Legal costs, stamp duty, and mandatory insurances

Legal Costs

When buying or selling a property, you will need to appoint a solicitor to carry out all the legal work, known as conveyancing. Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer.

Solicitors costs will usually be based on the price of the property you wish to buy or sell.

Your money will pay for your solicitor to:

  • Carry out a Land Registry search for English and Welsh buyers or a Registers of Scotland search, and Register of Sasines search for Scottish buyers;
  • Carry out a Local Land Charges Registry search;
  • Liaise with the sellers solicitor;
  • Draw up contracts ready to exchange;
  • Make sure the mortgage deed is ready for signing on the completion date;
  • Arrange all the financial aspects of the transaction, such as having your mortgage and deposit in place by the completion date and organising the payment of any Stamp Duty.

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty land tax is an unavoidable tax you must pay when purchasing property, where the purchase price is £125,001 or more. The rates charged increase at fixed property value points:

Purchase Price of property Rate charged
The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000) 2%
The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000) 5%
The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million) 10%
The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million) 12%

For instance, you are buying a house with a purchase price of £200,000, so you fall into the lowest rate bracket. Your Stamp Duty due will be £4,000 (2% of £200,000).

There are some exceptions. If you are buying a property in a disadvantaged area, you will not pay any Stamp Duty on a property priced at £150,000 or less.

Mandatory Insurances

Many lenders will require you to take out building insurance as a condition of giving you a mortgage. Some lenders will also stipulate that this must be arranged through them. Being tied to a mortgage that stimulates this may not be in your interest. Although their mortgage may be very competitive, their own insurance products may not when compared to the wider insurance market. Any savings you’re making could reduce significantly. So do your homework and shop around for the best ‘all-encompassing’ deal.

Costs associated with mortgages
Costs associated with properties


Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

For mortgage advice you can choose how we are paid: pay a fee, usually a maximum of £295, or we can accept commission from the lender or a combination of both.