As a First Time Buyer, discovering the property purchase process can be unbelievably intimidating. There are so many factors to consider, processes that need to occur, and fees to pay. Property transaction is taken very seriously within the UK, meaning there are specific legal proceedings, financial checks and agreements that must be during the conveyancing process.
Whilst conveyancing appears difficult, it doesn’t need to be a completely exhausting process. In this article we’ll talk you through what you need to understand about solicitors’ fees as a first-time buyer.
Who is a first-time buyer?
Whilst it might seem like an obvious answer, there are some technicalities to this question. According to the UK government, a first-time buyer is an individual who has never purchased or owned a property. If you have previously purchased, had shares in or inherited property, you do not qualify as a first-time buyer.
As a first-time buyer with no experience in the property market it can seem difficult to get you foot on the first rung of the property ladder. You need to consider what you can afford, what you should buy and how much to budget for. Solicitors’ fees can be one of the main things that catch first time buyers off guard. Without budgeting for it, the cost of conveyancing can prevent you from purchasing a house.
So, how much do you need to save?
After having an offer accepted on a property, you will need to instruct a conveyancing solicitor. This person will work in your favour to draft up the exchange contract, perform several checks and lead negotiations. One of the largest fees you will pay will simply cover their services. It doesn’t end here though.
Conveyancing disbursements are fees that your solicitor will pay on your behalf. Some of them are compulsory for the conveyancing process whereas others may be recommended or specific to your property.
Whilst conveyancing costs will be somewhere between £800 to £1000, there will also be additional disbursements costs. We’ve provided a list of the key disbursements below with their average cost.
Local Authority searches £250-£450
These searches are typically included in most property purchases as they provide valuable information behind the property and can be requested by mortgage lenders.
During a local authority search your conveyancing solicitor will check documentation regarding the property and any restrictions relating to the property or land. You will also find information in regards to proposals for main roads, rail schemes or local planning decisions that could affect the value of the property.
Transferring ownership £200-£300
Another of the priciest solicitors’ fees for first time buyers and anyone purchasing a property is the transference of ownership. This fee is paid to the Land Registry to officially register the change of ownership within the records.
Telegraphic transfer fee £20-30
Whilst this may not be the most expensive fee during the conveyancing fee, there are several others that do start to add up.
This fee covers the charge for electronically transferring funds and guaranteeing that they are received by a specific day. Your solicitor will charge a fee for making this transfer which also covers the banks charge for large transaction.
Anti-money laundering checks £6-£20
The purpose of this inspection is to investigate your financial history. This is done in favour of the mortgage provider to ensure your integrity as a loan holder.
Whilst these are the general fees paid by any type of buyer, there are also certain first-time buyer specific solicitors fees. This is to cover the cost of additional work from government first time buyer support schemes
Help to buy equity loan supplement £200-£300
Because of the additional paperwork associated with the help to buy scheme, some conveyancers tend to charge additional fees to cover the costs of their services. Help to buy can change the details of how the purchase occurs which shouldn’t create significant delays, but will be an additional job for your solicitor to complete.
Lifetime or Help to Buy ISA £50+VAT
In a similar way to the help to buy supplement, a help to buy ISA can create additional work for your solicitor to be able to redeem the bonus. The charges are capped at £50+VAT to prevent redundancy of the additional bonus.
For first-time buyers within England, Wales and Northern Ireland, there is a policy in place to encourage the accessibility of purchasing a house. Stamp duty typically generates a large share of the conveyancing fees. However, for first time buyers paying £300,000 or less for a property, there is no stamp duty fee.
This can potentially save buyers several thousands of pounds, depending on the price of the property they are buying. For typical buyers, stamp duty costs 5% of the property value after £125,000.
My Conveyancing Specialist
You should now have a rough idea of the costs of solicitor’s fees as a first-time buyer. One of the biggest variations that can make a difference in the affordability of conveyancing is the fee charged by the solicitor. This is the fee that is charged for the work they do, rather than the money that is paid to third parties.
Online conveyancing, such as the services provided by My Conveyancing Specialist, can be much more affordable than the traditional approach. At MCS we have optimised the conveyancing process to cut down on the time and cost it takes to complete the legal proceedings for a purchase of a property.
We translate these savings directly to you to offer a premium service for incredibly competitive prices. No matter whether you are a first time buyer or a seasoned purchaser, experience the benefits of affordable conveyancing.Get an Instant Quote >>