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Costs and Appointing a Solicitor

Costs and Appointing a Solicitor

Finding out how much it costs & appointing your solicitor

First Time Buyers Guide

You will need to appoint a solicitor to represent you when you buy your first home. You cannot purchase a property without engaging the services of a firm of solicitors. But as we will mention later, it pays to appoint your solicitor early on in your property search.

Also, it will be useful for you to know what fees and other costs are involved in buying a property so that you can budget for all of these.

So, in this section of our First Time Buyer Guide we will explain the fees and other costs involved and give you some tips on finding the right solicitors for you.

Appoint a solicitor early in your search

A good piece of advice is to appoint your solicitor early in your search for a property.

Why?

Because, as solicitors, we are property experts and there is a lot we can help you with in your search for a property. We can find out a little more about a property you are interested in, note interest, give you a summary of what the Home Report says and what to watch out for and give you guidance on what the property market is like and what price you should expect to have to offer.

And it doesn’t cost you any more; it is all part of the service.

Also, you will be able to find out what their fees will be and what the other purchase costs are going to be, which is useful information to have early on.

What should you be checking for in a solicitor?

Here are some tips for you to consider:

Buying in Edinburgh – choose an Edinburgh Solicitor

If you are thinking of buying in Edinburgh or around the Edinburgh area then it makes sense to appoint a solicitor who is based in Edinburgh. Why? Because property markets vary from city to city and town to town. An Edinburgh-based solicitor will have the necessary experience to give you the best advice on the market.

Choose a solicitor who is known for acting for buyers in the residential property market and for First Time Buyers

The residential property market and the legal knowledge and skills required to help you as a first time buyer is a specialised area of law and so it is important that you choose a solicitor which offers this service.

Choose a solicitor who can offer you appointment times outside of usual hours

This may not be too important to you. But it has always been our policy that clients should not have to take time off work to come to see us. We can offer clients meeting times before or after usual office hours and on Saturday mornings.

Why should you choose us?

Naturally, we would you will consider asking us to represent you and so here are a few reasons why we think you should:

  • We specialise in acting for first time buyers
  • Experience and knowledge of the Edinburgh property market
  • We offer a great value fixed fee offer for first time buyers
  • We offer appointments before and after usual working hours and on Saturday mornings to suit you
  • We can also give you access to an in-house mortgage adviser
  • We have helped hundreds of first time buyers
  • We are based in Leith, Edinburgh

First time Buyer in Edinburgh?

SPECIAL GREAT VALUE FEES FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU

We are experts in helping First Time Buyers in Edinburgh.

It’s a tough market for First Time Buyers in Edinburgh at the moment but we are sure we will be able to get you your first home. And we offer a great value fixed fee to give you a little extra help.

What will it all cost?

The standard costs

When it comes to buying a property there are just three costs:

  • The solicitors’ fees
  • The registration dues payable to Registers of Scotland for registering you as the owner of the property and your lender’s security for the mortgage and
  • The Stamp Duty or as we now call it in Scotland the LBTT (Land and Buildings Transaction Tax to give it its full name).

Solicitors’ fees

Each firm of solicitors will have its own fee structure and will charge VAT on their fee. As a help for First Time Buyers, we offer a fixed fee. There are terms and conditions relating to this and more information can be found here. But when you request a quote, we shall give you fuller information.

Registration Dues

These are the charges made by Registers of Scotland to cover the cost of registering you as the owner of the property and the cost of registering your lender’s security for the mortgage. The amount of the registration dues payable to register you as the owner depends on the purchase price of the property.

LBTT

LBTT (the Scottish Stamp Duty) is a tax payable to the Scottish Government (Revenue Scotland). It is calculated by reference to the purchase price and so essentially the more you pay for your property to more tax is going to be payable.

First Time Buyer Relief – LBTT

There is now a First Time Buyer Relief available up to a maximum of £600.

Additional fees and costs for some transactions

The above are the standard costs. Sometimes tough there will be additional fees and costs depending on what type of property you decide to buy and if you are buying an investment property or otherwise have to pay ADS in addition to the LBTT. Here are a few examples:

Additional fees and costs if you are buying a new build property

Buying a new build property is an attractive proposition for first time buyers in Edinburgh at the moment as new build properties are sold at fixed prices. However, in saying that, the builder is likely to ask you to pay for extras like floor coverings and choice of kitchen and bathroom. But the process of buying a new build is a little different from buying generally in that you will be asked to meet some of the costs usually incurred and paid for by a seller. So, you should estimate that the costs will be increased by around £500 – £600.

Additional costs if this is not your only property – additional dwelling supplement (ADS)

When it was first introduced a few years ago it was said to be a tax on second homes and buy to let investment properties. In fact, it catches more people than that. If you are unfortunate enough to have to pay the ADS then it is a tax of 4% of the purchase price.

Additional fee if you have a help to buy ISA or Lifetime ISA

If you have a Help to Buy ISA (and as First Time Buyers we hope you do) or a Lifetime ISA, then there is quite a lot of additional work involved for us. For that reason, we do charge an additional fee of £60 (£50 plus VAT) for that additional work.

Additional fee if you are purchasing under the Help to Buy Scheme

Buying with the Help to Buy Scheme is not of much assistance to First Time Buyers in Edinburgh at the moment as most properties in the price range for first time buyers are selling for well over home report value and one of the conditions of this Scheme is that you cannot offer more than the valuation figure. Again, the amount of additional work involved and the additional costs mean that you should estimate around another £600 in fees and costs being added.

Request a quote from us

When you fill in the Request A First Time Buyer Quote form from us, one of the questions we ask is to give us an idea of the price you have in mind for your property purchase. That is because the registration dues and LBTT are both calculated by reference to the price of the property.

Buying

For all things buying property related, see our BUYING page.

First Time Buyer?

We specialise in helping First Time Buyers purchase their property.