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House Transfer / Stamp Duty

I'm finalising the financial agreement with my wife which is (pensions aside) now agreed and subject to an open letter between solicitors. It's going to take a couple of months to firm up pension split and get a consent order.
The marital home is transferring to my wife. I am in the process of buying a new house.
My solicitor tells me that I will be liable for the higher rate of stamp duty (due to owning 2 houses) unless the marital home formally transfers to my wife before completion.
2 questions:
- Is there any way around this?
- What does 'formally transfers' actually entail, is this just having the consent order agreed or does something else need to happen?
I know that you can reclaim the higher rate if the house transfers after the completion but I would prefer to avoid it if possible.
Thanks.


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