Purchasing a Property – Costs Explained

Melissa Richards

Written by Melissa Richards, Chartered Legal Executive at Spire Solicitors LLP

When purchasing a property, it is important to understand all the costs involved to ensure you can budget correctly. Along with the legal fees, there are a number of extra “costs” and “disbursements” to consider.

These prices should include:

Legal fees

This is the price you will pay for legal services and they are based on a scale depending on the value of the property you are purchasing.

In certain circumstances it will be necessary to add a supplement to these costs to cover any additional work required, for example if you are buying a leasehold or new build property or are purchasing with Help to Buy assistance, as these matters involve more complex issues and lots more paperwork.


This is money which your lawyer has to pay to third parties during your purchase. For example, search fees and Land Registry fees. You will be asked to pay a sum on account at the start of your transaction to enable your lawyer to obtain these on your behalf.

Bank Fees

Whenever monies are sent electronically, whether it be to your lender to pay off your mortgage, sending purchase monies to the seller’s solicitor or sending a balance to you on completion, a bank fee will be charged. Monies can either be sent by CHAPs which is a same day transfer or by BACS which can take 3-5 working days to be received.


On 8 July 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, announced a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday to help Britain’s housing market following the coronavirus pandemic. The property tax threshold has been raised to £500,000 in a bid to make home buyers exempt from paying any SDLT. The new threshold will be in place until the end of June 2021 and will then be tapered until the end of September 2021. If the property is a second home or buy-to-let property, you will have to pay 3% on top of the revised standard rates.

Once the specifics of your transaction are known you will be provided with the actual amount which will be payable. Spire Solicitors LLP have published a helpful price guide which can be found on our website which clearly sets out what costs you can expect to pay for your transaction.

If you would like to discuss any points in this article further, please contact Spire Solicitors LLP on 01263 732123 for all your legal needs.