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Conveyancing Fees Explained - What Are The Disbursments?

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RESOURCES - Conveyancing Fees:
Conveyancing fees are generally broken down into two parts.
The first is your conveyancing solicitors basic fee (the fee for your conveyancing solicitor's time and expertise).
The second part to your total conveyancing fees will be made up of disbursements. These are items that your conveyancing solicitor will have to pay for on your behalf to third parties and are usually payable irrespective of whether or not your conveyancing solicitor offer a no sale no fees service.
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Are All Conveyancing Fees Disclosed When Getting Quotes Online?

Most online conveyancing fees calculators do a fairly good job of detailing all the average conveyancing fees that are to be expected however there are one or two sites out that that go out of their way to hid disbursements away in the small print to deliberately make their conveyancing fees seem cheaper than they really are.

Whatever the online conveyancing quote may say you must check the itemised breakdown of conveyancing fees that will be set out clearly in your conveyancing solicitors initial client care letter (you will receive this at the start of the conveyancing process, before any conveyancing fees are requested or payable).

There are a number of standard conveyancing disbursements involved when selling a property and the disbursements in a sale will vary depending on whether the property is freehold or leasehold.

Conveyancing Fees For Freehold Property

Official Copies

When your conveyancing solicitor prepares the pre contract package to send to the buyer's solicitor at the start of the transaction, they must include up to date official copies of the freehold Title Register and filed plan held at Land Registry (additional conveyancing fees of £16+VAT should be expected). This will prove that the seller owns the property and will also show details of any legal Charges or Notices registered against the title.

Official Copies of Deeds

Occasionally the house seller does not have all the deeds in his possession, in which case he may be required to produce official copies of Transfers, Leases, Conveyances or any other deeds. Copies can be obtained from Land Registry (additional conveyancing fees of £10 to £20+VAT should be expected depending on the type of deed that is required).

Estate Agents Fees

If you are selling through an estate agent, the agent will require their fees to be paid on completion of the house sale. The fees are usually a percentage of the sale price although this may vary. A selling fee agreement is signed by the property seller when the estate agent is instructed, agreeing to payment of their fees on completion. Conveyancing solicitors will usually settle the estate agent's fees out of the sale proceeds.

Energy Performance Certificate

Home Information Packs (HiPs) were suspended by the new government at the end of May this year. However, the Energy Performance Certificate element of the HIPs pack remains a legal requirement and an EPC must be obtained within 28 days of the property being marketed. Expect additional conveyancing fees of around £40+VAT (alternatively you can let your estate agent organise your EPC or even shop around online for the cheapest deal).

Telegraphic Transfer Fees

These conveyancing fees relates to bank charges for the telegraphic transfer (TT) of funds. If you require the balance of the property sale proceeds to be paid to you by bank transfer then you will have to pay a TT fee. If you have a mortgage to redeem then another TT fee will need to be paid. Expect additional conveyancing fees of around £35+VAT per Telegraphic Transfer).

Conveyancing Fees For Leasehold Property

Official Copies

For leasehold properties official copies of both the leasehold and freehold title must be produced and those relating to any intermediary landlords (additional conveyancing fees of £16+VAT should be expected for each).

Managing Agents Pack

If the property is leasehold the buyer will expect a Managing Agent's pack to be supplied and paid for by the seller. This pack contains information about the property, including service charges, ground rent, major works, company accounts information, etc. Expect additional conveyancing fees of around £200 - £280+VAT.

Landlord's Fees

If a Notice of Assignment is required then the seller is generally required to pay the associated costs including the landlord's legal fees. Expect additional conveyancing fees of anywhere from £150 - £500+VAT.

Payment of Disbursements And Conveyancing Fees

Your conveyancing solicitor may ask you for an initial payment on account (which must be paid once you instruct them). This will cover the conveyancing fees and costs relating to the initial disbursements, e.g., conveyancing fees for the Managing Agent's pack.

It is common practice for the conveyancing solicitor to take out their conveyancing fees and pay all other disbursements out of the sale proceeds on completion. This includes redeeming your mortgage (if you have one). Now that Home Information Packs have been abolished the disbursements and total conveyancing fees incurred by property sellers are a few hundred pounds less than they were before.

RESOURCES - Conveyancing Fees:

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