Cheap Conveyancing For Home Buyers

May 24, 2012

Many firms now offer cheap conveyancing deals to tempt homebuyers to use their services. Cheap conveyancing deals which actually offer the services you require are not impossible to find – but it involve a little more research than simply obtaining a comparison quote or opting for a cheap conveyancing deal online, which might turn out to cost a lot more than you bargained for. Conveyancing is a process which happens in set stages – but at each stage there are costs involved and extra work may be required to answer queries or deal with unexpected problems. Knowing what to expect at each stage of the process can help homebuyers find the best cheap conveyancing deal, so make sure you know what should be happening at each stage of the process.

The Cost of Conveyancing

The conveyancing process for homebuyers starts once an offer on a property has been accepted.  An information pack is then sent to the purchaser’s conveyancer or solicitor, who begins the searches and reads the draft contract with a view to exchanging contracts once the survey and the searches have proved satisfactory. Once this has occurred, completion is the next stage, when monies will be transferred and the property will be registered in the new owner’s name at the Land Registry.

Even a cheap conveyancing quote should ideally include as many costs as possible, including:

Conveyancers’ fees – charged hourly or as a set rate(must be a set rate for best deal)

Disbursements –for example, Stamp Duty, Land Registry fees and the various searches required, including:

  • Local searches (eg mines, wells, underground streams, rights of way)
  • Local Authority (planning applications)
  • Bankruptcy (in case the property has a charge on it)
  • Environmental Search (toxic sites, power stations, polluted rivers).

On top of these costs, there may be additional costs and it is as well to make sure your solicitor or conveyancer keeps you advised of these as they accrue, including:

  • Administration relating to the lease if the property is leasehold – including photocopying, reading it and answering any queries
  • Bank transfer fees
  • Completing official forms
  • Contribution to solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance
  • Photocopying charges
  • Postage and telephone calls.
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The more queries you have during the process, the more likelihood there is that your cheap conveyancing will turn out to be far from it (unless you agree a fixed legal fee before hand) – and some unscrupulous professionals may actually try and increase the costs to boost profits or their reputations as a fee earner in their company, so be aware of any extra costs you might have to pay for.

Online Conveyancing for Home Buyers – the cheapest option?

Online conveyancing may seem to be the cheapest form of conveyancing around – with deals from as little as £99 plus VAT available.

  • Online conveyancing cuts out the need to meet with your conveyancer so there are no charges for time consuming meetings
  • There is also no need to schedule in meetings and as most legal documents are now online the electronic conveyancing process can be much faster unless you hit a snag
  • The other benefit of online conveyancing is that homebuyers can check their progress 24/7.

Note: Leases and historical deeds if the purchase property is listed may not be online, so there may be charges for obtain, photocopying and processing these – check when you obtain your conveyancing quote.

Some cheap conveyancing operations are run from call centres – or even by estate agents, who may recommend homebuyers to their own conveyancing services without customers being aware of the link. If you are referred to a conveyancing service by an estate agent, always ask if there is a relationship between the two companies.

The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) has been set up to accredit conveyancing solicitors, so for added protection from fraud or unscrupulous cut-price conveyancing firms, look for a cheap conveyancing quote from a CQS member firm.

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Category: Online Conveyancing, Property Conveyancing

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