Buying and Selling Property: A Guide to Buying Your First Home
Being property solicitors (conveyancing) means that we can assist you with all legalities when buying and selling property.
Property Solicitor Duties
From the process below, you will note that our role as a property Solicitor involves dealing with all contractual information and deeds.
We have prepared information on buying your first home. If you elect to purchase your property with us, this is the purchasing/conveyancing process in detail.
1. The Purchaser agrees to buy the house
To begin the process of buying your first home, the purchaser agrees the price with the auctioneer and pays a booking deposit. This is refundable in the event of the purchaser deciding not to proceed with the transaction prior to signing contracts for sale. The purchaser gives his/her solicitor’s details to the auctioneer. The auctioneer sends a copy of the sales advice note to the solicitors for both sides, setting out the terms that have been agreed i.e. price, deposit, closing date, list of contents included in purchase price etc.
All documents are marked Subject to Contract/Contract Denied. This makes it clear that there are no binding contracts yet; usually contracts are not binding until contracts have been executed as well as exchanged by both purchaser and vendor in addition to a full deposit having been paid.
2. The Vendor’s solicitor issues contracts for sale to the Purchaser’s solicitor
The purchaser’s solicitor reads the Contract and Title documentation and raises pre-contract enquiries in relation to them. The purchaser’s engineer/architect will inspect the property to ensure it is structurally sound, that it complies with planning permission and that the title map reflects what is on the ground.
3. The Purchaser’s Solicitor arranges for the Purchaser to sign contracts
If the title is in order and conditions of the sale have been agreed between purchaser and vendor, the Contracts for Sale are signed by the purchaser in the presence of their solicitor. The purchaser must provide the necessary funds for the balance of the contract signing deposit, which is 10% of the sale price.
4. The Purchaser’s Solicitor returns contracts
The purchaser’s solicitor returns contracts, along with a cheque or bank draft for the 10% deposit. At this stage, most purchasers’ solicitors also send a standard set of detailed questions about the title of the property (called Requisitions on Title) to the vendor’s solicitor.
The purchaser’s solicitor may also send a draft Purchase Deed for approval by the vendor’s solicitor, unless the property is a new house/apartment in a development. In this instance, the purchase deed is drafted by the vendor’s solicitor.
5. The Vendor signs the contract
The vendor signs the contracts for sale, usually at his/her solicitor’s office. The vendor’s solicitor returns one part of the contract to the purchaser’s solicitor. Only now is it a binding Contract (provided that contracts stipulated that binding contracts would not be in place until contracts were exchanged and signed by both parties as well as a full deposit having been paid.
If the purchaser is borrowing money to buy the house, his/her solicitor will normally request the Loan Cheque about two weeks before the closing date for the sale. It takes about one week for a cheque/funds to issue provided all formalities are in order, and it can take up to 5 days or a further week for the funds to clear in the solicitor’s client account.
7. Closing the sale
The closing appointment takes place at the vendor’s solicitor’s office. Closing searches are carried out by the purchaser’s solicitor. These are searches against the title, the vendor and the purchaser. If no acts appear on the closing searches, the title documents and keys are exchanged for the closing funds.
8. The Purchaser’s Solicitor attends to stamping and registration
For stamp duty purposes, the purchaser’s solicitor must lodge the Purchase Deed for stamping with the Revenue Commissioners within 30 days of closing. The purchaser and vendor’s PPS numbers will be required by Revenue.
Once the Purchase Deed is returned, the deed is submitted for registration. Once the registration of the transfer deed is completed, the Purchaser is the registered owner. Even if there are delays in completing registration, the purchaser can now sell the property if he/she so wishes.
9. The Purchaser’s Solicitor completes the registration and sends title documents to the purchaser’s lending institution
Once the registration is completed, the Purchaser’s Solicitor sends the Title Deeds to the lending institution which provides the mortgage for the house purchase. If the property is mortgage free, the deeds are available for collection at the solicitor’s office or the solicitor can retain them in their fireproof cabinet for safe keeping.
The transaction is now complete.
If you would like to discuss buying property and electing us as property Solicitors, then please contact us on +353 (0)21 425 1843 or via our contact form.