As with buying a property selling your property can be equally as stressful, if you are unfamiliar with the process. Once you have organised the sale through a Real Estate Agent or Auctioneer and a buyer has been found this guide provides a synopsis of what happens next.

Once you go “Sale Agreed”

When the terms of sale have been settled, the Purchaser will pay a booking deposit and your Auctioneer will send details of the sale to you and your solicitor as well as to the buyer and his/her solicitors. The booking deposit does not commit the Vendor or Purchaser to the sale at this stage. It is fully refundable until the contracts are finally exchanged.

Your Title Deeds

If you are possession of your title deeds, then you can make arrangements to drop them into us where we will hold them in our secure vault and furnish you with a receipt of what we hold on your behalf.

If the property your are selling is mortgaged, your deeds will be held by your bank or building society. You must give written authorisation for us to take up the deeds on your behalf.

When we are in receipt of the Deeds we as your solicitors would then issue contracts in draft form containing the following information regarding your sale:

  • The purchase price
  • The contract deposit to be paid by the purchaser when signing the contract (typically 10% of the sale price)
  • The closing date for completion of the sale
  • A list of contents that are included in the sale.
  • Various other information about charges affecting the property (refuse collection etc.).

The Purchaser’s solicitor will ask certain pre contract questions to be sure that the title is in order or to identify missing documents that will be needed for the completion of the sale. The regular issues that arise are as follows:

  1. The BER (Building Energy Rating) Certificate must be delivered
  2. Proof of payment of the Household Charge
  3. Proof of payment up to date of the Local Property Tax .
  4. If the property is not your principal private residence, proof of payment of the Non Principal Private Residence Charge and a certificate of clearance.
  5. Confirmation that the mortgage will be paid in full from the sale proceeds or a letter of consent to the sale from the Lender.
  6. If the property is being sold from the estate of a deceased person, a office copy Grant of Probate from the Irish Probate office.
  7. If the property was newly built or any additions or alterations have been made to the property that required planning permission:
    • a copy of the planning permission
    • a Certificate of Compliance with planning permission from an Architect
    • a Certificate of Compliance with Building Regulations from an Architect
    • Local Authority receipts for payment of any financial contributions required by the planning permission
    • If the property is a one off build in the country that require “sight lines”, proof that the sight lines have been granted by your neighbours.
  8. If any alterations or additions you have made (e.g. sun room) do not require planning permission, a certificate of exemption from an architect to state that the extension is exempt
  9. If the property is in a managed estate and you pay service charge, the receipt for payment up to date of the service charge. If this hasn’t been paid, the Purchaser can seek a credit of the necessary amount against the purchase price.
  10. Certain property types will require the preparation of a formal registration map by an architect. We will advise if this is necessary in any individual case.
  11. Where the property is serviced by a septic tank, the certificate of registration of the tank with the Local Authority and & copy of the maintenance contract (if any).

The above listed items are matters that you should look into and ensure that you are ready to answer these queries if and when they arise. We are always available to discuss these with you.

Please also be aware that anyone who is not tax resident in the Republic of Ireland must now have an Irish PPS (tax) number. If you do not have an Irish tax number you should complete an application form as soon as possible.

If the property is mortgaged we will apply at this stage for a redemption figure so that we can advise you of the amount necessary to pay off the existing mortgage on completion. If the sale price will not be enough to pay off the mortgage and the property is in “negative equity” you must work with your Lender to get its consent to the sale. There are current options in the market place for transfer of outstanding balances to e.g. term loans or onto new properties that you are purchasing. You should address this at the start. The Purchaser will need to be satisfied prior to entering contracts that the existing mortgage will be cleared from the property after the sale completes.

Meeting with us to sign Contacts

Once all the pre-contract questions have been answered and the contracts and deposit received from the Purchaser, we will make an appointment with you to come in and counter sign the sale contract. We will require (under the Money Laundering Regulations):

  • ID Verification (copy of your passport, driver’s licence or Immigration Bureau ID card)
  • Address verification – typically a utility (ESB, Gas, phone) bill with your name at that address.

We will then:

  1. Advise you on the settled terms of contract and closing date and confirm these are correct
  2. Confirm the final contents list, if any changes have been agreed
  3. Advise you on the process of completion of the sale on the agreed closing date.
  4. Advise you in relation to the redemption of your mortgage.

If everything is in order, you will sign the contracts and the completion documentation. The contracts are then returned countersigned and at that point exchanged. The contract is binding on you and the purchaser at the price in the contract, for completion on the agreed closing date.

After You Sign Contracts

Once the contracts in the sale have been exchanged and made binding on all parties, we will work to ensure that all outstanding completion documents are available for the closing date. We will deal with the post contract legal formalities with the Purchaser solicitors.

During this time you should start organising the removal of contents and moveable items from the sale property. Your contract typically will require you to deliver “vacant possession” on completion. This means that any items that are moveable (furniture, white goods, personal effects etc.) and that are not included in the sale must be cleared from the property to be ready for the closing date.

Completing the Sale of Your Property

When the closing dates arrives. The balance of the purchase money is paid over to us and the deeds passed to the Purchaser. Final checks on title are carried out by the Purchaser’s solicitors and if everything is in order, money is released to us and keys are released to the Purchaser. At this point in time the property is sold. The property must be vacant and ready for handover.

After Completion

After the closing of your sale we will immediately redeem your mortgage and secure the release of it from your property title. We will then prepare a formal cash account detailing the payment of monies in the sale transaction. We will account to you with the net proceeds from sale due to you to your designated bank account or make them available for collection by you.

If you are tax resident in Ireland and the property is your principal private residence, you should have no obligation to pay Capital Gains Tax. If it is an investment property or second home, you must account to the Irish Revenue Commissioners for payment of your Capital Gains Tax liability. You should organise this payment through your accountant.

If you are not tax resident in Ireland we are obliged to deal with the issue of Capital Gains Tax on your behalf and to organise payment (if any) from the sale proceeds. Your accountant can advise us of the necessary amount for payment of CGT.

We act extensively in the sale and remortgage of residential property in Ireland and which is reflected in our considerable expertise in this area. Our service is welcoming, our rates are very competitive and our focus at all times is to ensure the maximum benefit to our Clients with the minimum of stress.

Please Note whilst every care has been taken with the accuracy of the above, this guide has been prepared for information purposes only and should not be regarded as a definitive legal document. You should always seek legal advice on any issues concerning sales or purchases of property and never execute any documents without having first having sought advice.