Specialist conveyancing articles to inform you about conveyancing for a house or a flat; whether you already own your own home or if you are buying one. These are free to read and written by specialists in this area.

At SAM Conveyancing we give you all the information you need to know written in a way that makes it easy to understand. We also have a panel of conveyancing solicitors should you need someone to help with conveyancing for buying a home, lease extension, remortgage, transfer of equity, collective enfranchisement, independent legal advice or deed of trusts.

Please click, read and enjoy. If you get stuck or need any help then call us and speak to a friendly member of the SAM Conveyancing team - 0333 344 3234 (local call charges).

Fixed Fee Conveyancing

23/03/2020

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Our experienced conveyancing solicitors have helped thousands successfully buy or sell their homes, whether first time buyers or seasoned home movers. Our quotes are truly fixed with no hidden extras and we're rated Excellent on Trustpilot. 



Fixed Fee conveyancing solicitors
Fixed Fee Conveyancing
No Sale No Fee
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Our fixed fee conveyancing supports you and gives clarity to know what they will pay their solicitor during a standard conveyancing transaction. Within our quote we include all of the solicitor's legal fees for a standard conveyancing transaction and do not hide legal fees in our terms that should be told you you up front.

We tailor your quote to your needs and factor in all the standard legal work based on if the property is leasehold or freehold, if you have a mortgage or if you are using a Government housing scheme. If something arises that we weren't told about or that you weren't aware of then our solicitors will discuss this with you. In most cases a solicitor can provide you with a fixed price conveyancing quote if you provide them with:

  • Property price - if it is an undervalue property then give the full market price as if it was being sold on the open market.
  • Tenure - a solicitor's fee is higher for a leasehold or share of freehold because there is more work to do.
  • Mortgage - dealing with a mortgage lender takes more time and makes the quote higher.
  • Schemes - Help to Buy, Right to Buy, Shared Ownership, Discount Market Sale - these all take longer to complete and the solicitor will charge a much higher fixed quote.
  • Postcode of the property - some areas require coal mining searches

What types of work do we provide a Fixed Cost Conveyancing Fee for?
At SAM Conveyancing we make sure we deliver a price that doesn't change for any of the following types of work:

  • Buying
  • Selling
  • Remortgage
  • Transfer of Equity
  • Shared Ownership Staircasing
  • Help to Buy Equity Loan Repayment

In fact, for any conveyancing work you need we can tailor your fixed cost conveyancing quote quickly and easily so call us now on Call on 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply). We'll then email you a copy of your quote including the third party costs/disbursements that get paid as well as our solicitor's fees. If you have no time to call then use our online conveyancing quote.

Will fixed price conveyancing quotes go up?

Here are two reasons why they could:
    1
    You got an estimate, not a quote - believe it or not there are some solicitors who provide a low up front fee to lure you in and then charge you hundreds of pounds extra with additional fees within their terms and conditions. Whilst there are some occasions where an extra charge may be payable such as a lease extension or fixing a defective title, these are the 1 in 100 cases, however some solicitors use the 100 in 100 cases to charge extra. The main thing to remember is that a quote under £500 INC VAT doesn't exist, so if it is that low, be wary of the extra fees in the solicitor's terms and conditions.
    2
    You provide the wrong information - its ok, its not your fault. Buying a home is confusing so when you say you are buying a freehold but it is actually a share of freehold, then the original fixed price conveyancing will need to go up. Other examples, and most relate to leaseholds, are where you look to extend a short lease or look to vary the terms of a lease. All of this costs time and money that weren't factored in at the outset but now need to be done. Being fair and reasonable swings both ways for both the solicitor and the client, so if the solicitor is having to do more work because of you asking them to do it, then they need to agree another additional fee for the work you need them to do.

What do fixed fees cover in conveyancing?

While we fully advise that you should always secure fixed quote, you need to 'drill down' into any individual firm's terms and conditions to be assured that any particular quote will give you all the services you'll need to complete your home move.

Property lawyer firms vary greatly in terms of the services they offer as standard in their quotes and some are more transparent than others. With this in mind, the following table illustrates clearly what services should be included as standard in your quote:

Fixed Fee Conveyancing for Buying
What is included?
What isn't included?
  • Free use to our online conveyancing process
  • No Sale No Fee (see terms)
  • Client ID checks
  • Money laundering checks for proof of funds
  • Negotiation of the seller's contract terms
  • Review the legal documents from the seller and raise legal enquiries
  • (If Leasehold) Raise enquiries regarding the lease
  • Review mortgage offer and reply to any of the lender's enquiries
  • Raise enquires on issues flagged within the 'Legal Advisor' section of the Building Survey or HomeBuyer Report- please note the solicitor doesn't review or comment on any other part of the report. You should speak to your surveyor for further clarification.
  • Order conveyancing searches, advise on additional searches required such as mining and report on the results of the Local Authority Search
  • One bank transfer fee for sending completion money on a purchase
  • Provide a detailed report on the property being purchased based on the information received by the solicitor (Report on Title)
  • Execute exchange of contracts
  • Execute completion
  • File stamp duty land tax return to HMRC
  • Registering the property at the Land Registry
  • (If Leasehold) Paying any service charges and ground rent
  • (If Leasehold) Paying the notice fee to the landlord's solicitor
Our solicitors can help you with more than just standard conveyancing work. Please ask us if you need any help with any of the following:

  • Defective Title - Our solicitor can support you in repairing a defective title for £300 INC VAT (per will);
  • Drafting a will - We can draft you a single will for £180 INC VAT (per will) and a mirror will for £299 INC VAT;
  • Drafting a tenancy agreement - We can draft you an Assured Tenancy Agreement for £299 INC VAT;
  • Drafting a deed of covenant - We can draft you a deed of covenant for £240 INC VAT;
  • Deed of variation to a lease - This work is priced based on the based on what is being varied;
  • Drafting an occupier consent form - We can draft an occupier consent form for £180 INC VAT;
  • Deed of Trust - We can draft a basic deed of trust from £240 INC VAT. Read more about Deed of Trusts
  • Lease Extension - We can help with a lease extension at a cost of £600 INC VAT for a section 42 notice and £720 INC VAT for the registration and reviewing of the new lease. Read more about lease extensions
  • Purchase the freehold - This work is priced based on the number of leaseholders so call for a bespoke quote. Read more about purchasing the freehold

If you would like us to undertake any of the above then we can help. Call us on 0333 344 3234 and we'll provide you with a quote for the additional work.

What do we always include in our quotes as standard?
  • Postage and administration
  • Telephone calls or email replies (read our service agreement between both of us)
  • If the conveyancing takes a long time to exchange
  • Handling gifted deposit enquiries if the money comes from England (as long as we are informed of a gift from the outset. If during the transaction we are informed that there is a gift being used to fund the purchase then we reserve the right to charge a fee of £75 EXC VAT to handle this for you)
  • Receiving money from inside the UK
  • Storage of your file post completion

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Fixed Fee Conveyancing for Selling
What is included?
What isn't included?
  • No Sale No Fee (see terms)
  • Client ID checks
  • Submitting protocol forms for you to complete
  • Preparation of draft contracts
  • Issuing contracts to the buyer's solicitors
  • Reply to legal enquiries
  • (If Leasehold) Obtain leasehold information pack
  • Contacting your mortgage lender and obtaining your redemption statement
  • One bank transfer fee for sending completion money on a purchase
  • Provide a detailed report on the property being purchased based on the information received by the solicitor
  • Execute the exchange of contracts
  • Execute completion
  • Discharge the mortgage
  • Send deeds and other documents to the buyer's solicitor

Our solicitors can help you with more than just standard conveyancing work. Please ask us if you need any help with any of the following:

  • Drafting a will - We can draft you a single will for £180 INC VAT (per will) and a mirror will for £299 INC VAT;
  • Deed of variation to a lease - This work is priced based on the based on what is being varied;
  • Lease Extension - We can help with a lease extension at a cost of £600 INC VAT for a section 42 notice and £720 INC VAT for the registration and reviewing of the new lease. Read more about lease extensions
  • Purchase the freehold - This work is priced based on the number of leaseholders so call for a bespoke quote. Read more about purchasing the freehold

If you would like us to undertake any of the above then we can help. Call us on 0333 344 3234 and we'll provide you with a quote for the additional work.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Fixed Fee Conveyancing?

Fixed fee conveyancing is as it sounds - your property lawyer firm presents you with a quote which is guaranteed to be what you pay on completion with no hidden extras. You request a quote from them, giving them essential details such as whether you're buying a freehold or a leasehold; using a mortgage or buying with cash, how much the property you're buying - or selling - costs and whether you're using a scheme such as Help to Buy or Shared Ownership, and your quote is calculated using these - and possibly other - parameters.

As referred to, you need to research carefully what is covered within the quote, however the best price conveyancing quotes will provide for all the legal services you'll need to complete your purchase. Picture of legal contract indicating that fixed rate conveyancing is fully fixed and contractual

Some firms might charge extra if you're using a gifted deposit as part of a purchase (our solicitors do not), but even in this case, the matter is covered from the outset and your charge is included within the quote you're offered.

Normally you pay a portion of your total bill upfront - your deposit - and you only have to pay the balance of your fees once you've completed.

The advantages are clear: you know how much you have to budget for from the outset and even if things are protracted or become complicated, you don't have to worry about your fees increasing. 

For most services, solicitors charge 'on the clock', which means you have to pay them an hourly rate for their time. This is still the case when you take up an estimated conveyancing quote. There, the potential problem is that although your initial estimate might be lower than for a fixed price conveyancing, it never stays at this initial level as 'extras' are added on as your conveyancing continues.

If your conveyancing encounters any serious complications, such as exhaustive enquiries having to be made, your bill continues to rise, possibly to frightening levels.

So given the sheer number and magnitude of costs involved in buying or selling a home (or both), fixed price conveyancing fees allow you to cap one essential cost and defer having to pay in full for it until your move has completed.

What should a conveyancing quote include as standard?

A conveyancing quote should include, for the fee quoted, all legal work involved in your conveyancing and any standard disbursements.
Disbursements are funds paid to third parties on your behalf. In conveyancing terms, this includes, for example, payment of your land tax to HMRC or transferring your deposit funds to the otherside solicitor for payment to the seller or transferring your purchase funds to a receiving bank.

Fixed Fee Conveyancing Fees
Are fixed conveyancing fees fully fixed?

A quote should be set from the outset to include all the legal services you'll need to complete your conveyancing should be included in your quote and you should end up paying exactly that figure and no more once your move has completed.

Your quote provider should have asked you about all the particular details that make up your particular conveyancing - let's say for example you want to exercise your Right to Buy your council house or buy a shared ownership property - and factored these to provide you with an all-in figure.

You should be aware, however, that conveyancing third party costs can vary. If you're selling a leasehold property, for example, you have to pay for a leasehold pack from your management company and this can vary greatly in price. Your quote never normally covers this kind of fee.

Searches are another common third party cost, however our solicitors can advise you on how much these cost from the outset as well.

From time to time, however, you might need to change the nature of your conveyancing or require a service which you didn't discuss when you first requested a quote. You might, for example, want an additional telegraphic transfer - perhaps to divert the proceeds of a sale to a third party - and you would then be charged a small additional fee.

This occurrence is likely to be very rare, however. The best fsolicitors for buying a home will ensure that, as much as possible, they've found out everything you'll reasonably require at the beginning and your quote will reflect that.

The devil in the detail - how carefully should you check your quote?

Here are some extra charges to watch out for that get added on top of online estimates:

  • One firm quoted £30 extra for an 'HMLR Electronic Application Fee'. What this firm is doing is charging clients £30 extra for updating the Land Registry online. While the LR must be updated and paid for by purchasers in all cases, it is cheaper to do it online than by post - by 50%. It is also relatively simple to do and a standard procedure. At the very least it should form part of the core legal fee quote.
  • Another quoted £20 extra twice for 'Telegraphic Transfer Fees' for both sale and purchase. These are a requirement in every purchase and nearly every sale. Why would the firm not simply include these charges in the core fee?
  • One firm had an item 'E Conveyancer fee' and charged £25 extra for it.
  • One firm charged £23 extra for a 'Lawyer Checker/Lender Monitor'. This is ostensibly to carry out due diligence on the otherside solicitor.

It is a moot point in most scenarios whether a lawyer would need to conduct this check on another professional and in many cases, they will already know either the firm they're dealing with or the conveyancing solicitor or both. Failing this, it's a very simple matter to investigate using the websites of either the Law Society or the Council of Licensed Conveyancers.

Should you use a fixed fee conveyancing solicitor?
I think we all would want to know the exact figure you are going to pay for the legal work without worrying about there being hidden extras.
Picture of someone relaxing after completion, happy that they could budget and benefit from fixed cost conveyancing

Most first time buyers get help from their immediate families - typically via gifted deposits - to buy their homes and their budgets, understandably leave them little room for manoeuvre. It's incredibly risky, with these parameters, to leave their conveyancing bill open-ended and potentially able to rise to ruinous levels without even guaranteeing that the move will complete.

"Hidden in the Terms & Conditions..." - why is it so important to check Ts and Cs?
A look at the Terms and Conditions of many conveyancing solicitors reveals more about how they look to charge extra on top of their up front prices during the course of the transaction.

One firm noted that fees quoted were 'based on a standard residential conveyancing transaction' and gave notice that 'supplementary fees' will be charged according to the individual matter. As there was no ensuing definition of what a standard residential conveyancing transaction is, it leaves room for charging extra, begging the question.

Firms pass on charges they receive from landlords or management companies (for leasehold properties) to you but beyond stating that they do this, many do not set out whether they add an additional charge on top.

Other extras - what else can you be charged for?
Costs such as photocopying and postage are usually deemed to be just normal overheads of running a law firm. Should a case require copying many documents, such as more than 1000 pages and ensuing postage charges, it is reasonable for the firm to make a charge for these.

Some solicitor firms have been known to impose additional charges for relatively small amounts of photocopying, scanning and postage. Once again, the fixed fee concept comes into question.

It is best practice from the outset for a firm of fixed fee conveyancing solicitors to ask as many questions required to formulate an accurate quote. It is perfectly reasonable, for example, to expect to pay more for leasehold conveyancing and cases involving a mortgage because these require more work, but this should be clearly shown in the breakdown of the quote.

How do you avoid being unexpectedly overcharged?

  • Regard any lack of transparency as a definite 'red flag' when comparing quotes.
  • Examine the individual items on the quote and if you have any doubts, ask the firm at least to explain why an item is on the quote.
  • At least a cursory glance at the Terms & Conditions is also to be recommended. If words indicate that you may be charged for something, you probably will.

Despite some firms stretching the definition of what constitutes a fixed quote, we would still say that in all cases you are better off with one. Unfixed quotes, most often advertised with a ridiculously low teaser starting figure, give you no transparent information for comparison with other quotes and you will make yourself a hostage to fortune - as well as a potentially heart-stoppingly large final bill.

Do I need fixed price conveyancing near me?
It's reasonable to think of looking for a local solicitor to handle your conveyancing, i.e. by looking purely on your local high street for fixed price conveyancing solicitors rather than searching online for fixed rate conveyancing. However there are considerable advantages to searching online for quotes. The fact is that you'll be able to get instant quotes delivered by email when you search online and you can easily search for reviews with which to make further comparisons between firms. Additionally your local high street solicitor, if they are 'worth their salt', will already have an online presence; find their website and it saves you walking around unnecessarily.
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