Choosing a Property

There are various steps involved in buying a property. Firstly, you should ensure that you have enough to cover all the costs involved for example, mortgage costs, insurance and stamp duty. While it may seem obvious, another important step initially is choosing the home itself. Property websites, auctioneers and estate agents are the main ways of finding property for sale.   

You might want to approach lenders to find out how much you may be able to borrow and that will help you work out how much you need to save. You can apply directly to lenders for a mortgage or use a broker. Note that you may need to get formal mortgage approval before you can sign any contract for sale. 

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Next Steps

When you find a property you like, check the BER Rating on the property to see how energy efficient it is. Make an offer on the property and if this is accepted, it is considered ‘sale agreed’ and you need to pay a ‘booking deposit’ to the estate agent. This booking deposit is refundable up until you sign the contracts. Once your offer is accepted, the estate agent will prepare a document of sale details and send this to the seller’s solicitor and to your solicitor. 

You should strongly consider hiring your own surveyor, engineer or architect to carry out a detailed structural survey, especially if you are buying an older property. This will highlight any issues you may not have been aware of when you made your offer.    

Before your bank will release your mortgage funds there are a number of steps that you will need to complete including arranging a valuation and organising home insurance. Once all the conditions of the mortgage have been met, your lender will approve your loan for the property and the amount, and will send you a formal ‘letter of offer’.  Your bank will send a copy of your letter of offer to your solicitor, along with other legal paperwork and your solicitor will explain and complete various documents with you.  

Your solicitor will also check the contracts and raise some general queries about the property with the seller’s solicitor. When your solicitor gets a satisfactory reply, they will draft a Deed of Conveyance which is then approved by the seller’s solicitor. Your solicitor will check that there are no judgements against the seller and finds out where the title to the property is held to ensure that there is nothing unusual relating to the property for example, an outstanding mortgage. Once the Deed of Conveyance is approved by the seller’s solicitor, your solicitor will contact your mortgage provider to request the loan funds. This is the remaining balance of the purchase price. It is paid to the seller’s solicitor and all documentation, and keys to the premises are handed over to your solicitor.   

Your solicitor will calculate how much stamp duty is due on the property and request this amount from you before the sale is closed. The stamp duty is paid to the Revenue Commissioners, who place a stamp on the deeds as without this stamp, the deeds cannot be registered in the Land Registry. The deeds name the owner of the property.  Your solicitor will help you to finalise the deeds to your house with the Property Registration Authority. This can take a while to complete but you are now the owner of the property, and you can sell the property before the registration is complete if you wish.  

One of the best things I experienced was the personal touch. It can be daunting dealing with solicitors and I never felt like a hindrance. Gary was always available on the phone and email for me and always responded very quickly. I know of an elderly person dealing with Gary who really appreciated being able to meet face to face in a place where she felt comfortable. I think both types of meetings are great as clients have various needs which were met very easily in the way SOS operates.

Jenny

Friendly, easy to talk to, professional support from start to finish. The service was exceptional, communication was timely and never overbearing. Everything was explained clearly along with expected timelines for completion. The team went above and beyond to sort out any issues that may have arisen during the process. Overall, very satisfied with the service.

David

What we found best was the professionalism of the service overall, the confidentiality, empathy and understanding. Communication was always clear in both e-mail and in person. Response times to e-mails, and meetings, was very good. I believe your fees are very competitive, and good value for your service.

Paul

While there are many different tasks to complete throughout the process you will be guided step by step by your solicitor. Your convenience is important to us and we aim to minimise the amount of time you have to spend on the process. We offer video calls to save you from travelling to meet us and you can meet us at times convenient to you. When documents need to be signed we can come to meet you at your home. 

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Call us Now on 061 513113, email info@soslegal.ie or complete our Free Online Enquiry form for a free, no-obligation discussion and let us explain your legal options

James Shanahan

Solicitor, Head of Department

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