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Solicitors' Fees When Buying a House

You'll need a solicitor to look after all the legal aspects of transferring ownership of a property to you when you go to purchase it. This is called the conveyance part of the property purchase journey. Costs vary; some solicitors charge a flat fee while others charge a percentage of the house price, usually around 1% or 2%. Expect to pay in the region of €1,500 to €3,000 plus VAT.

Shop around on the Auctioneera marketplace where you can get instant quotes for conveyancing solicitors; you can also read independent reviews which should be an important factor in your research before engaging a solicitor. If you’re getting quotes independently from other solicitors, it’s important to always confirm whether a price is inclusive of VAT or not. The average time for a conveyance to be completed in Ireland today is 100 days so it’s important to engage an efficient solicitor who is experienced in this type of legal work.

How much are solicitors' fees for buying a house?

While you may agree to a specific fee when engaging a solicitor to work on your property’s conveyance, it is important to realise that on top of their fee, there will be extra costs, known as outlays. Some solicitors will quote you an excluding VAT figure so remember to clarify that with them too. VAT on solicitors’ fees is presently 23%.

Below are a list of typical outlays / fees as part of a property conveyance when buying a property:

  • Stamp Duty

When you buy a property, you are liable to pay stamp duty at the rate of 1% on the value of the property up to €1m and 2% on the balance if the property is valued at over €1m. This is paid to the purchaser’s solicitor at the same time of paying the 10% contract deposit and the solicitor’s fees. Stamp duty on newly built homes is calculated on the cost of the property minus the VAT charged on new homes (13.5%). VAT is not charged on second hand properties so the stamp duty for a second hand property is calculated on your property’s saleagreed figure.

  • Land Registry Fees

You will be required to pay Land Registry fees on the transfer itself and on the mortgage (if you’re using a mortgage to finance the property purchase).

What is the land registry fee for? The land registry fee is what you have to pay to have your property registered in your own name and the lender will also need to have their name registered against the mortgage deed if you are borrowing.

For example, the Land Registry fee on a €300,000 property will be €700 on the transfer and €175 on the mortgage (if a mortgage has been raised).

Purchase price of the house Land Registration Fees
Upto €50,000 €400
€50,001 - €200,000 €600
€200,001 - €400,000 €700
Greater than €400,000 €800
  • Commissioner for Oaths Fees

Approximately €60 will be required to cover fees to a Commissioner for Oaths who will be needed to witness the signature of certain declarations.

  • Search Fees

Your solicitor must also carry out searches on the day the transaction completes to ensure there are no last minute difficulties (e.g. bankruptcy against the present vendor) and these search fees are generally in the region of €250. These are referred to as closing searches and include judgement searches, bankruptcy searches to ensure the property is clear to be transferred.

  • Miscellaneous Outlays

This covers solicitors’ costs associated with postage, telephone bills, printing, ink and so on and can come in at an approximate figure of €100.

It should be noted that as part of revised legal services costs transparency rules that came into force in October 2019, under Part 10 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015, legal services providers such as solicitors need to provide their clients with clear indications of their legal bill. Legal costs are specifically set out in what’s known as “Section 150”. This “requires legal practitioners to provide their clients with a notice written in clear language. It must set out what legal costs will be incurred in relation to the matter. The costs notice must be issued after a legal practitioner has received instructions, but before he or she has started providing the advice or legal service.”

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