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Comparing conveyancing fees.

Monday, 27 May 2019  |  Admin

Since December 2018, registered conveyancing lawyers are required to publish their fees so that the public can compare prices when choosing a solicitor.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority carried out research which found that only 27 percent of people shop around for legal services, partly because in the past, fees haven’t been published so it has been hard to compare prices.

In December 2018 it became a requirement for lawyers in several areas, including residential conveyancing, to publish the total cost or average range of costs in respect of their fees as well as a list of additional disbursements such as search fees.

They also have to include the basis for their charges, details of the experience and qualifications of those who will be carrying out the transaction and their supervisors, the key stages of the matter and the likely timeframes.

Before the introduction of the new transparency regulations, one in three comsumers said their bill had included unexpected charges. It is hoped that the new rules will increase competition amongst conveyancers and enable people to shop around to find the most suitable law firm for their needs.

What to look for in your conveyancer

Many firms offer a no sale no fee guarantee, meaning that if your transaction falls through then you won’t need to pay legal costs, although you may have incurred other expenses such as local search or survey fees.

If you choose a provider who charges a fixed fee rather than an hourly rate you’ll know right from the start how much your transaction will cost, provided it is straightforward.

Check through the extra items to make sure you understand what they are and whether they will be applicable to your transaction or not. If you have any questions don’t be afraid to ring and ask them to talk it through with you.

Don’t choose your lawyer based on price alone. While it is good to know exactly how much your conveyancing will cost, engaging a good quality firm will make the process much more stress-free than using the cheapest available, where staff may be rushed and unable to give you as much time and attention as you would like.

The other costs

As well as the legal costs there are a number of other items you’ll need to budget for. The main one is Stamp Duty Land Tax, but there are also a number of search fees payable as well as Land Registry costs.

Now that regulated law firms are required to publish information (or provide it to you on request if they do not have a website) you will be able to clearly see what disbursements will be added to your bill and whether they include VAT or not.

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