McCallum O'Kane Solicitors

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Frequently Asked Questions on Property Transactions

1. If buying or selling property when should a solicitor be consulted?
The simple answer is as soon as possible.We can explain, in an initial free of charge appointment, what the legal steps are. We can also assist on such matters as choice of estate agent, how to obtain finance and possible tax saving opportunities. We will also agree with you, prior to commencing any transaction, our professional fee for acting and detail the other legal costs which will be incurred.

2.What is stamp duty?
Stamp duty is a government tax which is paid on certain written documents. In practice it is collected by the government via solicitors.
The current rates of stamp duty on the purchase of residential property are as follows:

Up to and including £60000 Exempt
Over £60000 and up to and including £250000* 1%
Over £250000 and up to and including £500000 3%
Over £500000 4%

*In certain designated areas residential properties are exempt up to and including £150000. We can advise, free of charge, whether the property you are thinking of purchasing is within such an area.

3.What are land registry fees?
Land is either registered land or unregistered land. Whether land is registered land or not depends on the history of the land concerned. If the land is registered land, land registry fees are payable on transactions affecting that land. Different fees apply to different transactions. For example, at present, on the purchase of a house for £75000 with the assistance of a mortgage, land registry fees of £400* would be due. This is a one off payment and in practice is paid via the solicitor on completion. We can confirm in advance of you entering into any transaction whether the land you are thinking of purchasing is registered (or within an area of compulsory first registration) and, if so,what the land registry fees will be on any particular transaction.

* If the house is being purchased from a builder there may be additional land registry fees of £15.


8 Blindgate Street
BT52 1EZ

Tel: 028 7032 7112
Fax: 028 7032 7113

Buying or Selling
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McCallum O'Kane