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If you need a Colchester Solicitor please call us on Colchester (01206) 322763

About fees and costs

We are always happy to have a FREE preliminary discussion without any commitment and give quotes for conveyancing and other services again without charge or commitment.

We will email you a quote the same day if required or post a quote to you.

Here is some information about CONVEYANCING COSTS.

Property Sale Costs:

Apart from the Solicitor's own fees and VAT, a property sale will usually involve the following:

  • Land Registry title information and plan - £8
  • Leasehold properties – freehold title information - £8
  • Bank transfer fee to repay any mortgage - £30 (This is the fee charged by Mather & Co. Other firms may charge more).

Property purchase costs

Apart from the Solicitor's own fees and VAT, a property purchase will usually involve the following:

(1) Searches - these include local searches (about £90 or more depending on the local authority); a drainage search (about £50); an Enviro Search (about £55); a planning search (about £29); a flood search (about £24) and a chancel check (£18).

Full information about these searches and what they are for will be provided once you instruct a Solicitor.

You can look on local authority websites usually under "land searches" for the exact fee or Google any of these search names to get further information. A good source of information is www.geodesys.com.

(2) Land Registry and bankruptcy searches – these cost respectively £4 and £1 per name searched. The Land Registry search is carried out before completion takes place to make sure nothing else has found its way onto the title since the title information was originally supplied by the seller's Solicitors. The bankruptcy search is carried out for the mortgage lender to make sure that a buyer or buyers is/are not bankrupt.

3) A bank transfer fee to remit the purchase money to the seller's Solicitors at completion - £30 (This is the fee charged by Mather & Co. Other firms may charge more)

Stamp Duty Land Tax – more commonly called stamp duty. The rates based on the property purchase price are as follows;

Over £125,000 up to£250,000 1%
Over£250,000 up to£500,000 3%
Over£500,000 up to£1,000,000 4%
Over £1,000,00 up to £2,000,000 5%
Over £2,000,000   7%

Some buyers including companies purchasing for over £2,000,000 will have to pay 15%.

The SDLT is payable at the above rates on the WHOLE purchase price.

Some properties in disadvantaged areas are exempt up to and including £150,000. There are not many such areas. It is possible to make a post code search on the internet. Google "disadvantaged areas stamp duty" to find the HMRC website.

(5) Land Registry fees – at the end of your purchase, the transaction will have to be registered at the Land Registry. The rates charged are as follows based on the purchase price:

£ £  
0 50,000 50
50,000 80,000 80
80,001 100,000 130
100,001 200,000 200
200,001 500,000 280
500,001 1,000,000 550
1,000,000 and over   920

(5) When buying a leasehold property, you may also have to pay (i) a fee on completion for giving notice to the landlords or managing agents that you are the new owner and relating to your new mortgage and (ii) an apportioned figure for rent/service charge up to the next payment date.

Also though less common, some leases require new owners to enter into a Deed of Covenant and fees sometimes arise for that and also in some cases for registering to become a member of or shareholder in a management company if there is one and/or to remove a restriction from the Land Registry designed to ensure compliance with the Lease. These and the notice fee at (i) above depend on the terms of the Lease, who the managing agents are and the level of charges which they impose.

If there is a separate management company, and the landlord and management company have separate managing agents, then some of the above fees maybe doubled up.

Some firms quote a very low fee for the basic sale or purchase and then embellish upon it by adding other charges, for example for dealing with the mortgage repayment (if any), dealing with the new mortgage (if any), dealing with the stamp duty form (usually necessary even if no stamp duty is payable), a contribution towards their insurance costs and a contribution towards general expenses (photocopy, telephone charges, postage - often referred to as "petty disbursements"). Mather & Co's approach is much simpler with a single fee being quoted covering all these things.

Reasons to use a good local firm of solicitors for your conveyancing

Some firms of both Solicitors but mainly conveyancers deal with conveyancing on a “production line” or “factory” basis. They don’t operate like traditional firms of Solicitors and it is important to appreciate their limitations.

Disadvantages of dealing with these types of firms are:

  • Quotes obtainable on the internet may offer unrealistically low fees. They may not in practice adhere to the quotes given, and if they do…

  • The extremely low fees are likely to lead to very poor quality work, delays and poor communication.

  • They can be very difficult to deal with, with clients often only dealing directly with staff of low seniority and little experience. Staff may be transient, changing from day to day.

  • They may be geographically remote being hundreds of miles away as a result of which…

  • You couldn't see the people acting for you or be able to collect documents or drop them off leading to postal delays.

  • They may operate rigid practices and a “tick box” mentality which they are not prepared depart from.

  • As a result of the distance and rigid practices, they may take a long time to get a case moving.

  • They may often be “recommended” by agents or be in the same company group as the agents and as a result their fees may be higher than instructing a local firm because of the referral fees paid to the agents or the reliance on a stream of work from the agents.

  • They may take on cases which they can't ultimately cope with such as sales or purchases of part of a property and then the client would have to go elsewhere.

While conveyancing “factories” may get the job of “routine” conveyancing transactions done in the end, this may be in spite of not because of the service they offer, and the process can be extremely upsetting for the clients and very frustrating for the Solicitors firm working on the other side creating additional unnecessary work for them.

Wills and Probate Fees

The reasons for seeing a Solicitor to make your Will and not using an unqualified Will-making firms or trying to write your own Will are given in the section about Wills & Probate.

Most Solicitors' fees for making a Will are not large and certainly not significantly larger than Will-making firms and it is entirely a false economy to choose not to instruct a Solicitor.

A quote for making your Will can be given immediately over the telephone and Gillian will come to your home if necessary to see you if you can't get to the office.

The reasons for seeing a Solicitor to deal with PROBATE matters are also given in the section about Wills & Probate.

The fees charged for probate matters will inevitably depend on the value of the estate and the assets involved and quotes have to be given on a case by case basis. People are often put off by Solicitors saying they will charge for the work on an hourly basis with sometimes imprecise estimates of how much this is likely to amount to in total. Often fees are estimated in terms of thousands of pounds which people may find very off-putting.

However Mather & Co are usually willing to quote a fixed fee after finding out about the case and will only depart from it if a case becomes more difficult or protracted for some reason outside Mather & Co's control such as beneficiaries failing to reach agreement on issues.

Also Mather & Co are willing in appropriate cases and where there is no inheritance tax involved to limit the work carried out to obtaining the Grant of Probate (or Grant of Letters of Administration if there is no Will) and leave the remainder of the winding up of the estate to the executors.

The fee charged for this service is about £400 to £500 plus VAT and disbursements depending on the case.

Please click here to see the benefits of using a good local firm of solicitors.

Lasting Power of Attorney

Solicitors' fees range from about £350 upwards plus VAT to make a Lasting Power of Attorney which will depend upon the circumstances of the case.

There are fees to register the Power of Attorney at the Office of the Public Guardian. These fees may be reduced or eliminated if a person is on a low income or state benefits.

Please click here for reasons to use a good local firm of solicitors for your conveyancing.

For affordable solicitors who provide an excellent service, call us on 0120 632 2763


Please click here for reasons to use a good local firm of solicitors for your conveyancing.