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Conveyancing is a highly competitive business with a wide choice of available services and an equally wide range of prices. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to find yourself buying what looks like a cheap conveyancing service when, in fact, the end price will be inflated by hidden charges.

A conveyancing quote should have two parts:

1. The conveyancing solicitors basic fee to cover the time spent dealing with your transaction. This could be a fixed fee, an amount linked to the value of your property, or an hourly rate. Hourly rates should be avoided. The basic fee should include some company overheads such as insurance, postage and phone calls, as well as time spent dealing with your lender and filling out paperwork. If items like these appear in the small print, steer well clear.

2. The disbursements involved in your transaction, such as Land Registry fees, searches and Stamp Duty. These should all be itemised so you can see the total amount you will have to pay for the conveyancing service. If the services are not itemised or again, if ‘added extras’ appear in the small print, it may be best to look elsewhere.

When scrutinising the small print of your conveyancing quotes, look out for abbreviations, which are sometimes used to help conceal extra charges. A common example is ‘PI’ or ‘PI contribution’, the PI standing for Professional Indemnity insurance. This is an overhead and should be included in the solicitor’s basic fee. Another common abbreviation is ‘TTF’ for Telegraphic Transfer Fee. This fee will apply if amounts of £60,000 or more are being transferred, for example, if you are redeeming your mortgage. However, if the amount is less than this, the BACS system can be used for free.

The Co-operative advises: ‘Moving house is stressful enough without the worry of unexpected extra conveyancing costs. That’s why it’s important to use a reputable and reliable service that offers free advice and a “No Move No Fee” guarantee.’

The Co-operative Legal Services works with conveyancing solicitors who offer free advice on moving home and free conveyancing quotes.

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ENDS

Notes to editor

The Co-operative Legal Services provides a range of legal services that are designed to make it easier for people to access high quality legal provision. We can help you with include will-writing, probate, conveyancing, personal injury, employment law and family law. Free, no obligation legal advice is provided with all these services. We operate nationally and, in the last year, have given legal assistance to more than 245,000 people. You can find out more at www.co-operative.coop/legalservices.

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