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Simplified: 7 Steps to Buying and Selling Property


STEP 1: Calculate the Costs:

Before you decide to buy/sell it is important to evaluate all costs involved in buying or selling for example, mortgage costs, legal fees, registration of deeds and stamp duty, outlays etc. Most of these fees are standard with the exception of Solicitors Professional Fees.

We are committed to being as competitive as we can be with our Professional Conveyancing Fees. If you have already received a quote why not see if we can beat it. Call us for a Quote Today.

The amount of money that you can get as a mortgage loan is governed by Central Bank lending limits. It is helpful to obtain mortgage approval in principle before you start house hunting as generally, the amount approved in principal will be your house hunting budget.

If you have calculated that you can afford to buy a property, taking all of these factors into account, then you are ready to buy.

STEP 2: Find a Property:

As a buyer, go and find a property you love and can afford. Property websites like are a good place to start. Individual auctioneers and estate agents may have additional properties for sale not listed online. Individual sellers less frequently advertise their property themselves, there is nothing wrong with this but you will need our Solicitors to ensure that the title to the property is unencumbered. Newspapers may also have property supplements or publish advertisements with properties for sale.

Every home for sale will have a Building Energy Rating (BER). A BER certificate indicates how energy-efficient the home is and will be an important consideration before making an informed choice when comparing properties. The BER certificate is also helpful as it provides advice on how to improve the energy-efficiency of that property, the cost of the improvement and the effect of each improvement.

STEP 3: Obtain a Survey:

If you've found your dream property, you will need to ensure that it is structurally sound. It may look perfect from the outside but what about the things you cant see. A seller is under no obligation to disclose defects in a property. We advise buyers to always obtain a survey before making a commitment to a property. Whether you have a Surveyor in mind or not, we can point you in the right direction and introduce you to a member of the Charter of Chartered Surveyors Ireland if required at no additional cost.

The property survey will identify any defects in the home that may not be noticeable on first inspection. This will be crucial information prior to finalising the purchase.

STEP 4: Mortgage Approval:

The mortgage you may require as a buyer will be a long-term loan secured against the property you purchase.

Numerous types of mortgages and different mortgage providers exist with different rates applied to repayments.

We believe it is best for you to contact a number of different mortgage providers to find out which of their products/mortgages best suit your needs.
It is helpful to obtain mortgage approval in principle before you start house hunting as generally, the amount approved in principal will be your house hunting budget.
Keep in mind, that once you've found the home you intend to buy you must get formal mortgage approval before you sign the contract for sale.

If you sign a contract for sale and subsequently don’t get mortgage approval, you could lose your deposit and/or face further penalties depending upon the terms of the contract you have signed.

STEP 5: Sale Agreed - Auction/Private Treaty:

What does 'Sale Agreed' actually mean?

The term 'Sale Agreed' is the first official step in purchasing a property. When the buyer has made a financial offer and the seller has also accepted, a booking deposit needs to be paid. It is at this point that the sale is 'agreed'.
Sale Agreed‘ does not mean the property is actually sold, though, as this isn’t the case until contracts have been formally exchanged and signed.

What is the difference between an Auction and Private Treaty Sale?


In a Private Treaty Sale the buyer contacts the seller or the seller’s agent, usually an auctioneer/estate agent, and generally negotiates a purchase price with them.

When a buyer and seller have agreed, usually through the Auctioneer/Estate Agent, on a rough price the Auctioneer/Estate Agent may ask the Buyer to pay a booking deposit.

The amount of Booking Deposit required will vary between Auctioneers/Estate Agents.

Once the Buyer has paid the Booking Deposit to the Auctioneer/Estate Agent the legal process of buying the home begins.

The Buyer/Seller will need to inform the Auctioneer/Estate Agent at this stage who they intend to engage to complete the Legal Conveyance. If you are already at this stage and are unsure which Solicitor Firm to engage please feel free to Contact Us Today to Obtain a No Obligation Quote.

REMEMBER: The deposit is refundable up to the signing of the contract for sale.

The next step for the Buyer is to return to the bank from whom they have obtained Mortgage Approval in Principal and seek Formal Mortgage Approval from them. If approved the mortgage provider will give the Buyer formal mortgage approval and issue the Buyer with a loan pack. The bank will normally advise you at this stage of the need for Mortgage Protection Insurance and Home Insurance. However, you are not obliged to obtain insurance from the branch offering you the loan and it sometimes can be beneficial to shop around.


A Public Auction is slightly different, but the difference is very important to understand.

You will find property for sale by Public Auction online, in Newspapers and advertised by the Estate Agent/Auctioneer.

A reserve figure is generally set for the property prior to the commencement of the auction by the Seller or the Estate Agent/Auctioneer.

The reserve figure is the value the property must achieve; anything below this and the property may be withdrawn from the market.

It is possible for the Seller to withdraw the property from the market at any time during the auction, even if it has achieved the reserve figure. It is also possible for the vendor to reserve the right to sell the property before the auction.

Prior to the date of commencement of the Auction, should you wish to engage our Firm, our Expert Conveyancing Solicitor would check the Contract for Sale for the property together all title documents that are referred to in that contract. Contact our Office Today for a Quote!. (These documents can be made available to view online for some online auctions or alternatively can be sought prior to the auction from the seller's solicitor).

As with a normal Private Treaty Sale, the Buyer would normally organise a survey of the property to ensure it is sound prior to the auction date.

The main difference to a Private Treaty sale is that a Buyer ready to bid on a property at an auction must have formal Mortgage Approval for the property in place before bidding (should they require a mortgage) as the successful bidder immediately pays a deposit and signs the Contract for Sale. You would need to insure the property from the date of the successful bid.​
REMEMBER: Signing the Contract for Sale binds the parties to the completion of the sale. If you withdraw from the sale after this contract has been signed, you could lose your deposit.

STEP 6: The Completion Date and Closing the Sale:

The Contract for Sale will identify the proposed Completion Date for the Sale/Purchase. On this date the balance of the agreed purchase price will be due and paid by the Buyer to the Seller.

After signing the Contract for Sale and before the Completion Date, the Buyer Solicitor raises some general queries about the property with the Seller Solicitor known as Requisitions on Title. These tend to deal with general queries related to the property.

Once the Buyer Solicitor receives appropriate responses to these queries a Deed of Conveyance is drafted and approved by the Seller Solicitor.

The Buyer Solicitor then carries out searches against the Seller and the Property to ensure that there are no judgements lying against the Seller (for example, bankruptcy or sheriffs' searches) and to ensure that there is nothing adverse attaching to the Property, (for example, an outstanding mortgage).

Once the Deed of Conveyance is approved by the Seller's Solicitor, the Buyer Solicitor will contact the Buyer mortgage provider to request the issue of the approved loan amount. This is the remaining balance of the purchase price. It is paid to the Seller Solicitor and all documentation, and keys to the premises are handed over to the Buyer Solicitor.

The Buyer Solicitor will calculate how much stamp duty is due and request this from the Buyer before the closing of the sale. The stamp duty is paid to the Revenue Commissioners, who place a stamp on the deeds. Without this stamp, the deeds cannot be registered. The deeds name the owner of the property.

STEP 7: After the sale is completed:

Once completed, the Buyers deeds, showing their new ownership details and mortgage details, if relevant, must be registered with either the Registry of Deeds or the Land Registry. The Property Registration Authority (PRA) is responsible for both systems of registration. The Buyer Solicitor continues to assist the Buyer with finalising the deeds to the property with the PRA. This can take from months to years to complete in some cases. However, even if it does take a long time, you are still the owner of the property and, if you wish, you can Sell the property before registration is complete.



The information contained above is intended as a guide only and does not purport to be legal advice. Independent and specific legal advice should be sought.


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