During conveyancing your solicitor will pay certain expenses and add them to your bill. These cover administrative tasks they carry out on your behalf, which are described as disbursements. Before you instruct a solicitor they should give you a full breakdown of their costs, including how much these additional charges will amount to.
Can you avoid them?
Conveyancing is the legal process of buying and selling a home. During it, all the legally required documents are gathered together and passed on to the other party, checks are made on you and your property and the title deeds, which show who owns the property, are changed with the Land Registry.
Although it’s possible to carry out conveyancing yourself, most people hire a solicitor or conveyancer to do it for them. Either way it’s an essential part of every housing transaction and you will need to pay disbursements. Equally, if you sell your house at auction you will still need to arrange for conveyancing to take place and cover its costs.
One of the only ways to avoid paying disbursements is to sell your property to a home buying company like us. We instruct independent solicitors and cover all their costs, including disbursements. What’s more you won’t have to pay estate agency fees if you work with us.
Disbursements in details
The administration charges associated with selling a home are normally much less than for buying one. They usually cover three areas:
- Copies of title deeds – £4 to £8
- Anti-money laundering checks – £6 to £20
- Bank transfer fees – £25 to £45
In some cases you may need extra support from a solicitor which could involve additional costs. For example, if the title deeds have been lost and your home is not registered with the Land Registry you’ll need their help to prove ownership. Your solicitor may also buy indemnity insurance to protect you and your buyer if something, such as planning permission for works on the property, can’t be verified.
Buying a home comes with a longer list of disbursements on top of those above, including:
- Local authority searches, which check local council records for planning permissions granted for the property, land contamination, local development plans and so on. These can cost up to £250.
- Local searches, these are extra checks carried out if there is a history of mining in the area that could impact a property. They range from £40 to £250.
- Environmental searches investigate specific concerns such as flooding and subsidence. They’re around £35.
- Drainage searches make sure a property is connected to fresh water and sewers for around £40.
- Land registration fees cost between £20 and £910. This covers registering the new owners of a property, the cost depends on its value and whether you apply by post or online.
- Bankruptcy searches are required by your mortgage lender to ensure you and anyone else on the mortgage hasn’t been declared bankrupt. This costs up to £4.
- Stamp duty is a tax lots of people pay when they buy a home. It’s worked out on a sliding scale, which means it gets increasingly expensive as the price of a property rises. But lower value properties are exempt.
Again, if the transaction isn’t straightforward and the solicitor needs to carry out extra checks there may be additional administrative charges.
Other costs to bear in mind
On top of disbursements there are other expenses you’ll need to cover when selling your home. These include an energy performance certificate (EPC) which costs around £120, unless your home already has one that is under ten years old.
You’ll also need to factor in how much your solicitor charges and estate agent fees. These will vary depending on the value of your home. Solicitors will charge up to £1,500 to deal with the legal side of selling a home, while traditional estate agents usually charge between 1% and 2% of the sale value. On a £300,000 property that could come to £6,000. Online agents are often cheaper, charging a flat fee that can range from the low hundreds up to £2,000 depending on the service you opt for and your location.
You may need to dip into your pocket for a removals service too. Doing it with the help of friends and family shouldn’t set you back more than petrol money and lunch for your volunteers, especially if you don’t have to hire a van. A full packing and removal service for a large home can run into thousands of pounds.
Keeping costs down
All housing transactions come with costs, which you’ll understandably want to keep to a minimum. When we buy your house we not only cover large expenses such as solicitors and estate agents, we can complete the sale in just seven days because we only ever buy using our own cash. That means any mortgage repayments will quickly stop and you’ll have much needed funds in your account.
We’re also experienced at dealing with transactions involving divorce and inheritance. So if you want to move on swiftly without the hassle of dealing with lots of different people and professions, we could be the right option for you. Whatever your situation, we’d be happy to chat about how we can help, so please get in touch.