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Conveyancing: Buying or Selling Houses, Apartments

In Ireland the legal term used to buy or sell a home (house, land or apartment) is “conveyancing”. It is how legal ownership is transferred from an owner to a buyer.

What is involved in Conveyancing?

The conveyancing process is complex. It requires answering questions including identity, planning, title, rights of way, disputes, outstanding taxes, mortgages. As your solicitor we will discuss all of these matters with you. The issues vary depending on the type of property e.g. apartment, a house in a mixed-use development or house on its own grounds or in an estate. For any of these property types we will provide the relevant advice and guidance.

I am selling my property – what do I need to do?

After you have appointed an agent to act on your behalf in the sale of your property, you should contact your solicitor. As your solicitor we will need to get the deeds from the bank if there is a mortgage or, if you have no mortgage, you should give us your deeds.. They will be kept safely in a fire proof safe. We will review the deeds and documents to ensure that questions of identity, planning are clear.

I have a price agreed – what do I do?

As soon as the price has been agreed and the booking deposit has been paid we will draft the contract and send it and the copy title documents to the solicitor for the purchaser. In advance of this we should discuss a convenient closing date (the closing date is the day you will officially give the keys to the purchaser and they will hand over the money)

You will also need to give us:

  • A document showing your PPS number
  • Receipt for Household charge
  • Receipt for Local Property Tax
  • List of all items in the house that are being sold with the house.
  • Certificate of exemption from Non-principal private residence charge
  • The name of the management company and agent (if it is an apartment)
  • Original state marriage certificate or certificate of civil partnership (if applicable)

What next?

We will answer pre-contract queries raised by the buyer’s solicitor and then will arrange for you to sign the contract. Once the contract has been signed by the purchaser and the seller it is “live” – i.e. you must close.

There are then several legal steps that take place and ultimately you will meet with us to sign the closing documents.

The Closing Date

We will give you plenty of notice regarding the closing date and time as you need to be out of your home. As soon as we have received the final payment in cleared funds, the mortgage will be paid off and the balance will be given to you.

I am buying – what do I do?

When buying, the most important thing is to have the written loan approval from the bank. We will need to see this as there are legal conditions that we, as your solicitor. will have to satisfy before the bank will release the money. Furthermore, a mortgage protection policy will need to be in place beforehand. This, in our experience, is usually the biggest delay in banks releasing funds.

I have paid the booking deposit – what do I do?

Appoint a solicitor. As your solicitor we will review the loan offer letter from the bank, review the contract and title documents and discuss the transaction with you. Issues that will need to be clarified include:

  • identity,
  • is the property being bought with anyone else,
  • contents,
  • closing date,
  • extensions/alterations to the property,
  • is it a protected structure,
  • access,
  • planning restrictions,
  • parking,
  • service charge if it is an apartment.

As each property is unique there are always specific questions that your solicitor will raise with you.

When will I get the keys?

Prior to getting the keys all the lending conditions have to be satisfied in full. This means that you as buyer must have the life assurance policy in place, it must be assigned and the property insurance must be operational. As your solicitor we have to confirm to the bank that the title is complete. Then the funds will be released and we will close.

If you need more detailed advice on buying or selling property, please call me on 01 2542915 or 086 8183875 and we will advise you in light of your own personal circumstances.