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Disbursements are the various costs incurred for carrying out the legal work in relation to buying or remortgaging your home. Most home buyers instruct a solicitor to handle all the legal work for them. The alternative is to hire a conveyancing solicitor. In both cases, the individual will quote the buyer for the services they are using. A section labelled disbursements will be included in the quotation.

The word is used to highlight all the fees due to third parties during the process of buying a property. The word does not describe fees paid to the solicitor for their services; rather, it describes the fees the solicitor will handle on your behalf that are due to other organisations involved in the process. These may be to the local authority when conducting searches, for example. Many searches are typically conducted before a property is purchased, to make sure there are no issues with any aspect of it. The solicitor can arrange for these to be conducted and will add the cost of each search to the list of disbursements you receive.

Disbursements may vary if you are remortgaging your property rather than buying one. The Land Registry registration fee for noting the mortgage in their records is one example. A bankruptcy search is another.

Some fees listed under disbursements may consist of no more than a few pounds, while others will be higher. A lot depends on the services required to complete the transaction and which organisation provides those services. If you have any queries concerning any of the fees appearing in that section, you should ask your solicitor for clarification.

Published on 16 December 2022

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