Purchasing a property? How to work out your conveyancing costs

If you are getting a mortgage, a good mortgage broker will help you to shop around for the best mortgage, and to work out what the effects of interest-rates rising would be etc.

So, what will the other costs be?

1. Stamp Duty: For residential properties this is 1% of the purchase price up to €1,000,000, and 2% after that. For non-residential property, for example a site, the rate is 2%.

2. Property Registration Authority fees: Your solicitor will be responsible to you for making sure that you become the registered owner of your property. If you have a mortgage, your solicitor is responsible for ensuring that the mortgage is registered as well. The fees charged by the Land Registry vary, depending on the price of the property, and whether it has ever been registered before.

For registered properties, the fees are between €400.00 and €800.00 (depending on the cost of the property). The cost to register the mortgage documents is €215. You will find a full list of Land Registry fees here.

If the title to the property is still vouched for in old-fashioned Deeds, and the property has not yet been registered in the Land Registry, then your solicitor will be required by law to make a special application for “first registration” in the Land Registry for you. The Land Registry fees can be reduced to €130.00 in that case; however, your solicitor will charge an additional professional fee as s/he will have extra work to do, and she will become responsible for “certifying” the title to the Land Registry. The bottom line for you would be about the same in most cases.

3. Searches: These are organised by your solicitor, in order to make sure that you don’t accidentally acquire any liabilities that attach to the property. For example, if any previous owner had an unpaid debt that was registered as a “judgement mortgage” against the property, you would become liable to pay it once ownership was transferred to you. Your solicitor will need to make sure that you are not buying any debts along with your new property.

The searches will take place on the same day that you become the owner of the property.  Searches may be carried out online, for example of the Sheriff’s Office, the High Court and the Land Registry, or it may be necessary to do them by hand, for example by sending someone to search the Registry of Deeds.

The fee that your solicitor will charge you for this service paid to a specialist firm of “law searchers” who conduct the searches. These would come in at under €100.00 for a typical domestic property, but would increase if there are several vendors of your property, or if the property is unregistered.

Your solicitor will also discuss with you the option of having planning searches done. While the vendor will have to give you certain warranties with regard to planning, you may wish to make extra enquiries depending on the nature of the property. Such searches cost in the region of €250.00 in Co. Cork.

4. Professional fees: No matter who you hire, your solicitor will have to pay the costs mentioned above on your behalf. The professional fees are the fees that your solicitor will charge for her own work. These are subject to VAT at 23%. I charge € 1,200.00 plus VAT for a straightforward domestic conveyance of a registered property with no mortgage.


 Sample budget:

A semi-detached house purchased for €300,000. Built in 1990, one previous owner. Registered in the Land Registry. Cash purchase (no mortgage).

Stamp Duty:                                                            €3,000.00

Land Registry fees:                                                   €700.00

Searches:                                                                      €  50.00

Professional fee                                                        €1,200.00

VAT on professional fee                                         € 273.oo

LPT refund:                                                              €  100.00

 –> Total associated costs                        € 5,323.00

Finally of course, you will need to have an engineer do a structural survey, and also to confirm that the boundaries on the ground are correctly reflected in the map provided. I have not included this cost in the budget as it is one that you will pay directly to your engineer.

I hope this has been helpful. If you are in the market, I’d be happy to hear from you of course, and please don’t hesitate to give me a ring on 021 4975460 or to send an email to claire@cmcsolicitor.ie





Principal, Claire McCarthy Solicitor

Posted in Property