Are you looking to purchase a house? Well, this is a great investment you are about to make. However, buying a house is not easy, and there are many costs involved. One of the most important things to know about is solicitors costs for buying a house. These are legal fees that you pay to cover for conveyancing as you buy the property. In this article, we will expand on the solicitors’ fees and how you can potentially lower them.
The Role of a Solicitor in Buying a House
A solicitor is a lawyer who provides legal advice and services when you want to buy or sell a property. Here is how they help you buy a house.
A Solicitor Checks That the Information in Your Contract Is Correct
Before you and the seller sign the contract, a solicitor must check to ensure that everything on the contract is correct. If they find any mistakes, they will ask you and the seller to make changes before signing it again. This protects you because you won’t be held responsible if there are any problems with your house after you have bought it.
A Solicitor Checks That the Money for Your House Is Correct
When arranging a mortgage, a deposit is paid after exchanging contracts to demonstrate your commitment on a property. The rest of the funds are then requested after completion, this can either be through a cash purchase or an arranged mortgage. Your solicitor will check the amount to be paid and arrange for the request of the mortgage from your lender.
If there are any issues with the funds, your solicitor will let you know right away so you can sort out the issue before it becomes too serious.
A Solicitor Checks That the Sale Goes Through
Your solicitor should follow up after the completion of a property. There are certain factors to address before the sale is fully finalized. This can include transfer or deeds as well as paying stamp duty. Your solicitor should include these services within their fee.
A Solicitor Negotiates the Contracts
The contract is a document that sets out what you, as a buyer, and your seller have agreed within the property exchange. Your solicitor will ensure that all the information about the house and the funds is correct before drawing up the contract.
The Different Types of Solicitor Fees for Buying Property
Several charges come into play when you want to purchase the property. After understanding the role of a solicitor, here are some solicitor charges you should understand.
Stamp duty for the UK works slightly differently from the rest of Europe. In general, stamp duty in the UK currently stands at 4% on any house worth over £125,000. However, it can be as much as 12%, with some exceptions. It is recommended that you ask your solicitor about stamp duty before committing to a house. This is because the rate of stamp duty varies depending on several aspects.
The legal fees are often paid to cover what the solicitor has done. However, disbursements are different as they are charged by third party experts or firms. Your solicitor or conveyancer will collect these monies and remit them to the required persons on your behalf. Here are some of the common ones:
- Bankruptcy Search- This is the amount your mortgage lender needs to verify that you are not bankrupt.
- Land Registry Office Copies- The fees involved here facilitate the legal confirmation of the seller from the land registry.
- Electronic ID Verification- Your solicitor requires you to provide proof of ID so they can verify the correctness of all the provided information.
- Local Authority Searches- The fees cover searches in the public records. It is a check into the ownership and occupation records held at your local authority. If you live in an area where there are planning issues or other complications with owning property, then your solicitor may recommend doing a search.
- Water and Drainage Search- The charges facilitate the checks of whether the property is susceptible to water damage.
- Environmental Search- This helps to check for any environmental contamination.
- Telegraphic Transfer Fee- The bank charges this to cover money transfers for the transaction. As the buyer, remember that fees for transferring money from one account to another and bank fees vary depending on which banks are involved in the transaction.
- HMLR Final Search- This is the final search before you can complete your transactions
- Land Registry Charge- This is a fixed cost depending on the value of the property in question.
These are fees for searches into the records held by the local authority where your new home is located. Most lenders require these to be done as a matter of course, and you will have to pay for them.
This is commonly referred to as a booking charge. It is indispensable in your mortgage application.
Land Registry Fees
These fees are paid to facilitate the amendment of the ownership documents. It is charged depending on the value of the property.
This is typically an addition to the buyer’s mortgage fees. It helps the lender determine whether the property is in the right state. It simulates a property survey and gives you full information on the property you are set to acquire.
Do you have the correct property ownership documents? Well, if you don’t have them, your solicitor will help you get them. They will require you to obtain official copies of the deeds for quick processing.
Telegraphic Transfer Fees
This is the fee paid directly to your bank for the transfer of money between accounts. It facilitates the house move.
Where did you get your solicitor from? If you got the expert from your real estate agent or firm, they might need you to pay for the connection as it is a service. As the buyer, you must confirm with your solicitor and know the precise amount or percentage they require.
5 Tips to avoid Paying Too Much for Solicitor Fees when Buying a Home
As you can see, there are a few different solicitors costs for buying a house. These fees are present with or without the presence of a solicitor however. A solicitor does create an additional cost but that is due to the simplicity of the rest of the process that they create. Also, the associated fees are usually included in one fee, along with their services charge.
Choose the right solicitor
Often solicitors can take advantage of first-time buyers or those who aren’t entirely sure of the conveyancing process. It can appear complex at first which opens the gates for bolt on fees for services that are not necessary for your needs. Research the conveyancing process before committing to the service first and find a conveyancing solicitor who will offer you a fair price for comprehensive services.
Find more information about the conveyancing process and the services that MyConveyancingSpecialist.com offer here.
Take Advantage of Freebies
Most solicitor firms offer an initial free consultation, and while this may be of little use in giving legal advice, it provides time for you to ask questions and get to know the people with whom you will be working. When looking for a solicitor, don’t just ask about their experience and qualifications, but also ask which firms they have worked with before. If you are not happy with the initial free consultation, then move on to find someone more suited to your needs.
Go for Package Deals and Read the Fine Print
Some firms offer a “one stop shop” deal whereby they will take care of all the arrangements for your property purchase. However, this can come at a price, hence it is crucial to read the small print before signing on the dotted line.
Set Reasonable Expectations
You need to remember that when you find a solicitor, they will be working for you. As such, you need to find out what their fee structure is and how this relates to your budget.
Are They Worth It?
Sometimes the best solicitor may cost a little more, but when they provide good value for money, then you know that you are in safe hands. A local solicitor will be more aware of local housing issues and may also have valuable connections with other service providers.
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Solicitors play a vital role in facilitating a smooth transition of property. They handle the legal aspect of the property acquisition, so you don’t have to. As you evaluate solicitors costs for buying a house, you need to ensure that you get the precise quotations to determine their affordability. Even more, you must understand what you are getting yourself into beforehand.