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What are the average solicitor fees for buying a house?

Buying your own house is at the top of many people's wish lists. Owning a property that you can truly call your own home is a wonderful thing. It can be a struggle to get onto the property ladder though. Things can be tricky. Mortgage companies might look at your employment status and request to see more details of your finances. Your credit score might not be quite as good as it once was. Perhaps you have to go with a mortgage broker in order to get a deal which wouldn't have been available otherwise. Then you've got the deposit to save up for, all whilst living day to day as well. When you get there though, when it's all gone through and the keys are in your hands. What a feeling that is! You need to make sure everything is above board and legal when you buy a home. So what are the average solicitor fees for buying a house?

Extra charges you may not have thought of.

Before we get onto the average solicitor fees for buying a house, let's look at other charges you might not have even considered. Firstly, there's stamp duty. Right now, the government have abolished stamp duty on properties up to £500k, until 31st March 2021. There are exceptions to this, if you're buying a second home, for example. If you're buying after that time though, you'll have to pay stamp duty. If your property is under £125k, you'll pay nothing. After that it jumps up in increments. It's worth looking at a stamp duty calculator to figure out how much you'll have to pay. You might also need to pay a valuation fee and a surveyors fee.

Then there's getting your deposit together. The fee for arranging your mortgage, booking your mortgage and a mortgage valuation fee too. There might even be a £50 electronic transfer fee to cover the lenders transferring your mortgage money to the solicitor. If you end up moving, you might need to pay for a removal company. Then when you are moved in you might have increased bills such as council tax, insurance and day to day utility bills. 

average solicitor fees for buying a house

What does a solicitor do when you're buying a house?

What does a solicitor actually do when you're buying a property? Exactly what is their role? They have numerous responsibilities which they do on your behalf. You need to be sure that you're happy with the solicitor that you pick, because the first question you'll get asked when you put in an offer on a house you want to buy, is the details of said solicitor. What they do is give legal advice, handle the contracts and carry out local council searches on the property in question. They'll also sort anything to do with Land Registry and when contract exchange day comes, they'll hit the button to send the money to pay for your new home.

These people do this for a living, day in, day out. They know what to look for in terms of any issues, can guide you through the process with ease and those local searches are important, as anything could come up behind the scenes that you wouldn't ordinarily know. Solicitors are worth their weight in gold when you are buying a house and they take a lot of hassle off your shoulders.

What is the average solicitor fees for buying a house?

The average solicitor fees for buying a house will vary across the country and from solicitor to solicitor. Typical fees sit somewhere between £850 and £1500. This generally includes VAT at 20%.  The searches they do on your behalf will usually cost about £300. A great idea is to enquire with a few different solicitors, finding out their fees. That way you'll not only get a price for their services, you'll also be able to see which company you feel more comfortable with. When you're buying a property you need to feel comfortable. Knowing they have in hand what you need them to have in hand is a stress relief. Check the price you'll be paying and be sure you have accounted for this in your spreadsheet of moving house figures.

average solicitor fees for buying a house

Can you pay less than the average?

Yes, there will be solicitors who charge the lower end of the scale. The one thing to remember though, is that you need to be sure exactly how much you'll pay. Some solicitors will give you a set fee of £1000 for everything involved. Whereas another might charge by the hour. The buy the hour might look like the best option but by the hour can be never-ending. If things crop up, land searches have problems and thee is a lot of back and forth between your solicitor and the sellers solicitor, you could easily end up pay more than you expected! A fixed fee that you're happy with, might be your perfect option.

Other ways to save money when buying a house

Moving house is expensive, we've established that. However, there are ways for you to save money when you move house. You could move your belongings yourself, ideal if you're moving in the same town and you have some friends and family to help. Not so easy if you're moving across the country. Clear out things before you move, meaning you don't need to pay for as much stuff to be shifted. Ask at your supermarket for boxes rather than buying them. Compare quotes of removal companies to get the best deal. Move during the week if possible, as this is usually cheaper for removal companies.

Don't say yes to buildings cover with your mortgage. You can get insurance premiums much cheaper by shopping around and including your contents too. Switch to a new utilities supplier when you move in. The one that is currently active is likely more expensive than you need be paying. Take an evening to update your details so you don't need to pay for postal redirection. Finally on our list, shop second hand store or Facebook marketplace for new furniture. You'll save loads compared to buying brand new! Happy house moving!

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