To correct a common misconception, lawyers do not get all, or even most of what you have to pay out. The bulk goes, one way or another, to the Government.
As a buyer, you pay:
- Solicitor's fee (which is a negotiable figure and should be agreed in advance), plus VAT at 17.5% on top of that (which goes to the state).
- Stamp duty (If your property is being bought for more than £125,000).
- Registration dues charged by the Land Register of Scotland on a sliding scale - and sliding right into the Government's bank account.
As a seller you pay:
- Solicitor's fee.
- Registration outlay if you are paying off a mortgage on the house being sold.
- And for searches and property reports which are to be exhibited to the purchaser's solicitor.
The rates and combinations of figures make it impractical to show you comprehensive examples of the overall costs of conveyancing (and don't forget you will have survey fees when buying, and estate agent's fees and home report costs when selling, to add on), but it is a requirement for solicitors that you are provided with an accurate breakdown of costs in writing at the outset of a transaction you are instructing.