out a best estimate of the conveyancing costs applicable to the Transaction and is usually set out in two parts. 

1. The solicitor's legal fee (i.e. what he or she charges for carrying out the legal work). 

2. The disbursements - costs which the conveyancer has to pay to third parties on your behalf (such as Local Authority Searches, Stamp Duty and Land Registration Fees. Disbursements on a property transaction should be roughly the same from one conveyancing quote to the next as they are fixed charges. However, some solicitors’ legal fees can vary considerably depending on their location so it’s wise to check this when obtaining quotes for property work. 

Be clear about all items listed as disbursements/costs – these should not include additional charges which should actually be covered within the quoted solicitor's fee. Examples include: 

  • A mortgage fee (if there is a mortgage to discharge on a sale or if a mortgage is being obtained on a purchase transaction) 
  • A leasehold Fee (if the property being bought or sold is Leasehold)
  • A fee for preparing and submitting the Stamp Duty Land Transaction Return (SDLT)

Supplemental fees/disbursements give the impression that the basic fee is lower than it actually is - and is the reason some people are tempted by low Headline Conveyancing Rates. Inevitably, these can turn an initially cheap conveyancing quote into something far more expensive. 

You can protect yourself against inflated conveyancing costs by:

  • asking relevant questions of the quote provider (if the provided quote does not fully itemise all the individual costs and disbursements relevant to the transaction) and 
  • reviewing the quotation and any associated documentation for hidden charges and supplemental fees. Add these extra costs to your basic quote so you can see the real cost of the solicitor's service. 

For more advice contact Kevin Britton at our Halifax office on 01422 339 622.

Find out more about Wilkinson Woodward's conveyancing services