What is the Average Cost of a Solicitor When Buying a House?

Solicitors fees can make a big difference to your house-moving budget. Being aware of what you’re paying for helps you feel more at ease about the costs involved.

On average, solicitors fees involved in the professional exchange of properties cost around £2,339 per person; this includes both the solicitor’s legal fee and any conveyancing disbursements. However, these figures may vary depending on individual circumstances and the type of house being purchased.


Solicitor fees are an integral part of the home-buying process. They cover their time and legal work, so it’s wise to shop around before selecting one.

The average cost of a solicitor will vary based on the type of property you purchase, whether it is freehold or leasehold, its value, and whether or not you have a mortgage.

Additional fees can be added to your conveyancer’s basic fee, such as the ‘Help-to-Buy ISA’ charge which is a statutory requirement. Make sure this charge is included in the quote you receive and reflected as an extra disbursement or added onto their basic charge.

Your conveyancing firm must cover a few additional costs out of their own pocket, such as searches and stamp duty. These should be clearly included in their quote to you.

In addition, your solicitor may need to pay out third parties for services like an estate agent. These costs should be clearly outlined in the quote and paid from sales proceeds when you finish your purchase.

Some firms will attempt to trick you into believing they offer a low price by concealing additional costs and disbursements in their small print. Doing this can be a costly mistake, resulting in you paying more than necessary.

When seeking a quote online, be sure to review the fee breakdown and disbursements included in it. If any disbursements are missing from the quote, it would be wise to decline it.

Once you know your budget, you can shop around for a conveyancer who offers excellent service at an affordable price. Some firms even provide a ‘no-sale, no-fee’ guarantee so that you won’t be held liable if the transaction falls through.

If you want to know the average cost of a conveyancer, it is best to get quotes from several solicitors and compare them. Some solicitors charge a percentage of your property value while others have a fixed fee.

Conveyancing disbursements

Conveyancing disbursements are payments made to third parties on your behalf by your solicitor as part of the home-buying process. They usually appear as additional costs on your bill and can come as a shock when received.

When purchasing a house, always ensure your conveyancing quote includes all disbursements so you are aware of exactly what you’re paying for. They should be clearly listed in the quote; if not included, be sure to ask your solicitor before agreeing to work together.

Make sure the price you are quoted for conveyancing service includes all costs of the work needed, as some disbursements can be expensive if not included. Be certain of what disbursements your solicitor will charge you so you can budget appropriately and avoid any unpleasant surprises later on in the process.

Some disbursements are specific to certain property types, so it’s essential that you determine what they will be. For instance, if purchasing a leasehold property, your solicitor needs to order relevant searches that should be included in your quote and added onto your final invoice for repayment once the deal closes.

Disbursements are not always fixed costs and may vary based on the size of your purchase. To find the most competitive deal possible, it’s wise to shop around and get multiple quotes.

One disbursement to be mindful of when selling your house is the bank transfer fee. You’ll have to pay this in addition to any legal fees charged by your conveyancer, which typically range from PS20-PS100 plus VAT.

Finally, you may have to pay for a Chancel Liability Search which provides information regarding whether the land being sold is subject to church upkeep. This fee ranges from PS20-PS100 plus VAT and should be included in your solicitor’s quote.

Stamp duty

When purchasing a house, it is essential to budget for all associated costs – particularly stamp duty. This tax must be paid and your solicitor can arrange payment on your behalf; however, if not paid on time, you could face heavy fines and additional fees.

Stamp duty costs vary based on the property you’re buying and its location. It could even differ if the building is part residential and part commercial. Therefore, getting a valuation for any such property that includes both residential and commercial elements is essential in calculating how much stamp duty should be paid.

If you’re a first-time buyer, stamp duty on your purchase may not be applicable. There are exceptions, so be sure to consult with your lawyer for all the details.

It’s worth noting that tax isn’t included in a mortgage loan; therefore, you should set aside money before buying a house so it can be transferred to your solicitor along with all other funds prior to closing on the transaction.

As a general guideline, you can expect to pay 1% on residential property purchases up to EUR1 million and 2% above that. Different rates apply for non-residential properties. There are some exemptions such as first time buyers and those who have lived in their property for less than four years.

There are various remissions, exemptions and reliefs that can reduce your stamp duty bill. These vary by state but typically depend on local property prices.

New South Wales offers a special scheme that provides an exemption of $800,000 for residential property and $1 million for industrial. There are also stamp duty remissions and exemptions available to healthcare card holders, Indigenous people, pensioners, farmers and other individuals who purchase their own property.

It is essential to note that if you fail to pay your stamp duty within 30 days, HMRC may charge interest on the outstanding amount. There will be no appeal available against this decision so make sure to pay on time.


Solicitors are an essential factor when purchasing a house, as they guarantee the legal transfer of ownership and ensure all paperwork is in order. Finding an experienced conveyancer with the necessary skillset and experience is key for making this part of the process as straightforward as possible for you.

When purchasing a house, the fees charged by your solicitor will depend on the type of property and complexity. On average, conveyancing fees range from PS500 to PS1,500 plus VAT depending on which solicitor you select and their level of expertise in the field.

Other factors which influence the cost of your solicitor’s fees, such as the property price and how involved you are in the transaction, will also factor into consideration. For instance, if using your lifetime or help-to-buy ISA, additional work needs to be done on your behalf by the lawyer which adds to their bill.

It is essential to get a quote from your solicitor beforehand so you don’t get hit with any unexpected fees or costs. Therefore, request several quotes from different firms and have each one in writing, along with an itemized breakdown of disbursements – third party costs your solicitor must pay on your behalf (we’ll discuss these in more detail later).

You could also look for a firm that provides ‘no sale, no fee’ conveyancing, which means you won’t have to pay any fees if your sale falls through. However, it’s worth remembering that some solicitors still charge either a percentage of the agreed fee or even the full amount if your sale collapses very late in the process.

Final Tip: Make sure your solicitor is a member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Panel. This professional body sets standards for quality and expertise within conveyancing, so many top firms will belong to this network. Doing so guarantees you’re working with an incredibly qualified and experienced individual.