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Solicitors Fees Explained!

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

What do solicitors charge you for when buying a house?


One of the more complex costs when buying a property are your solicitor fees. Sometimes they give you one number, other times they break down the costs. If they don't give you the breakdown, always ask for it!


The cost breakdown might look something like this...

Charge

Cost

1

Professional Fees

€1500

2

Vat on Professional Fees @ 23%

€345

3

Stamp Duty (1% of €400,000)

€4000

4

PRA Fee

€880

5

Search Fees

€160

6

Commissioner of Oaths Fees

€20

7

LPT (pro-rata for 6 months)

€144


Total

€7049

On the surface here it looks like "wow, my solicitor is costing me over €7k"... That's a big chunk of change, especially when you're paying hundreds of thousands for a property, but lets break down each of these costs and explain what they are for!


Professional Fees (plus vat)

The professional fees are what you are paying to the solicitor for their time and expertise to perform all the legal requirements for the purchase of your home. This is called "conveyancing".


A good solicitor can make the purchase of your home a smooth and stress-free experience and a bad solicitor can make the process a nightmare - especially if they are slow in responding to questions! So if you find a good solicitor, this fee is worth its weight in gold!


Most solicitors like to quote their fees without vat and then add vat on. Just be aware that whatever the solicitor quotes for their fees. You can add 23% on top!


Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty does not go to the solicitor. They simply take it from you and sent it straight to the government coffers! They also do all the legal paperwork for transferring ownership of the property, which is technically what the "stamp duty" is for.


For more information on Stamp Duty, check out our Basics guide on Instagram!


PRA Fees

Like Stamp Duty, the PRA fees do not go to the solicitor. These fees are charged by the Property Registration Authority to register the transfer of ownership of property on a sale.


These fees are a set amount based on the sale price of the property and so are the same across all solicitors.


Search Fees

These are fees charged by the solicitor for various searches. For example, they will carry out planning searches to find any planning or retention permissions against the property and also to see if there are any large development close to your property which may impact it in future.


If the solicitor conducts these searches themselves, they get the fee, but quite a lot of solicitors outsource the search to a 3rd party in which case, the fee may be higher.


Commissioner for Oaths Fees

This is simply the cost paid to have someone (called a "commissioner for oaths") witness the signatures on any legal documents. Most of the time this should not be more than €10-€20.


LPT

This fee is actually transferred to the vendor along with the funds for the purchase. If the vendor has paid the local property tax for the year, you will have to refund them for the remainder of the year.


For example, if you purchased the house on the 30th of June, you would have to refund them 1/2 (6 months) of the property tax they have paid.

 

How to get lower fees and a good solicitor?

So, as you can see, there are a lot of different fees and charges which you will "pay" the solicitor. But these are all part of the process.


Most of these fees will be common across all solicitors, so the biggest savings you can make is on the professional fees. But as mentioned above, remember a good solicitor is worth their weight in gold, so don't just go for the cheapest. Check reviews, ask friends and family and go with someone you can trust!

 

Our Recommended Solicitors

Parker Law Solicitors - parkerlaw.ie

We spend a lot of time in online groups and forums for first-time buyers. While there we have seen Suzanne Parker & Parker Law being recommended over and over and over again. They have built an incredible reputation for being on the side of the buyer and always going the extra mile to ensure you have all your questions and concerns answered.

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