It is possible to save hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds on the average conveyancing cost of buying and selling your home. However, you do have to know the right questions to ask, or your initial cheap quote could turn into a thumping big bill.
Compared with the fees charged by estate agents, conveyancing charges are an absolute bargain ( a point that was recently mentioned by the law society president ).
Get a number of conveyancing quotes
You should always get at least two three quotes for conveyancing fees. Do not automatically plump for the solicitor 'recommended' by the estate agent. If you do, check whether they are paying the agent a fee and get the answer in writing. A personal recommendation from an unbiased friend or colleague is a better way to find a conveyancing lawyer or, alternatively, do some research on the web.
Never instruct online – always call
Your initial contact will usually be by telephone. Comparing quotes is not for the faint-hearted, not least because you have to give some conveyancing solicitors the third degree to wheedle out of them what you will actually end up paying.
Many conveyancing solicitors include the conveyancing work on the mortgage in their fees. Always ask if this is the case, as some lesser-known lenders will employ only their own conveyancing solicitors. You then end up paying two sets of conveyancing fees, which can be very costly.
Extra conveyancing fees
Conveyancing fees will have VAT added and you will also have to pay extra for standard conveyancing disbursements such as conveyancing searches and stamp duty.
Always get a quote in writing
One final bit of advice: get all the conveyancing firm to confirm the figures in writing. And remember, cheapest is by no means best. You want someone who will return your phone calls, is not always out at meetings, and who knows one end of a lease from another.