In this article, we will be going over what the solicitor fees are when selling a house including how much solicitor fees are and what’s included in these fees.
Another important topic to get a grasp of is if it is better to hire a conveyancer or a solicitor and what the difference is between these two professionals.
Most of the time you will opt for a solicitor but there are certain situations where this is not the best option when answering the question of do you need a solicitor to sell a house.
Overall, fees in general are not pleasant and can be hard to keep in control, especially if you’re trying to maintain a profitable investment such as if you have property for an investment with a buy to let mortgage.
If you read the article in detail, hopefully you will also be able to pick up some helpful techniques on how to sell a house in general in order to keep costs down.
What do solicitors charge?
Below, there is some useful information on the solicitor fees for selling a house and it is vital you research these before selling a house.
The average solicitor fees when selling a home can be used as a great guideline so you know you’re not being scammed or overcharged for services.
At the same time, if you’re not charged a lot of money it could indicate bad service. Solicitors in general are not people you want to pay for the cheapest service with.
If a solicitor is extremely cheap it could indicate they aren’t competent in all areas of property law but you can get around this by asking for their qualifications or previous experience.
This table can be a good starting point for budgeting your home sale and comparing solicitor quotes if you plan to sell online too, perfect for if you feel left in the dark with how to price and sell a home.
The data below is put together based on the information from licensed conveyancing partners and solicitors who have a proven track record in the field.
It is important to note that these fees are only averages and should not be regarded as a firm estimate for the cost of selling your home though so do not panic if you think prices are too high or too low.
So, here are some average fees from our conveyancing network for property sales in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020:
What are the average solicitor’s fees for selling a house?
According to the data, the average cost of a solicitor when selling a house was £1046 as of the end of January 2022.
It’s worth noting that solicitors may charge much higher or lower fees than this. Fees can range from slightly more and go up to £500 to £1500.
It really depends on who you work with.
As of January 2022, the average solicitor fees for selling a £250,000 house were £1046. Disbursement fees are not included in the averages provided below.
If you are confused as to what disbursement fees are, read this article here for a full breakdown on how they work.
Table showing the average solicitor fees for Leaseholds and freeholds
|Property Value||Average fee for selling freehold||Average for selling leasehold|
|Up to £100,000||£820||£990|
When is the correct time to pay solicitor’s fees when selling my house?
When it comes to buying or selling a home, the majority of fees are paid once the transaction is completed.
It is important to understand that the base fee must be paid at the start of the agreement between you and your solicitor.
The final payment is usually due one day before completion, but we recommend discussing this with your solicitor to clear up any confusion.
If you’re selling your home, your lawyer will deduct the legal fees from the amount of money made from the sale and the estate agent’s fees will also be deducted before you receive the remainder of the money.
It’s worth noting that some solicitors offer a “no completion, no fee” deal which you should confirm with your solicitor before proceeding.
This means you’d not have to pay anything unless there is a successful sale of a property. Typically, this places a lot more risk on the solicitor but some offer it as an incentive for buyers to use their services.
In general, you should expect to pay between £200 and £300 upfront, with the remaining balance due once the house is sold.
When selling a house, what do solicitors fees involve?
You will have to pay solicitor fees when selling your home, which will cover all legal aspects of the transaction alongside any disbursements.
A disbursement occurs when a payment is required to be made to a third party in order to carry out certain checks.
These fees are paid directly to the solicitor, who then forwards them to the appropriate third party.
Unlike when purchasing a home, the list of expenses for selling is significantly shorter. However, the solicitor will still be charged a base fee.
This is either a flat fee or an hourly rate for handling your case from beginning to end.
A list of all the things included in a solicitor’s fee
When you hire a solicitor for the sale of your house, they will undertake several tasks, including drafting contracts, responding to enquiries, investigating any issues and exchanging contracts.
Furthermore, they will handle the transfer of funds, communicate with the buyer’s solicitor, approve the deed of transfer, obtain title deeds, and act as the recipient of the deposit.
Are there any further legal fees for selling a house?
Working with a solicitor may incur additional fees for third-party payments in addition to the standard solicitor fees.
Your solicitor will provide you with a completion statement that details all of the fees. The table below shows the typical costs for third-party payments handled by solicitors.
Table showing additional fees that could occur
It is important to understand that it is not necessarily the case that a buyer will be charged all of these fees. It is only if it so happens that there is an issue with the sale of the property that occurs.
For example, if there is a case of fraud in the buyer of the property, there could have to be a property fraud fee that is given to the seller in order to make sure the transaction is successful.
|Property fraud fee||£10|
|Transferring of ownership||£200-£500|
|Money laundering checks||£8 per person|
What is more expensive, a conveyancer or a solicitor?
When it comes to selling or purchasing a home, you have two options, a conveyancer or a solicitor. A conveyancer is qualified to handle all aspects of the property sale or purchase.
On the other hand, they may not have the same level of legal experience as a solicitor. Hiring a solicitor may be more expensive, but they can provide expertise in a variety of legal areas, which can be useful if non-property related issues arise. It is ultimately up to you to determine which option is best for your situation.
It is therefore worth checking the experience of a solicitor or a conveyancer before you decide to work with them and question them on what they’d do in the event there is an unexpected circumstance.
This means you won’t have to worry about extra fees because you’ll have fully competent professionals handling every aspect of your house sale.
Are there any consequences for not paying a solicitor fee?
When you hire a solicitor, you have the right to file a complaint and request a cost reduction or a refund if you have already paid.
If you have already paid and notice a discrepancy, you can request that the Senior Courts Costs Office review the final bill.
It is, however, preferable to approach the solicitor first and attempt to reach an amicable agreement, especially if you know the solicitor has a good reputation.
Most professionals who have a lot of experience will rather you have good customer satisfaction than take any more money from you as they know their reputation as a solicitor is important.
Nonetheless, it is important to pay your bills on time because if you forget or delay payment, a solicitor can contact you requesting settlement and they still have the right to challenge you as a buyer.
When you begin working with a solicitor, you will be given a client care letter outlining the payment procedures and the services they will provide so it will be clear if you are being unreasonable or not.
If a solicitor takes legal action against you, they will send you a letter outlining the amount owed, including interest and any additional charges, as well as an information sheet that you must complete and return within 30 days.
You will then have to submit a financial statement outlining your current financial situation in order to accept or dispute the debt.
Most of the time, this ends up with the buyer being put on a payment plan to make the payments more affordable after a court case and the buyer being questioned on the legitimacy of their claims.
If the sale doesn’t happen, will I still be charged?
Answering the question of if you will be charged solicitor fees if the sale falls through is a common question that a lot of buyers seek to find the answer to.
Nobody wants to be out of pocket from a solicitor if they haven’t done any apparent work and you will have to pay for a solicitor again anyway if you put your house back up for sale in the future.
Unfortunately, it is found that 84% of buyers lost money when their house sale fell through according to recent surveys.
This could be for a variety of reasons and some speculate it is because the government are planning to cut the budget they have for solicitors, you can find more on this story here.
As a result, when solicitors deal with members of the public in a public marketplace, they are forced to put up their prices to make ends meet and earn what they would have been making beforehand.
Having said this, ultimately, whether you lose any money will depend on the type of solicitor you have chosen.
As previously mentioned, there are some solicitors that offer a no sale, no fee service which will result in you saving some money. But, even with this service, disbursement fees will still have to be paid.
As the seller of the house, you will be pleased to know that the amount you will have to pay, will be significantly less than a person buying though, as the number of disbursements in a purchase are of much higher value.
When looking at the topic of how much solicitor fees are from a bird’s eye view, this article provides useful information about solicitor’s fees that you should be able to take forward into your next property sale.
It includes average costs for solicitor fees and third-party fees, a breakdown of tasks that solicitors undertake when selling a house, and when fees are due.
Additionally, we hope you are able to understand how to compare the cost of hiring a solicitor versus a conveyancer.
Understanding what sellers can expect to pay and what services they can expect to receive when working with a solicitor or conveyancer is all very necessary in the process of selling a home.