How much are solicitors’ fees for selling a house?

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When selling a property, solicitors play a crucial role in ensuring that the legal aspects of the transaction are handled efficiently and accurately.

They are responsible for drafting contracts, conducting title searches, liaising with the buyer’s solicitor, and overseeing the transfer of ownership. Given the complexity of the process, solicitors charge fees for their services, which can vary depending on several factors.

What are solicitor fees? 

Solicitor fees are the charges levied by legal professionals for their expertise and services rendered during the sale of a property. These fees generally increase as the value of the property rises, reflecting the additional work and complexity involved in higher-value transactions.

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On average, solicitor fees can range from 0.5% to 1.5% of the property’s sale price, with the most expensive fees typically associated with high-end properties or those with intricate legal considerations.

What are the different types of fees?

A solicitor’s fees typically comprise several components, including:

  • Legal fees: These are the base charges for the solicitor’s time and expertise in handling the conveyancing process, drafting contracts, and addressing legal matters

  • Disbursements: These are third-party expenses incurred by the solicitor on the client’s behalf, such as Land Registry fees, search fees, and bank transfer charges
a solicitor who is processing dispursements
  • Additional charges: Some solicitors may levy additional fees for specific services, such as dealing with leasehold properties, handling complex title issues, or addressing environmental or planning concerns.

What may a solicitor charge?

  • Drafting contracts
  • Responding to enquiries
  • Investigating issues
  • Exchanging contracts
  • Handling the transfer of funds
  • Communicating with the buyer’s solicitor
  • Approving the deed of transfer
  • Obtaining title deeds
  • Acting as the recipient of the deposit

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After the completion of these tasks, the solicitor will provide a comprehensive breakdown of the fees, disbursements, and any additional charges incurred during the sale process.

How solicitor fees are calculated

When calculating solicitor fees for selling a house, the process typically involves the following steps:

  • 1. Initial consultation: The solicitor will meet with the seller to gather information about the property, discuss any potential complications, and assess the scope of work involved.

  • 2. Quoting fees: Based on the property’s value, location, and any anticipated complexities, the solicitor will provide a quote for their services. This quote may include a breakdown of legal fees, disbursements, and any additional charges.

a solicitor keeping the buyer informed
  • 3. Confirmation of instructions: Once the seller agrees to the quoted fees, the solicitor will request formal instructions and any necessary documentation to commence the conveyancing process.

  • 4. Regular updates: Throughout the sale process, the solicitor will keep the seller informed of any developments, additional costs, or issues that may arise, adjusting the fees accordingly.
  • 5. Final invoice: Upon completion of the sale, the solicitor will provide a comprehensive final invoice detailing all the fees, disbursements, and additional charges incurred during the transaction.

It’s important to note that solicitors may offer different fee structures, such as fixed fees or hourly rates, depending on their individual practices and the complexity of the sale. Transparent communication with the solicitor from the outset is crucial to understanding and anticipating the total costs involved in selling a property.

What is the average solicitor fee?

The average solicitor fee for selling a house can vary significantly depending on the property’s value. Here’s a table that provides an estimate of the average solicitor fees for selling freehold and leasehold properties across different price ranges in the UK:

Property Value Average Solicitor Fee
Selling Freehold
Average Solicitor Fee
Selling Leasehold
£601,000 – £700,000 £1,600 £1,770
£501,000 – £600,000 £1,390 £1,550
£401,000 – £500,000 £1,160 £1,340
£301,000 – £400,000 £1,090 £1,260
£201,000 – £300,000 £1,000 £1,170
£100,001 – £200,000 £880 £1,050
Up to £100,000 £820 £990

It’s important to note that these figures are estimates and the table only provides a general guideline. It’s always advisable to obtain quotes from multiple solicitors to get an accurate estimate of the fees for your specific situation.

Why do leaseholds command higher solicitor fees than freeholds?

Leasehold properties often entail more complex legal processes compared to freehold properties, hence solicitors typically charge higher fees for handling leasehold transactions.

Additionally, leasehold properties often require more extensive due diligence to uncover any potential issues or restrictions tied to the lease, ensuring clients are adequately informed before proceeding.

Therefore, the increased time and expertise required for navigating leasehold agreements contribute to the higher solicitor fees associated with these transactions in the UK.

an estate agent who charges more for leaseholds

What is the average solicitor fee in London?

In London, where property values are generally higher than the national average, solicitor fees tend to be more expensive. This is primarily due to the higher cost of living and operating expenses in the capital. However, it’s important to note that higher fees do not necessarily equate to better service or expertise.

Read more about how solicitors work in the UK

While solicitors in London may charge more, it’s essential to conduct thorough research and compare quotes from multiple firms to ensure you’re receiving value for money.

Some estimates suggest that solicitor fees in London can be up to 20% higher than the national average, with an average fee ranging from £1,200 to £1,800 for a property valued between £300,000 and £500,000.

It’s crucial to remember that a solicitor’s location should not be the sole determining factor when choosing a legal professional. Factors such as their experience, reputation, and ability to handle complex transactions should also be carefully considered.

What is the average solicitor fee in the UK?

On a national level, the average solicitor fee for selling a house in the UK can vary widely depending on the property’s value and location but the average price of a property is £284,691. This means most people will pay £1,090 for a freehold or £1,260 for a leasehold property as a general estimate.

It’s worth emphasizing that when it comes to legal matters, such as selling a property, it’s advisable to prioritise quality over cost. While budget constraints are understandable, compromising on legal expertise can lead to costly mistakes or oversights during the conveyancing process.

Female solicitor in the uk

If you require genuine legal advice or assistance with selling your property, it’s recommended to:

  • conduct thorough research
  • obtain multiple quotes
  • choose a solicitor or firm that fits within your budget
  • Choose a solicitor that has handled similar transactions.

A reputable and experienced solicitor can provide invaluable guidance, ensuring that the sale process is completed smoothly and legally, ultimately protecting your interests and minimizing potential risks.

Is it mandatory to have a solicitor?

While it is not legally mandatory to hire a solicitor when buying or selling a property in the UK, it is highly recommended due to the complex nature of the process.

When buying a house

When purchasing a property, it is advisable to hire a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the transaction.

The solicitor’s fees are usually paid in two instalments: an initial deposit upon instructing the solicitor, and the remaining balance upon completion of the sale. It is essential to obtain a detailed quote from the solicitor beforehand to understand the full extent of the fees and any additional charges that may apply.

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When selling a house

Similarly, when selling a property, it is recommended to engage the services of a solicitor or conveyancer.

The solicitor’s fees for the seller are generally lower than those for the buyer, as the legal responsibilities and workload are somewhat reduced. However, it is still advisable to obtain quotes from multiple solicitors to ensure you are getting a fair and competitive rate.

Can you hire a conveyancer instead?

Yes, it is possible to hire a conveyancer instead of a solicitor for property transactions in the UK. The main difference between a conveyancer and a solicitor lies in their qualifications and scope of practice.

Get more information about the difference between a conveyancer and solicitor

Conveyancers are specialised in handling property transactions and the legal aspects of transferring ownership. They typically have lower overheads and can offer more competitive fees compared to solicitors.

However, conveyancers do not have the same broad legal expertise as solicitors and may not be equipped to handle complex legal issues that extend beyond the conveyancing process.

Solicitors, on the other hand, are fully qualified legal professionals who can handle a wide range of legal matters, including property transactions. While their fees may be higher, they offer a more comprehensive legal service.

What to look for when hiring a solicitor 

When hiring a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of selling your property, it is essential to consider several factors:

  • Accreditation: Look for solicitors who are members of professional organizations, such as the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) or the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. These accreditations indicate that the solicitor adheres to high professional standards.
accreditation for a solicitor in the uk
  • Communication: Clear and effective communication is crucial during the sale process. Choose a solicitor who is responsive, easy to contact, and keeps you updated throughout the transaction.
  • Transparency: A reputable solicitor should be upfront and transparent about their fees, including any potential disbursements or additional charges that may arise. Ensure you understand the fee structure and payment terms before engaging their services.
  • Recommendations and reviews: Seek recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have had positive experiences with solicitors. Additionally, read online reviews to gauge the experiences of other clients.
  • Local knowledge: While not mandatory, a solicitor with extensive knowledge of the local property market and regulations can be advantageous, particularly in areas with unique legal or planning considerations.
a solicitor in the london area

Are there any extra legal fees to consider?

In addition to the solicitor’s fees, there may be other legal fees and charges to consider when selling a property. These include:

  • Land Registry fees: These fees are payable to the Land Registry for transferring ownership and obtaining official documents
Get further tips about using the land registry as a landlord
  • Search fees: Your solicitor may need to conduct various searches, such as local authority searches or environmental searches, which incur additional costs.
  • Bank transfer fees: Some banks or building societies may charge a fee for transferring large sums of money during the sale process.
  • Leasehold fees: If you are selling a leasehold property, there may be additional fees associated with obtaining the necessary documentation and complying with the terms of the lease.
  • EPC costs: legally, all properties in England, wales and Northern Ireland must have an EPC reading available to buyers. It costs money to bring an energy performance assessor to a property. You can start your search for an assessor on the government website here.

Cozee’s recommendation on solicitors 

At Cozee Properties, we understand the importance of choosing the right solicitor to handle the legal aspects of your property sale.

Find a solicitor near you recommended by Cozee

To assist our clients, we have compiled a list of recommended solicitors across various areas of London, taking into consideration their experience, reputation, and local knowledge.


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