There are a number of standard disbursements involved when selling a property. Disbursements are payable in addition to your conveyancer’s fees and should all be set out clearly in the initial client care letter you receive at the start of the conveyancing process.
Disbursements in a sale will vary depending on whether the property is freehold or leasehold.
When the conveyancer prepares the pre-contract package to send to the buyer’s Property Solicitor or conveyancer at the start of the transaction, they must include up to date official copies of the freehold Title Register and filed plan held at Land Registry (which presently costs £16). This will prove that the seller owns the property and will also show details of any legal Charges or Notices registered against the title.
Official copies of Deeds
Occasionally the seller does not have all the deeds in his possession in which case he may be required to produce official copies of Transfers, Leases, Conveyances or any other deeds. Copies can be obtained from Land Registry and cost approximately £10 to £20 depending on the type of deed that is required
Estate Agents Fees
If you are selling through an estate agent, the agent will require a fee to be paid on completion of the sale. The fee is usually a percentage of the sale price although this may vary. A fee agreement is signed by the seller when the estate agent is instructed, agreeing to payment of their fees on completion. Conveyancers will usually settle the agent’s fees out of the sale proceeds.
Energy Performance Certificate
HIPs packs were suspended by the new government at the end of May this year. However, the EPC element of the HIPs pack remains a legal requirement and an EPC must be obtained within 28 days of the property being marketed. (Fridaysmove offer the cheapest standalone EPC, as reported in Which July 2010 issue, so if you require an EPC click here. )
Telegraphic Transfer fee(s)
This fee relates to bank charges for the telegraphic transfer (TT) of funds. If you require the balance of the sale proceeds to be paid to you by bank transfer then you will have to pay a TT fee. If you have a mortgage to redeem then another TT fee will need to be paid.
For leasehold properties official copies of both the leasehold and freehold title must be produced and those relating to any intermediary landlords.
Managing Agents Pack
If the property is leasehold the buyer will expect a Managing Agent’s pack to be supplied and paid for by the seller. This pack contains information about the property, including service charges, ground rent, major works, company accounts information, etc. . The fees are usually around £200 - £280.
If a Notice of Assignment is required then the seller is generally required to pay the associated costs including the landlord’s legal fees.
Payment of Disbursements
Your conveyancer may ask you for an initial payment on account which must be paid once you instruct them. This will cover the costs of the initial disbursements, e.g. fees for the Managing Agent's pack. It is common practice for the conveyancer to take out their fees and pay all other disbursements out of the sale proceeds on completion. This includes redeeming your mortgage if you have one.
Now that Home Information Packs have been abolished the disbursements incurred by the seller are a few hundred pounds less than they were before.