November 21, 2022

What is a conveyancing quote – and what to look for!

When looking to sell or purchase a property, you will need a conveyancing solicitor to complete the transaction, and the first step in the conveyancing process is to obtain a conveyancing quote.

Holmes & Hills offer free conveyancing quotes, with no obligation and we pride ourselves on our transparency.

Avoid hidden fees

Our conveyancing quotations list all fees and disbursements and the quotation amount will be what you pay in most cases. There can of course be exceptions to this where the property transaction encounters unforeseen problems or complex issues such as boundary issues or overage provisions. At Holmes & Hills, a full scope of what is included in the conveyancing work quoted for, and examples of what may incur additional charges, are sent out with your initial documentation upon instruction.

Many people may look at just the legal fee to compare quotes. It would be prudent to look at the total conveyancing costs, as some companies may identify parts of their legal fees as additional disbursements, or list them alongside disbursement items or within a disbursements section of their quotation.

Some of these additional fees may include, but are not limited to, those listed below. They may also be labelled something slightly different, but meaning the same thing:

  • Stamp duty completion fee
  • Acting for mortgage lender
  • Storage fees
  • Leasehold fee (if applicable)
  • Shared ownership fee (if applicable)

As every firm sets out their quote for conveyancing differently, it may be difficult to compare on a like for like basis.

Property searches

Conveyancers purchase their property searches from different providers, and so the costs of this will differ from firm to firm. Holmes & Hills’ package these up into one fee and this fee covers all standard searches generally required by mortgage companies. However, some companies will list the individual searches out separately.

If the quote contains a search package, it would be advisable to check with the relevant firm which searches are included.

The searches included within the legal fee in quotes provided by Holmes & Hills are*:

  • Local Authority search
  • Environmental search
  • Water & drainage search

Our article 'What are searches when buying a house?' discusses property searches in more detail.

Check the small print

With all quotes you should check the small print to ensure no additional fees are included here. This can include the leasehold or shared ownership fees, and lifetime ISA or help to buy ISA fees. It may be that despite you informing a company that such an element is relevant to your transaction, they have not included their associated legal fee within your quotation as an item as it is covered by their terms and conditions. You can be confident with quotes from Holmes & Hills, that all relevant fees are in plain sight.

Expiry of quotations

It is usual for any quote to have an expiry date. Car and household insurance are prime examples that most people have experienced, whereby a quotation is only valid for a set period.

Conveyancing quotes are no different. Disbursement fees can go up, changes can be made to stamp duty, and solicitors can change their legal fees. It is normal for quotes to be valid for 30 days after issue, but you should check the quotes you obtain to find out this information.

It is also important to note that when obtaining a conveyancing purchase quote, the quotation is only valid for the property you have received a quote for. If your purchase falls through and you make an offer or have an offer accepted on a different property, or you change your offer on a property following negotiation, you will need to obtain a new quote.

If you have received a conveyancing sale quote and the sale price changes, this may also affect your quotation, so it would be advisable to obtain a new quote.

It’s not just about the final price

It is not unusual for property transactions to fall through, and the longer the process takes, the more likely this is to happen. This can be for many reasons, including expiry of mortgage offers which can break an entire chain.

When choosing your conveyancing firm, it is important to consider their ability to keep the process moving along to reduce the risk of a breakdown in the chain.

If you were to choose Holmes & Hills for your conveyancing, your property transaction is 20%** more likely to reach a successful conclusion than the national average, giving you confidence in a better chance of getting the house you want! Holmes & Hills has a large conveyancing team with a wealth of experience gained over thousands of property transactions, including transfer of equity, equity release, help to buy redemption and right to buy. In addition, we have specialist teams within the conveyancing team, dealing with new build property purchases and shared ownership transactions, including staircasing.

Get Expert Legal Advice

Call 01206593933 and ask for a residential conveyancing quote. Or complete the form below.

*correct at time of publication
**Holmes & Hills' successful completion rate is calculated using sample data for 400 residential property transactions started between October 2021 to December 2021 and is compared to national average successful completion rate of 75% (provided by Rightmove, 11/05/2022).

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