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  • FIRST POST
    • manamaga2512
    • By manamaga2512 6th Feb 18, 7:40 PM
    • 9Posts
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    manamaga2512
    Saving money on solicitors fees
    • #1
    • 6th Feb 18, 7:40 PM
    Saving money on solicitors fees 6th Feb 18 at 7:40 PM
    Hi all, my wife and I are soon to be moving house. We've accepted an offer on our property and our offer has been accepted on the property we want to buy. Now, we've has some quotes from a couple of solicitors and being the natural born tight !!!! Yorkshireman that I am, I'm thinking where can I save money here. I know it's possible to do my own searches but I wanted to know if anyone on here has done this themselves in the past? How did you get on, was it easy enough? I'm a network manager so anything web / internet based I'm completely comfortable with, I'm pretty savvy so fas as money goes too so I'm not afraid of getting my hands dirty so to speak. Any advice would be most welcome.

    Many thanks.
Page 1
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 6th Feb 18, 7:43 PM
    • 6,766 Posts
    • 6,704 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #2
    • 6th Feb 18, 7:43 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Feb 18, 7:43 PM
    Basic stuff first - are you buying with a mortgage? If so then there are limits to how much it is worthwhile doing yourself as your solicitor will need to do much of the work anyway on behalf of your lender (at your cost).
    • G_M
    • By G_M 6th Feb 18, 7:45 PM
    • 43,177 Posts
    • 50,746 Thanks
    G_M
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 18, 7:45 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 18, 7:45 PM
    1) don't scrimp. It amazes me people happily pay an estate agent (with minimal traning) £2-3K+, but resent paying a solicitor less than £1k.

    2) having said that, yes, shop around. But compare like for like. Many web-based conveyancing firms quote low fees, but exclude elements which are shown in the small print and added on later.

    3) if not getting a mortgage, you could DIY the conveyancing

    4) there's a real value in being able to visit your solicitor. Some people disagree and think price, and email, is enough. Often it is, till there's a problem.

    see also

    A conveyancing quote should consist of two parts:
    1. The solicitor's basic fee (i.e. what they charge to do the work).
    2. The disbursements (these are things a conveyancer has to pay other people for on your behalf e.g. Local Authority Searches, Stamp Duty and so on).
    Last edited by G_M; 06-02-2018 at 7:55 PM.
    • manamaga2512
    • By manamaga2512 6th Feb 18, 7:47 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    manamaga2512
    • #4
    • 6th Feb 18, 7:47 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Feb 18, 7:47 PM
    @davidmcn Yeah, we have a mortgage which is on interest only with a company who no longer offer mortgages, so that will be getting paid off with the money from our sale. The equity from our sale will be used for a deposit for our purchase. I completely get that the solicitors need to deal with that side of things. I think it was more of the searches etc.
    • manamaga2512
    • By manamaga2512 6th Feb 18, 7:50 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    manamaga2512
    • #5
    • 6th Feb 18, 7:50 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Feb 18, 7:50 PM
    @G_M Our estate agent only charged us £800! Bargain eh? LOL. I'm just a tight wad really (too much watching Martin Lewis).
    • manamaga2512
    • By manamaga2512 6th Feb 18, 7:55 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    manamaga2512
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 18, 7:55 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 18, 7:55 PM
    One company has quoted us £369 for a "Search Pack", a Land Registry search for £8.00 and £8.00 for a bankruptcy search. Now, I'm not to bothered about the £8's but what the heck is a "search pack" for £369 if it doesn't include the land reg and bankruptcy searches?
    • Flat Eric
    • By Flat Eric 6th Feb 18, 7:57 PM
    • 3,949 Posts
    • 23,865 Thanks
    Flat Eric
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 18, 7:57 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 18, 7:57 PM
    Hi all, my wife and I are soon to be moving house. We've accepted an offer on our property and our offer has been accepted on the property we want to buy. Now, we've has some quotes from a couple of solicitors and being the natural born tight !!!! Yorkshireman that I am, I'm thinking where can I save money here. I know it's possible to do my own searches but I wanted to know if anyone on here has done this themselves in the past? How did you get on, was it easy enough? I'm a network manager so anything web / internet based I'm completely comfortable with, I'm pretty savvy so fas as money goes too so I'm not afraid of getting my hands dirty so to speak. Any advice would be most welcome.

    Many thanks.
    Originally posted by manamaga2512
    What searches are you thinking of doing yourself?

    • Mutton Geoff
    • By Mutton Geoff 6th Feb 18, 8:57 PM
    • 1,106 Posts
    • 1,178 Thanks
    Mutton Geoff
    • #8
    • 6th Feb 18, 8:57 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Feb 18, 8:57 PM
    It's not the function of obtaining searches that cost the money, it is interpreting them. I'm all in favour of saving money but this could be false economy and with a little bit of bad luck turn out to be the most expensive mistake of your life. Or not. I personally wouldn't try to save a few hundred quid in the legal side of the purchase. If you're borrowing money, your lender will insist on a proper legal person to act on their behalf.
    Compensations/Refunds from Banks & Institutions - £4,165 | Stooz Profits - £7,636 | Quidco - £4,014

    All with a big thank you to Martin and MSE.com from Mutton Geoff!
    • kinger101
    • By kinger101 6th Feb 18, 8:57 PM
    • 3,988 Posts
    • 5,442 Thanks
    kinger101
    • #9
    • 6th Feb 18, 8:57 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Feb 18, 8:57 PM
    Find a good solicitor, by asking for recommendations. Price is only a secondary consideration. I've dealt with two that were not great, and the buyer/seller on both these occasions used ones that were even worse. It's not worth the aggravation.

    The third time I found a good one, and will be sticking with them in the future.
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 6th Feb 18, 9:04 PM
    • 57,400 Posts
    • 50,686 Thanks
    Thrugelmir
    I completely get that the solicitors need to deal with that side of things. I think it was more of the searches etc.
    Originally posted by manamaga2512
    Your solicitor also works for your lender. Just happens you are paying their costs as well. As a consequence there'll be no cutting corners as the solicitor will have a list of requirements to adhere too.
    Financial disasters happen when the last person who can remember what went wrong last time has left the building.
    • lika_86
    • By lika_86 6th Feb 18, 10:06 PM
    • 1,245 Posts
    • 4,469 Thanks
    lika_86
    One company has quoted us £369 for a "Search Pack", a Land Registry search for £8.00 and £8.00 for a bankruptcy search. Now, I'm not to bothered about the £8's but what the heck is a "search pack" for £369 if it doesn't include the land reg and bankruptcy searches?
    Originally posted by manamaga2512
    Land Registry sounds like searches of the register (which need doing at the start to get the title and before exchange to check nothing has changed) and bankruptcy searches against you. The search pack will include searches relating to the property you are buying - local search, drainage and water etc.

    Disbursements are generally quoted as a standard fee initially but may be less depending on the local authority. Give or take this estimate they will need paying whichever firm you go with.

    Don't skimp on a good firm though.
    • FTBScotland
    • By FTBScotland 7th Feb 18, 1:49 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    FTBScotland
    I personally wouldn't handle any of the paperwork myself; as others have said, it could prove a very costly mistake. If you're applying for a mortgage they may want it handled entirely by a solicitor. We're first time buyers, so overly cautious perhaps, but for the sake of a few hundred pounds I'd rather have peace of mind. Shop around for a good firm and ask friends for recommendations. Our solicitors are great, they've handled everything promptly and thoroughly and have been worth every penny
    • Flat Eric
    • By Flat Eric 7th Feb 18, 6:53 AM
    • 3,949 Posts
    • 23,865 Thanks
    Flat Eric
    One company has quoted us £369 for a "Search Pack", a Land Registry search for £8.00 and £8.00 for a bankruptcy search. Now, I'm not to bothered about the £8's but what the heck is a "search pack" for £369 if it doesn't include the land reg and bankruptcy searches?
    Originally posted by manamaga2512
    Land Registry sounds like searches of the register (which need doing at the start to get the title and before exchange to check nothing has changed) and bankruptcy searches against you. The search pack will include searches relating to the property you are buying - local search, drainage and water etc.

    Disbursements are generally quoted as a standard fee initially but may be less depending on the local authority. Give or take this estimate they will need paying whichever firm you go with.

    Don't skimp on a good firm though.
    Originally posted by lika_86
    If buying then the solicitors acting for the sellers provide the up to date Title info from the Land Registry at their expense although to save time the buyers solicitors may duplicate this search at their clients (buyer's expense)

    As a buyer the solicitor acting for you has to do bankruptcy searches and also a priority search effectively putting the Land Registry on notice that there's going to be an application made soon to change ownership.

    Plus there will be the Land Registry fee to register you as the new owners. This is on a sliding scale depending on the property value.

    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 7th Feb 18, 9:24 AM
    • 2,175 Posts
    • 2,050 Thanks
    steampowered
    If you are buying with a mortgage, you have no choice. The solicitor will have to do the searches.

    Remember that the solicitor will also be representing the lender. No lender is going to give you a mortgage without the solicitor doing searches.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 7th Feb 18, 9:27 AM
    • 2,374 Posts
    • 3,378 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    There is economy and there is false economy. Don't fall into the trap of knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
    • lika_86
    • By lika_86 7th Feb 18, 9:53 AM
    • 1,245 Posts
    • 4,469 Thanks
    lika_86
    If buying then the solicitors acting for the sellers provide the up to date Title info from the Land Registry at their expense although to save time the buyers solicitors may duplicate this search at their clients (buyer's expense)
    Originally posted by Flat Eric
    The OP is also selling, so will have to provide Title docs for their buyer.
    • goodwithsaving
    • By goodwithsaving 7th Feb 18, 1:14 PM
    • 792 Posts
    • 1,198 Thanks
    goodwithsaving
    Solicitor fees and surveys are NOT the place to be trying to save money.
    You are trusting people with life assets here.
    Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self. –Nathan W. Morris
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 7th Feb 18, 2:03 PM
    • 6,248 Posts
    • 8,047 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    @davidmcn Yeah, we have a mortgage which is on interest only with a company who no longer offer mortgages, so that will be getting paid off with the money from our sale. The equity from our sale will be used for a deposit for our purchase. I completely get that the solicitors need to deal with that side of things. I think it was more of the searches etc.
    Originally posted by manamaga2512
    The issue is whether you will be buying the new property with a mortgage/. If you are, then the solicitor acts for the mortgage lender as well as for you, and are likely to want the searches etc to go through the solicitor, so even if you apply for the searches yourself, it won';t save you anything as they will still need to be provided to the solicitor so they can review them and advise the mortgage lender.

    If you are looking for somewhere to save money then scrimping on legal advice is probably not the way to go. Maybe think about doing more of the marketing of the property yourself and save some money there, instead.
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