Understanding Conveyancing Fees

Understanding Conveyancing Fees

If you’re planning to purchase a property, you must also factor in the cost of conveyancing and solicitor fees. If you’re a first-time buyer then saving for your deposit may seem like all there is to focus on. However, there are a range of essential extra costs and some potential additional ones on top that you must prepare for.

So, what do conveyancing solicitors in Liverpool cost? How much will you be expected to pay on top of your deposit?

Continue reading to find out everything before making the big step to purchase your dream home.

What is conveyancing and why do you need it?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring a property from one party to another. The conveyancer completes a lot of the work involved in completing a house purchase or sale, including checking identities, drafting contracts, conducting searches on the property, and then the final steps of completing the transaction.

The final steps involve processing the deposit and funds over to the seller’s solicitor, paying the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), and registering the property in the new owner’s name on the HM Land Registry.

Why do you need a conveyancer? Well, the work involved in the background of a house transaction takes up a huge amount of time and requires a lot of expertise and skill. Conveyancing can be done by the buyers but it comes with huge risks, such as the sale falling through, so it’s best to hire a conveyancer from the outset.

What are conveyancing costs and how much will you pay?

The cost of hiring a conveyancing solicitor depends on three factors: your mortgage, the price of the property, and the property type (leasehold or freehold).

Depending on the above factors and the firm you choose, legal fees could cost anywhere between £300 and £1,500. If you provide all of the correct details for your prospective solicitors, you’ll know well in advance what you’ll be expected to pay in terms of fixed fees, so can begin to budget accordingly.

The above information relates to legal fees, which is one type of conveyancing cost. The other type is disbursements (third-party fees). These are costs that your conveyancer will have to pay out on your behalf to third parties, such as surveyors.


Disbursements – or third-party fees – are the costs that your conveyancer pays on your behalf when conducting the property sale or purchase.

These fees vary depending on what’s required throughout your conveyancing process. Here are the different types of checks and searches that result in increased third-party fees:

Bankruptcy searches

When such large sums of money are changing hands – whether for a residential or commercial property – a mortgage lender must make sure that you do not have a bankruptcy in your past. To do this, a search will typically cost between £2 and £4.

While this is not a lot of money, it’s still more than you may have initially budgeted, and it’s not the only additional cost.

Money laundering checks

As the property industry is often targeted by money launderers to exchange large amounts of money, your conveyancing solicitor must do their due diligence to ensure no wrongdoing is occurring.

You must supply all the necessary documents to verify your identity, and provide evidence of your deposit as well as where your funds have come from.

Money laundering searches cost around £10 – £20 but this price can climb if you’re living abroad.

Copy of title deeds

Your conveyancing solicitor will check the title deeds and any legal documents related to the property. The Land Registry charges for every document that has to be downloaded.

The cost can be upwards of £25.

Property searches

Property searches are one of the most important steps of the conveyancing process, but they’re also the most financially demanding when it comes to third-party fees.

Your conveyancer will conduct a Local Authority Search to discover more about the property, including any planning permission and building regulations. An Environmental Search will check for contamination, if it’s near any landfill sites, and assess the probability of future flooding.

Finally, they’ll conduct a Water and Drainage Search that reveals if the property is connected to the public water supply and sewerage.

These searches can vary in price between £250 and £450, but this depends on the location of the property.

You’re recommended to carry out a building survey, too. There are different levels of surveys and, as a result, prices.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors charges around £250 for a basic Home Condition Report. A Home Buyers Report costs around £400, while a detailed report costs upwards of £600. The final price, though, can depend on the size of the property.

Electronic funds transfer

This is known as a telegraphic transfer fee and is a charge by your bank to cover the cost of transferring the money used to buy the property.

Generally, it costs between £25 and £45.

Land Registry

When purchasing a house, your conveyancing solicitor will register the property in your name on the Land Registry, but this comes with a registration service fee.

Whether applying via post or an online portal, it will cost between £20 and £1,000 depending on the price of the property – though the higher prices are typically for homes close to £1 million or more.

Conveyancing fees summary

So, we hope this guide to conveyancing fees makes the entire process a little clearer. If you’re in the process of purchasing your first home, you must account for these potential additional costs on top of saving up for your deposit and paying your conveyancing solicitor for their services.

It may seem like a lot of money once all combined, but they’re vital charges to pay to ensure your property purchase goes through smoothly – and so you aren’t burnt by a major issue with your property.

And who can put a price on that piece of mind?