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Results: Am I being over-charged?

Yes

61.90% • 13 votes

No

14.29% • 3 votes

Maybe

23.81% • 5 votes

You may not vote on this poll

21 votes in total.

  • FIRST POST
    • ap18
    • By ap18 15th Jun 17, 4:37 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    ap18
    £500 for searches - Am I being ripped off?
    • #1
    • 15th Jun 17, 4:37 PM
    £500 for searches - Am I being ripped off? 15th Jun 17 at 4:37 PM
    My solicitor is charging just over £500 for searches. Reading online it seems that searches should cost only £250 - £300. Do I appear to be over-charged for searches?
    Last edited by ap18; 15-06-2017 at 4:42 PM.
Page 1
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 15th Jun 17, 5:06 PM
    • 1,716 Posts
    • 2,477 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    • #2
    • 15th Jun 17, 5:06 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Jun 17, 5:06 PM
    If you don't like what they're proposing to charge, use someone else.

    If you keep using them, it doesn't matter whether you feel they're ripping you off or not; you're still agreeing to it!
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 15th Jun 17, 5:10 PM
    • 994 Posts
    • 1,173 Thanks
    Surrey_EA
    • #3
    • 15th Jun 17, 5:10 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Jun 17, 5:10 PM
    Which searches?
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 15th Jun 17, 5:22 PM
    • 9,180 Posts
    • 11,546 Thanks
    hazyjo
    • #4
    • 15th Jun 17, 5:22 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Jun 17, 5:22 PM
    Thought the council set the price, not the solicitor. Am guessing there's more to the charge than just 'searches'. Unless they're adding in a whole load of ones you don't necessarily need...


    Are you paying a fixed price for the conveyancing?
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies)
    • toc25
    • By toc25 15th Jun 17, 5:51 PM
    • 146 Posts
    • 163 Thanks
    toc25
    • #5
    • 15th Jun 17, 5:51 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Jun 17, 5:51 PM
    I've just paid 300 for mine. The solicitor gave me a break down of the costs so I could see what it was for. Maybe you could ask for something similar.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 15th Jun 17, 6:21 PM
    • 40,202 Posts
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    G_M
    • #6
    • 15th Jun 17, 6:21 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Jun 17, 6:21 PM
    The charges for searches should be the same whichever solicitor you use. These are called 'disbursements' - that is things the solicior pays for at whatever rate he is charged on your behalf.

    The question is (see post 3 above):

    * which searches? there are many, some of which may be optional/some not
    * How many? The more there are the higher the cost!
    * Done how by who? A 'personal search' at the local authority is cheaper than an official search. a seach sub-contacted to a search company will be charged differently to a direct official search
    etc

    So you need to look at the bill and see what you are being charged for. I bet it does not say:

    "Searches: £500"
    • ap18
    • By ap18 15th Jun 17, 7:10 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    ap18
    • #7
    • 15th Jun 17, 7:10 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Jun 17, 7:10 PM
    Thanks for responses.

    I'm not sure which searches it's for but I've asked for a breakdown. I think it will be local authority searches but not sure if there are any others.

    It seems that the searches are to be subcontracted out to a search provider.
    • parking_question_chap
    • By parking_question_chap 15th Jun 17, 7:19 PM
    • 1,361 Posts
    • 1,145 Thanks
    parking_question_chap
    • #8
    • 15th Jun 17, 7:19 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Jun 17, 7:19 PM
    Wow, thats way overpriced if its just local authority. Go directly to the authority and get a price, then ask solicitor to justify the difference.
    • kingstreet
    • By kingstreet 15th Jun 17, 9:59 PM
    • 31,633 Posts
    • 16,896 Thanks
    kingstreet
    • #9
    • 15th Jun 17, 9:59 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Jun 17, 9:59 PM
    Are you sure this is the cost and not an 'on account' payment for which anything left over after the cost of the searches will be used to subsidise the rest of your legal costs?

    That's the way many solicitors I've known work.
    I am a mortgage broker. You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a Mortgage Adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice. Please do not send PMs asking for one-to-one-advice, or representation.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 16th Jun 17, 8:59 AM
    • 5,661 Posts
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    TBagpuss
    It's very common for searches to be sub-contracted to search companies as it is more efficient.
    The searches you need will depend on what your mortgage lender requires and on where the property you are buying is (for instance, whether or not you need a coal mining search to check whether there are any old workings under or near the property won't be needed in areas where there has never been any mining..)

    As Kingstreet says , check whether this is an actual cost or an 'on account' payment, and ask for a break down if there is anything in your cost estimate you don't understand.
    • anto164
    • By anto164 16th Jun 17, 10:05 AM
    • 81 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    anto164
    I'd say so, however they will charge a rate and it's up to you if you think it's worth it. Also depends, if their fees for conveyancing is competetive in comparison, then it may be fine.

    Last year, my breakdown was as below;

    Pali Limited – search pack fee -£146.50
    HMLR- search fees (apporx) £10.00

    Totals £156.50 for the searches. This was however for a freehold house. There could be variances in costs depending on councils etc, but i would imagine that it wouldn't be too much more that what we paid.

    By the way, the above costs were in May 2016, so may be higher today.
    Last edited by anto164; 16-06-2017 at 10:07 AM. Reason: Had kept the title registration fee in the breakdown
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 16th Jun 17, 11:21 AM
    • 1,266 Posts
    • 1,612 Thanks
    shortcrust
    I'm guessing as you're calling them 'my solicitor' you've already instructed them and things are in motion? If so there's not much you can do unless you want to switch to someone else and just pay for work done to date. In my experience solicitors aren't in the business of knocking money off bills once you've accepted a quote. Once got stung myself by not reading things carefully.

    The time to think about whether you're getting good value is before they become 'my solicitor'.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 16th Jun 17, 1:01 PM
    • 40,202 Posts
    • 45,968 Thanks
    G_M
    I'm not sure which searches it's for but I've asked for a breakdown. I think it will be local authority searches but not sure if there are any others.
    Originally posted by ap18
    Well firstly, wait till youve got the breakdown. Unil then we are all just guessing!

    You said
    My solicitor is charging just over £500 for searches.
    which implies an invoice to be paid. As I said previously, I bet it does not say: "Searches: £500".

    If it's an invoice to be paid, what exactly does it say?

    If it's not an invoice, then most likely it's an advance payment on account (as kingstreet suggested) to cover disbursements and initial costs generally (including searches), in which case any overpayment eyond the search costs will be deducted from the final invoice.

    More information needed.
    • strawberries1
    • By strawberries1 21st Jul 17, 10:53 AM
    • 596 Posts
    • 133 Thanks
    strawberries1
    Solicitor's don't charge for searches, they purchases searches on your behalf. certain searches are advisable as per conveyancing protocol but you can choose not to buy any searches if you're buying outright ie without a mortgage. Some transactions might have additional elements than others but solicitors don't add their fees onto searches. It's a disbursement ie they pay search providers which the searches they purchase. You can ask which ones they chosen to purchase and why.
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