Beware of Hidden Costs in Conveyancing Quotes
Conveyancing is a very competitive industry and some firms are reverting to unpleasant marketing tactics. Some quotes may appear cheaper than the actually are and may also include hidden fees.
The average cost of conveyancing is approaching £1300, that’s £850 legal fees and £450 disbursements. The average is still higher than it should be. In a simple sale transaction, you shouldn’t have to spend any more that that.
Conveyancing quotes are split into two parts, the Legal Fees and the Disbursements. The Legal Fee (sometimes called the basic fee) is the Conveyancing Solicitor’s fee for carrying out the work. The Disbursements are fees that the conveyancer pays on your behalf (property search fees, registry fees, stamp duty).
The Low Introductory Offer Trick
One trick conveyancing firms use is to boldly advertise their low basic legal fees. Here’s an example:
Besides the garish colours, what’s wrong with this example? It only displays the basic fee, it doesn’t display the disbursement fees.
These kind of quotes are deceiving, they make it look like you’ll only be paying £235. It doesn’t display any of the necessary disbursements and the legal fee it displays isn’t a fixed fee anyway, they will usually rise! Before proceeding with a quote, make sure you see the full breakdown of costs and disbursement fees.
Hidden Disbursements Fees
Conveyancers also bump up their fees by hiding them within the disbursements. They will exaggerate the price of a disbursement or include extra fees, disguising them as disbursements.
Disbursements are fees that a conveyancer has to pay on your behalf. For example, property searches are carried out by a search company, your conveyancer will request the searches for you and include the search fees as disbursements. Hidden fees can be included through charging extra for commissioning these searches… And if they charge fees for every disbursement they carry out, it’ll add up to a serious sum of money.
Choose the right conveyancer
Don’t just accept the first offer you receive, shop around and compare conveyancers. Before selecting a conveyancer consider the following:
- Never feel pressured into using the Estate Agents or Mortgage Advisers recommended conveyancer
- Get the full quote details, red it carefully and check the small print for the hidden fees
- Simply ask the conveyancer if there will be any extra charges added to your quote