Moving House? What costs are you likely to be faced with?

If you’re thinking about moving house or finally getting your foot on the property ladder, do you know what charges you’re likely to face, and how much you’re going to have to pay for your conveyancing costs?

Do you know the actual costs of moving house?

The chances are, the answer to that is, “Roughly … but not exactly …”

Most people have a ball park figure in mind when they sign the contract. Most solicitors will give you a fairly accurate break down of the likely costs involved in buying a house. But many people are still surprised when they receive the final bill.

So, to make things a little easier to understand, here is The Harold Stock short guide to property conveyancing costs for prospective buyers.

Conveyancing Costs

Solicitors’ costs for domestic conveyancing are usually broken down into two separate sets of charges: legal fees for the conveyancing work itself, and disbursements, or additional anticipated expenses that will arise during the course of the transfer of ownership:

  • Legal fees: (legal fees typical range from approximately £350 to £1,000 plus VAT depending on the type of property)
  • Bank CHAPS administration charges
  • Anti-money Laundering check fees

It should be stressed that the final costs will inevitably be determined by the complexity of the conveyance: if legal matters become more complicated or protracted, then this will affect the overall cost. However, solicitors should advise clients if additional work and expenses become necessary.

Disbursement Costs

1. Property Searches

There are numerous property searches that can be undertaken during the course of a conveyance. However, not all of these searches are strictly ‘necessary’.

Most solicitors will advise that certain searches are ‘essential’ if they are to fulfil their duty of care to both the client and the lender.

Essential searches are:

  • Local
  • Environmental and Flood
  • Drainage
  • Mining searches

Planning Search

Some solicitors will also recommend additional searches for clients who are looking for further reassurances about the property they are proposing to buy. These can include Plansearch Plus searches, in which the Local Authority will supply a recent planning history for the property to be purchased.

Any details of proposed developments within a 300 metre radius of the property, and additional information relating to rights of way, proposed mobile phone masts and social amenities.

Flood Report

Some clients and lenders will also insist on a Flood Report as the standard environmental search only gives rudimentary information about the potential risk of flooding.

You might consider this search vital, given the recent issues with flooding that have affected many parts of the country. A package for all the searches typically ranges from £150 – £350, so it’s important to add these costs into the overall budget.

2. Other disbursements

  • Land Registration Fee: these fees depend upon the purchase price of the property. (Information about the Land Registry sliding scale for fees can be found on the Land Registry website)
  • Stamp Duty, and Stamp Duty Land Tax form completion if applicable; these fees depend upon the purchase price of the property. see stamp duty calculator
  • Various pre-completion expenses including Anti-money laundering and bankruptcy searches, and OS1 (priority search) which together typically add an extra £30 to the total conveyancing costs.

Understand the Conveyancing Costs of Moving House

Buying a property is the most important purchases you will probably ever make.

It’s a huge long-term commitment. Therefore, it’s vital to put the administration of that purchase in the hands of someone you trust: someone with in-depth knowledge and years of experience.

For further information about our property conveyancing services, or for more information about the other services our property team are able to offer, call Harold Stock & Co on 0330 400 4040 or email

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