10 Steps to Buying a House

Residential Property

24 November 2017 by Helen Sweeney, Solicitor
10 Steps to Buying a House

McKeever Solicitors co-hosted a Mortgage Information seminar with Bank of Ireland at our offices in 5 Harbourmaster Place on the 24th November 2017. Following a presentation by Bank of Ireland mortgage team, our guests had the opportunity to discuss the conveyancing process with our property team. The following is a number of guidelines for first time buyers on purchasing a property.

1. Choose a property

You should build up a good relationship with the Estate Agents in the area that you are interested in. They will help you to locate properties that may be coming to the market shortly so that you can get in there early! Once you agree the purchase of your chosen property, you pay a booking deposit to the Estate Agent to secure the sale to you. This is a refundable deposit. The Estate agent will arrange for contracts and title documentation to be issued by the vendor’s solicitors to us.  

2. Nominate a Solicitor

We advise that you arrange at an early stage to nominate a solicitor to act for you and obtain an estimate of proposed fees and outlay. Pursuant to the money laundering regulations we will require all clients to prove their identity and verify their address. McKeever, acting as your solicitors, will review and investigate the property title and planning documents and ensure that the property has good marketable title. The day that you buy is the day that you sell!

3. Arrange a Structural Survey

You should obtain a structural survey report of the building from a suitably qualified Architect/Engineer/Surveyor, regardless of whether the property is new or old. You purchase the property in its current state at your own risk, “caveat emptor” (“buyer beware”).

4. Signing of Contracts

Once we are satisfied that the title and planning to the property is in order and you are satisfied with the structural survey, we will arrange for you to attend at our offices to review and sign the contracts and any loan documentation. There is no binding contract until a written contract has been signed by both the vendor and the purchaser, a 10% deposit is paid and the contracts are exchanged. The balance deposit is paid when you sign the contract (less any booking deposit you have paid to the auctioneer). This means that you can turn back at any stage up until this point!

The completion date – when you get the keys- will be proposed at this contract stage but it may be varied by the vendor. The completion date will be ultimately agreed between the parties through their solicitors.

5. Insure Your Property

When you sign the contract, the beneficial interest in the contract passes to you and legal interest remains with the vendor until the completion date. You should put your buildings insurance policy in place when you sign the contract for the full reinstatement value of the house. If you are purchasing an apartment the property will already be covered by the block insurance policy of the Management Company.

6. The Road to Completion…

Once you have signed your contracts, we prepare to complete the sale. You will usually receive your keys approx. 6 weeks from the date of signing contracts. This timeline may vary depending on title issues that may need to be resolved by the vendor, the sale of another property being completed or other factors. As your valued Solicitors, we will endeavour to keep you updated as regards the completion date and finalise the purchase as quickly as possible.

7. Require a Mortgage?

Please check with your bank or mortgage broker that you have completed all the banks pre draw down requirements of a non-legal nature so that loan approval and release of funds will not be delayed.

8. Costs

Solicitors professional Fees (subject to VAT)
Stamp Duty (currently 1% up to €1m and 2% thereafter)
Outlays- search fees, registration fees
Surveyor’s Fees
Buildings and contents insurance
Local Property Tax/Management Company Fees

9. Collect Your Keys

On the completion date, the balance purchase price and apportionment of LPT and service charges are transferred to the vendor’s solicitors. Once the final title documents are with us and in order we will authorise release of these funds to the vendor. In turn the vendor’s solicitors will release the keys via the estate agent. There is no requirement for you to attend our office on the completion date. We will contact you once the sale has completed and let you know when to collect the keys to your new home from the estate agent.

10. Move In!


This article is a general review of the law on the subject and is not intended to be a complete statement of the law. Specific legal advice must be sought on a case by case basis. For further information, please contact Helen Sweeney.

Key Contacts

Helen Sweeney
Solicitor

IFSC, Dublin
Helen has a wide range of experience in the sale, purchase, acquisition and disposal of commercial and residential property.

T: +353 (0) 1 670 2990

F: +353 (0) 1 670 2988

E: hsweeney@mckr.ie