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Buying A New Property
Buying A New Property

Buying A New Property: The Role Of The Solicitor

This article looks at the reasons why it is necessary to appoint a solicitor when purchasing a property in Northern Ireland and the activities that a buyer can expect one to carry out.

Buying a new home is stressful and is the most expensive financial decision that most of us ever make. Getting the right legal support is essential, but why do you have to use the services of a solicitor and what will they actually do for you?


Property solicitors in Northern Ireland are the only ones who can legally carry out the transfer of land between one party and another, known as conveyancing. The Solicitors Northern Ireland Order 1976 gives them this ability and regulates how they carry it out. This Order and the Law Society of Northern Ireland set out how fees may be charged for conveyancing and ensure that the customer's interests are professionally looked after.

Appointing A Solicitor

Fees vary between different solicitors so it is essential to do your homework and obtain quotes before appointing one. Some have set fee scales that they do not deviate from whilst others are open to negotiation. All should, however, provide you with a detailed written quotation setting out what they charge and what is included in it. The Law Society of Northern Ireland sets minimum standards for conveyancing matters. Whilst this does not cover speed or efficiency, it does set out the tasks that need to be carried out and provides access to a complaints mechanism should anything go wrong.

Purchasing Activities

There are a number of activities that a buyer's solicitor should carry out as part of the property purchasing process. These include:

- Examining ownership documents and the proposed contract of sale, seeking relevant information from the sale and negotiating terms
- Requesting and reviewing all required reports on: planning and building control matters, sewerage and drainage issues, rights of way and access and Energy Performance Certificates
- Requesting and reviewing local searches documents such as Land Registry and environmental searches
- Preparing title deeds, mortgage deeds and stamp duty returns
- Reporting to the mortgage lender


When looking to move there are a number of costs that you will need to fund in addition to your deposit and valuation/survey fees. Your solicitor is likely to charge a fee based upon the value of the home being purchased and the complexity of the sale. Remember that you will need to pay VAT on this fee. Additionally, you will also need to budget for search fees, stamp duty, tax, registration fees and property certificates. And remember that you will also need to ensure you budget for your removal costs as well as any works or redecoration that you will want to carry out at your new property.

Whilst buying a new home is exciting it can also be stressful. Finding the right property solicitors in Northern Ireland may help reduce this and, with the conveyancing complete, you can move in and enjoy your new home.

AUTHOR BIO : Janifar writes about property matters for a range of websites and blogs. She has recently been researching finding efficient property solicitors in Northern Ireland. is your new free blog, REGISTER FOR FREE!

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