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Conveyancing Fee

How is the conveyancing fee made up?

When obtaining any quote for conveyancing charges it will consist of two components, namely the solicitors own fee (effectively their own labour charge) and other costs paid to third parties which are called disbursements.  The sum total of these elements gives the total conveyancing prices you see on any quotes.

Solicitors own fees

Some solicitors still charge by the hour (£100 or more) and this can escalate the total fees payable enormously, especially if complications arise throughout the transaction.  It is more common these days for solicitors and conveyancers to quote an “all inclusive fees” for the job.  The best scenario is to obtain a “fixed cost quote” so that you know exactly what you will pay upon completion.

All CMS solicitors will quote a fixed conveyancing fee including all charges

These legal costs are the basic cost payable to your solicitor for the legal work involved in a standard transaction. They may be the only fees payable to the lawyer but should as a minimum cover a freehold transaction with no new/existing mortgage to deal with. Some property lawyers will charge extra fee supplements for more complex transactions.

conveyancing fee


  • Search Fees

When purchasing a property or land the solicitor must carry out various searches, including a local authority search, a drainage and water search and probably an environmental search. Also there are other searches which may be required depending on the area the property is in. The solicitor does not profit from these conveyancing charges as all these payments are made to third parties – the providers of these searches however may charge differently. On average a set of searches could cost somewhere between £180 – £275 which would be added on to the total bill.

  • Land Registry Fees

The Land Registry hold the records for ownership of land in England & Wales. If you are buying you must pay, via your solicitor, the land registry’s fee for noting the change of ownership. This depends on the purchase price. You will also need to pay for a land registry search at £4 per title and if you are taking a mortgage, a bankruptcy search at £2 per purchaser.

If you are selling your solicitor will need to obtain copies of various documents from the land registry and these costs will be added to the conveyancing fee. Office Copy Entries of the title will be needed which currently cost £8. In addition copies of transfers/conveyances may be required (£6 each) and if leasehold, possibly a copy of the lease (£20).

conveyancing charges

Leasehold and Shared Ownership Supplements

Certain types of transaction are more complex than others, namely those such as leasehold or  flying freehold properties and even shared ownership matters. Unregistered properties also usually may also attract a supplement.

The solicitor has several ways to charge a higher fee, either by simply raising the basic conveyancing fees or by charging the basic fee plus a supplement.

  • Landlord Fees

If the property is leasehold, there will usually be other fees payable to the landlord by both the seller and the buyer. It will be necessary for the seller’s solicitor to obtain replies to some standard enquiries regarding rents and service charges for which the landlord will often make a charge. These fees can be anywhere from £50 – £300.

The buyer’s solicitor will give notice of the change of ownership to the landlord and the fees for this will generally be around £50 – £120. It may also be necessary for the seller to pay for a licence to assign or the buyer to enter into a deed of covenant. Licences cost around £250 – £300 whereas deeds of covenant may be around £125.

Get a quote for your conveyancing fee from CMS