21Apr 2015

When you buy a property, the title or ownership will be transferred from the seller to you. If you are getting a loan, the mortgage or loan that you get to help you buy the house will also have to be registered. There are many other matters which will need attention.


Information we will need from you – details of purchaser(s)

  •     Name, address, telephone number, mobile phone number, email address.
  •     Marital/civil status.
  •     Marriage certificate/civil partnership certificate, if applicable.
  •     Evidence of PPS number and tax type.
  •     Whether the property is to be a principal residence/investment property.

Information we will need from you – details of property and purchase

  •     Address of the property.
  •     Purchase price.
  •     Name and contact details of seller.
  •     Name and contact details of seller’s solicitor.
  •     Name and contact details of auctioneer/estate agent.
  •     Amount of any booking deposit paid to the auctioneer/estate agent.
  •     Details of contents included in purchase / value of contents.
  •     Proposed closing date for the purchase.

The work to be done by the solicitor will vary depending on the type of property you are purchasing – a house or an apartment. It will also depend on the particular property. For the purchase of a house or apartment, the work might include the following.

1.Before the exchange of contracts for the purchase:

  •  Obtain contracts from the seller’s solicitor.
  • Carry out initial examination of title.
  • Advise on the need for a survey of the property.
  • Get details of surveyor.
  • Give the purchaser a map to arrange to have it checked by an engineer or architect.
  • Discuss with purchaser the division of price between the house and contents.
  • Give advice to purchaser in relation to contract and title furnished.
  • Check if there are extensions on the property.
  • Arrange searches and investigation of planning permission and certificates of compliance (engineer/architect to inspect). Check if the planning covers any extensions.
  • Check how seller’s mortgage will be cleared off.
  • Check whether the net sale proceeds will exceed the amount outstanding on any seller’s loan affecting the property.
  • If there is a management company managing some parts of the property, get the relevant information.

2. Loan:

  • Details of lender.
  • Amount of the loan.
  • Examine loan offer documents.
  • Arrange for signing of acceptance of loan documents.
  • Get purchaser’s authority to give any professional promise or undertaking required
  • Return acceptance documents to lender.

3. Exchange of contracts between seller and purchaser:

  • Raise pre-contract inquiries with seller’s solicitor and consider responses.
  • Arrange for purchaser to sign contracts.
  • Obtain 10% deposit from purchaser (less booking deposit paid to auctioneer).
  • Send contracts to seller’s solicitor with the deposit.
  • Raise detailed queries on the title. Review the responses. (This process to be repeated until all issues arising are resolved.)
  • Prepare the documents which will be needed to complete the sale, including the deed of transfer/conveyance.
  • Send the draft closing documents to the seller’s solicitor for approval.

4. The mortgage:

  • Complete and arrange the signing of the mortgage documents by the purchaser.
  • Complete the family home declarations, confirming marital/civil partnership/cohabitee/single status and arrange for purchaser to swear to the contents.
  • Give a professional promise or undertaking to the lender, usually to send them the deeds, when they have been stamped and registered, and to certify the title as a good title, in due course.

5. Arrangements for the completion of the sale:

  • Request the loan cheque from the lender, so that it is available for the closing date.
  • Prepare the solicitor’s bill.
  • Request and receive from the purchaser any balance purchase monies needed, in addition to the loan, together with the solicitor’s costs, stamp duty and registration fees.
  • Receive loan cheque from the lender.
  • Get proof of payment of property and household taxes.
  • Conduct closing searches in the various State registries to ensure the title is still clear on the date of closing.
  • Advise the purchaser to do a final inspection of the property before the closing appointment to check the premises and its contents and to ensure the property is vacant.
  • Set up the arrangement for clearing off the seller’s mortgage.
  • Arrange with the seller’s solicitor as to how the sale will close – meeting/postal closing

6. Closing of the sale:

  • Exchange the purchase money for title deeds and keys.
  • Advise the purchaser to insure the property immediately, if this is not being done by the lender.

7. After completion:

  • Arrange for the purchaser to sign the deed transferring the property to him/her.
  • File a stamp duty return online and pay the stamp duty to the Revenue Commissioners within 44 days of the first signing of the deed. If the amount of stamp duty to be paid must be ruled on by the Revenue Commissioners, file the     return and pay the stamp duty within the relevant timescales.
  • Print off certificate of stamping when received.
  • Advise purchaser that stamping has been completed.
  • Lodge certificate of stamping, deed and other documents in the Land Registry or Registry of Deeds for registration.
  • Answer any Land Registry queries arising.
  • Follow-up any professional promises or undertakings made by the seller’s solicitor to send on any final documents that were not available on the day of the closing.
  • When the registration is completed, obtain a copy Land Registry folio showing the purchaser’s ownership (Land Registry) or the deed of conveyance or other deed showing the purchaser’s registration (Registry of Deeds).
  • Advise purchaser of completion of registration.
  • Certify the title and send certificate of title with the original title deeds to the lender, if there is a professional promise or undertaking to do so.
  • Obtain written confirmation of receipt of title deeds and certificate of title from the lender, together with a release of any professional promise or undertaking given.
  • Advise purchaser that deeds are with the lender and that the undertaking or professional promise has been released by them.
  • Reconcile any amounts remaining in the client account and finalise with the purchaser.

8. Closing the file: