How do I get a quote?
You just need to ask! Most solicitor/estate agents will be prepared to provide you with a written break-down of the cost of selling your property. We just need a few details to enable us to provide you with the most accurate quote, particularly when it comes to the conveyancing/legal part of the process.
There are quite a few governmental charges involved in selling a property and these vary depending on, for example, whether you have a mortgage on the property. Once we have that information, we can send you a quote by email, usually the same day.
What’s the difference between conveyancing and estate agency?
Estate agency is the process of marketing your property for sale and negotiating the sale of your property. Estate agents can be solicitors and they can also be non-solicitors.
Conveyancing is the legal process for transferring ownership of the property from one person to another. Conveyancing has to be done by a solicitor.
Do I have to pay two conveyancing fees if I’m selling and purchasing?
Yes. They are two separate transactions and they don’t necessarily happen at the exact same time.
What’s in the quote?
The quote from a solicitor/estate agent will contain a breakdown of the following:
- The estate agency fee;
- The legal/conveyancing fee;
- The cost of marketing and advertising materials for the property (for example Solicitors Property Centre costs or newspaper advertising);
- Governmental and other third party charges relating to the legal/conveyancing work;
- VAT on a lot of the above elements.
You’ll also be able to use the Home Report as a guide to whether the asking price is reasonable. The Home Report contains a survey by a chartered surveyor. This is similar to the valuation survey that you or your lender would obtain if you are getting a mortgage, prior to you making your purchase. It’s only one surveyor’s view of what the property is worth and your surveyor might value the property higher or lower than the Home Report, but it’s a useful starting point.
So what am I getting a quote for?
The fees for selling your house vary dramatically from one solicitor or estate agent to another. You don’t want any nasty surprises when you finally sell your property, so getting a full break-down of costs in advance helps you to avoid getting a shock at the end.
How much should I be paying for solicitor and estate agency services? Does it matter how expensive it is?
This really depends on what you are looking for. Most charge a fee based on a percentage of the selling price. Some others will charge a fixed fee. Those percentages or fixed fees can vary hugely, with some solicitor/estate agents charging as little as 0.3% estate agency fees and others charging as much as 1.5%.
The conveyancing fees can also vary quite dramatically with some firms still charging per hour of work and most others charging a flat fee. We believe that it does matter how much you spend: you surely want to end up with the most money in your own pocket at the end of your property sale!
Why am I being supplied with a quote? Is the price I pay likely to vary from the quote?
The quote should be an accurate reflection of what you end up paying. However, the more detail that you get at the outset about fee levels and what you are likely to be charged for throughout the process, the most likely you are to end up paying what you expect.
Sometimes exceptional circumstances will dictate that, particularly at the conveyancing stage, extra charges or fees are required for matters that don’t usually occur in the course of a conveyancing transaction. At the estate agency stage of the process when you are marketing your property, you might want additional advertising after a few weeks or to order additional schedules and these will of course be charged for. However, this should all be laid-out in the quote and Terms of Business/Contract that you are sent.
Will I get a better service from a more expensive solicitor or estate agent?
The old adage that ‘you get what you pay for’ isn’t necessarily true in this field, in our opinion! Fees vary wildly between solicitor/estate agents. As a potential client, you have to balance saving a couple of hundred pounds with getting a service that you trust to get you the best price for your property sale or, on the other hand, spending a small fortune with no guarantee that the very expensive agent will get you a higher price.