No sale no fee conveyancing – what it means and how it works
Buying or selling a home can be expensive – and risky. Some data shows that over 1 in 4 property purchase deals in the UK fail every year. This means options like “no sale no fee” conveyancing can start to look pretty attractive.
But what exactly is no sale no fee conveyancing? How does it work? Does it automatically mean a better deal for you?
Here is everything you need to know about conveyancers who offer a no sale no fee pricing structure and the costs and benefits of using them:
What Is No Sale No Fee Conveyancing?
“No Sale No Fee” conveyancing (sometimes called “No Completion No Fee”) is the equivalent of “no win no fee” representation in other fields of law. If you don’t “win” (i.e. complete the sale or purchase) you don’t have to pay your conveyancing solicitors’ fees.
This pricing structure is offered by some conveyancers – particularly online services – on the basis of what’s called the Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This law came into effect in 1995 and is particularly common among personal injury solicitors.
There are upsides and downsides to a “no sale no fee” payment structure. The major benefit, of course, is that you don’t end up paying if you don’t complete the transaction.
How Does No Sale No Fee Conveyancing Work?
It’s estimated that over 27% of property sales in the UK fail every year (maybe as many as 300 000 annually, a number that seems to be growing in recent years). There are many reasons for this. Not least, the seemingly ever-worsening financial climate.
There are classic property problems too. “Gazumping” is a phenomenon where another buyer makes a better offer. Broken chains are also very common – one in a long string of linked property sales and purchases falls through for some reason and your deal is affected as a result.
These failed purchases often have costs attached. Most traditional conveyancing solicitors will still expect you to pay their fees if your deal falls through after a short time. Average conveyancing fees are between £800 and £1600 depending on the value of your property and whether it is a leasehold.
In no sale no fee conveyancing, you will still usually have to pay a small down payment or deposit. This isn’t usually returnable. However, this is sure to be far less than the average cost of wasted conveyancing fees should your house sale or purchase fail for some reason.
What Is The Cost Of No Sale No Fee Conveyancing?
No sale no fee conveyancing can represent a good way to minimise the comparatively high risk of failed property purchases and sales.
However, “no win no fee” services aren’t free – and they do sometimes have unexpected costs attached. Before choosing a service like this to handle your conveyancing for you, be sure you are clear about:
- If there is a deposit or down payment – no sale no fee conveyancers aren’t actually always technically fee-free. There is often that small deposit (typically somewhere between £100 and £300), meaning most are “no sale smaller fee”.
- If searches are included – it is good to confirm with a no sale no fee conveyancer whether or not the cost of the mandatory searches required by property purchases in the UK are included in their “no fee” structure. They aren’t always, so it’s best to check.
- How the final cost compares – how do “no completion no fee” conveyancers make their money if over 25% of their business is essentially done for free? It’s not uncommon for this pricing structure to end up more expensive to balance out the cost of failed deals.
It’s also worth noting that some of these services might carry over the cost of searches you’ve paid for to your next purchase or sale attempt. Others might carry over your deposit or down payment. It’s not necessarily all a negative cost.
In short, it’s always worth double-checking with this kind of service (and indeed any solicitor you choose) exactly what their pricing structure includes.
How To Find The Right No Sale No Fee Conveyancer
Are you sure that a no sale no fee conveyancing service is better for you than an all-inclusive package? Do you simply want to find the most suitable conveyancing service in your area?
Whichever you are looking for, Solicitors Near Me can find you the ideal legal partner to help you move for FREE and with no obligation to use their services.