Stamp duty, fees and surveys

Whether you are buying a home or simply remortgaging, we will ensure you are aware of all the related costs that are likely to arise - putting you in total control. Below is a list of likely charges you will need to consider. The actual costs will depend on the price of the property you're buying and the amount of deposit you can put down.

Likely one-off costs If buying for the first time If moving home if remortgaging
Mortgage arrangement / application fee
Higher lending charge
Valuation/survey fees
Early repayment charge
Estate agents' fees
Broker fee
Solicitor / conveyancing fees (including Land Registry fees)
Reservation fees
Stamp duty
Removals

Mortgage arrangement / application fee

It is very likely you will be charged an arrangement fee when taking out a mortgage - however our advisers will be able to talk you through the conditions that apply. Some lenders also charge completion fees, although these are less common than arrangement fees. Completion fees are usually charged on the day that the borrower moves into their new home.

Higher lending charge

Not all lenders charge these, but if you borrow a high percentage e.g. if you borrow more than 75% of the price of the property, you may have to pay this type of fee. Our advisers will let you know if these apply to you.

Valuation/survey fees

You will be required to get a basic valuation carried out and you may decide to request additional surveys on the house you want to buy. A valuation will value the property and tell you how much it is worth, whilst a survey will tell you about the structure of the property and any faults that it may have.

Valuations and surveys not only give you peace of mind that what you are paying is correct, but it will also give the lender confidence as well. A lender will need to have the property being used as security valued to protect themselves from negative equity and to make sure their mortgage is secure. The borrower is usually expected to pay this upfront, when the application is submitted. Asking the surveyor to carry out your personal survey at the same time as the lender valuation can save money, and guarantee you peace of mind about the value of the property.

There are 3 levels of valuation / survey:

  1. Basic valuation - this is carried out purely on behalf of the mortgage lender even though you may have to pay for it. Most lenders charge valuation fees on a scale depending on the value of your property. The report is basic and all lenders disclaim any responsibility for the condition of the property. You have no comeback against the surveyor for any defects or problems overlooked in the report.
  2. Homebuyers survey / report - this service includes a basic valuation but also contains a report on the condition of the property, highlighting any defects that the surveyor has spotted. It is still fairly basic.
  3. Full structural survey - the most thorough (and most expensive) report. If the property is defective, the surveyor should discover this. If major defects are not discovered then the surveyor acting for you would have some legal liability, and you would be able to claim redress.

With any level of survey, if there are potential or actual defects found the surveyor may suggest you obtain additional specialist reports which will be at your expense and may be time consuming. Dealing with solicitors can be the cause of delays in the process, however our expert advisers will advise you on a reliable and competitively priced solicitor. Speak to an adviser today for details.

Early repayment charge

The charge some lenders make if a mortgage is paid off early.

Estate agents' fees

These will differ by agent, some will charge upfront fees and some may charge fees on the completion of sale. The cost is likely to be based on a percentage of the property value, so it is best to get a quote before proceeding.

Broker fee

Brokers charge fees for their advice and recommendation service offered to you. Typically fees are paid when the application is submitted. Your adviser will be able to explain any broker fees to you, although our fee policy is clearly detailed on every page of this website.

Solicitor / conveyancing fees (including Land Registry fees)

Conveyancing is the legal process to transfer the ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer.

If you are buying a property, your solicitor generally works on behalf of the mortgage lender, who usually insists on certain searches before they will release the money for your property.

If selling a property, the solicitor will draw up a contract for the sale. They will also apply for title deeds (or details of freeholder if leasehold) from your mortgage lender. They will also set a completion date and inform the relevant parties and make sure all mortgage conditions requiring attention are complied with.

Dealing with solicitors can be the cause of delays in the process, however our expert advisers can advise you on a reliable and competitively priced solicitor within minutes, contact them today for details.

Reservation fees

This is a 'front end' charge levied by several home lenders. The idea is you're asked to pay the fee (typically £100 and £300) to secure the funds you are intending to borrow. It is sometimes described as an administration fee or a booking fee. Reservation fees are often levied on fixed rate mortgage offers where the funds on offer may be limited. Some lenders believe the fee is a useful way of getting the borrower to show commitment at an early stage. Some, but not all reservation fees are refundable should the home loan not go ahead.

Stamp duty

When you buy property, you may need to pay stamp duty.  Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) applies to any property purchase over £125,000, unless your property is in a disadvantaged area where separate rules apply.  The table below shows you the current limits (as at March 2012):

Purchase price of property:

Up to £125,000 - 0%

£125,001-£250,000 - 1%

£250,001 - £500,000 - 3%

£500,001 - £1,000,000 - 4%

£1,000,001 - £2,000,000 - 5%

Over £2,000,000 - 7%

Removals

Removal fees are one of the easily forgotten costs of property buying or selling.  Removal fees will have to be paid if a company is hired to help shift belongings and goods from one property to another.  You should look around for a competitive quote and ask around for a reliable removal firm, your estate agency will help you with this.

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Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

There may be a fee of up to 2% of the mortgage amount depending on individual circumstances.

A typical fee is £995.