Legal fees for Buying a House



For many first-time buyers, the additional costs involved in legal fees for buying a house can come as a shock. Just when you’ve saved enough to put down a deposit on your first home, you have to find more money for legal fees.

From solicitor fees and conveyancing to searches, Land Registry and stamp duty costs — not to mention any unforeseen expenses — there are always additional fees involved in purchasing a property.

The average legal fees for buying a house can vary depending on several factors, including the value of the house, the age, condition and location of the property, and whether you use a solicitor or a legal conveyancer.

Breakdown of Legal Expenses

“Legal fees” can sound vague and intimidating, so let’s break it down. The average legal fees for buying a house can include:

Solicitor fees and conveyancing charges

Conveyancing is the term we use for the legal process of purchasing and transferring ownership of a property. This is carried out by a legal professional, who could be a solicitor or a legal conveyancer. 

Conveyancing fees are normally a fixed cost, which the HomeOwnersAlliance estimates to be between £500-£1,150, depending on factors such as the solicitor’s location, the value of the property, and whether it is a leasehold or freehold property.


You will also need to pay additional “disbursements” to the solicitor or conveyancer. Disbursements are additional fees which are charged by third parties for checks and searches that the solicitor or conveyancer carries out on your behalf. 

Disbursements may include:

  • Search fees for local authority and environmental checks
  • Checks against money-laundering and property fraud
  • Land Registry fees for title deeds and transferring ownership
  • Stamp duty costs
  • Financial fees for things like bank transfers, telegraphic transfers, and the paperwork around gifted deposits, ISAs and help-to-buy schemes
  • Additional fees and checks involved in purchasing a leasehold property
  • Any other potential unforeseen expenses and issues with the property.

Factors Influencing Legal Costs

How much are solicitor fees to buy a house? Well, how long’s a piece of string?

As outlined above, the property type, location and complexity of the transaction can affect the legal fees. For example, properties near a floodplain or coal mine may require more extensive checks and searches, as may period properties.

The location of your legal professional, and whether you decide to use a solicitor or a legal conveyancer can also affect the fees paid.

Understanding the Role of Solicitors and Conveyancers

A solicitor or conveyancer handles the legal aspects of buying (or selling) a property.

They handle much of the administrative work and legal obligations on your behalf, from communicating with the other solicitor and your mortgage lender to dealing with contracts, handling searches and Land Registry, and legally transferring ownership of the property.

A good solicitor or conveyancer will keep you informed throughout the process of purchasing your home, whilst they manage the complexities of searches, contracts, taxes, and bank transfers.

Budgeting and Planning

The best way to budget for your legal fees is to get quotes from a few local solicitors and conveyancers. Your estate agent or mortgage lender may be able to recommend someone, and may also be able to advise you of an estimated budget or additional considerations for the type of property you are looking at.


Legal fees for buying a house are about more than just the cost of hiring a solicitor or a conveyancer. In addition to your house deposit, you need to consider fees for searches and checks, Land Registry, Stamp Duty and other taxes, financial fees and bank transfers, and any number of additional fees, depending on the property. Make sure you plan for legal expenses when buying a house by reaching out to Home & Manor.


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