15 Top Tips on Buying a Property

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission recently brought out a checklist guide for prospective house purchasers.

Here we do a quick Q and A for you!

Question 1.

How much do you charge for standard conveyancing?

There is no such thing as a standard conveyance every matter is different but taking an average of semi detached house with the mortgage the professional fee will arrange between €1250 and €1595. To which VAT must be added 23%.

Some purchases may be more complicated and may be delayed for reasons outside the purchasers control. If a purchase does not complete for some reason the solicitor would be entitled to charge on a time basis for work done.

Question 2.

What does the fee include and not include?

Our firm operates a Conveyancing Cost Calculator which can be completed by the purchaser in their own time to get an idea what costs and outlays are involved and to allow them budget.

This software gives the full breakdown of the Legal charge, tax, and outlays payable to the Property Registration Authority and Revenue. If the purchasers are getting a mortgage the lender will have certain requirements such as a new folio showing the purchaser as owner which is an extra cost of €40 .

Question 3.

Do you have a fixed fee quotation or an estimate?

By using the conveyancing cost calculator on our website you have a definite figure including all outlays. Only in the event of some unforeseen circumstance will that change and you will be given a written confirmation of any changes if they arise.

Question 4.

Will there be any extra fees for administration costs, such as postage?

Our fixed fee calculator includes all fees for administration costs.

Question 5.

Could the fee change and if so, why?

The professional fee will only change if some unforeseen problem arises. Our experience tells us that issues can arise such a purchase which does not complete or unreasonable delays by either party in providing title documents and/or finance or in cases of persons buying from out of Ireland application for PPS number which is necessary to purchase any property in Ireland. This is not part of the normal conveyancing transaction and is a separate charge. All Irish citizens have a PPS number. It only relates to non-national purchasers must obtain a PPS number.

Question 6.

Do you have a no sale, no fee policy in place?

The reality is if the purchase does not go ahead before the contract is issued and signed the purchaser is not obliged to pay anything. In the event of a sale if the vendor has all their documents in order to include local tax payments up to date exemption from non-principal private residence letter, registration with Irish Water and actual title documents in that case no professional fees are charged. If we have to go to the trouble of locating these documents and registering with the various bodies the sale is not complete there will be a time-based charge.

Question 7.

Will you let me know in advance if something will cost extra?

The provisions of section 150 of the legal services regulation Act 2015 provide that the event that any unforeseen issue arises letter must be sent to the client advising of this and how it arises. The provisions of this act are designed to protect you as a consumer. Our Conveyancing Cost Calculator complies with the provisions of the 2015 act mentioned above.

Question 8.

What is the maximum I can expect to pay?

Our Conveyancing Cost Calculator covers all fees and outlays payable and gives confirmation as to the actual cost in a property transaction.

Question 9.

What part of the process will you look after?

We will not open a file until our quote is accepted. We will not act on file until a loan pack is received from a financial institution or if a cash purchase cleared funds are in our account.

We will check the title, ensure all relevant statutory documents are available, check the queries on title and the answers provided by the sellers solicitor. We will arrange the signing of the contract correspond by phone and email with the sellers solicitor. If all matters are in order we will arrange searches against the title to ensure there are no hidden charges before ownership passes. We will complete the purchase ensuring we have all documents necessary for the lending institution. We will stamp your transfer online with Revenue. We will then forward to the Property Registration Authority to register you as the new owner. On receipt of their confirmation we will prepare the title and all associated documents and forward them to the lending institution.

We should say the entire transaction will depend on the solicitor undertaking to prepare a certificate of title for the lending institution. The solicitor is the oil that ensures the transaction completes smoothly and you get your new Property.

Question 10.

How long should the process take?

Again this is hard to define about various types of transactions but an average would be 4 weeks from initial instructions to receipt of keys. Today things move faster with the use of email and electronic funds transfer. The main delay can very often be the financial institution issuing the funds. In turn if you are are purchaser you have to complete all the documents they require such is life cover and insurance before the funds will issue.

Question 11.

 How will you update me and how often?

With email we now include clients by email with correspondence with the other party. This ensures the client is kept up to date with your transaction.

Question 12.

What we need to do before the closing date?

As outlined above preparatory work with the financial institution must be completed. Funds will not issue until all documents are completed to their satisfaction. You will also need to employ an engineer to survey the property. The lending institutions survey which you would pay for only insurers the property will remain standing for the length of the mortgage. You must arrange your own survey to ensure there are no hidden defects in the property. This is especially important now since properties were built with defective brick structure in recent times.

Question 13.

How many conveyancing cases have you handled?

We have handled many purchases and sales over the years since 2003 when this office was first established.

Our website has testimonials from satisfied clients for review. Our YouTube channel also has some video recommendations from satisfied clients.

Question 14.

Do you have references I can contact?

We rely on word-of-mouth recommendations from existing clients together with the recommendations on our website by satisfied clients. We have received awards in recent years in relation to our client service and finalists in the most recent 2021 Irish law awards in sections dealing with client care. These awards are listed on our website and in our office.

Question 15.

Are you a member of the LawSociety of Ireland?

Yes all solicitors must be registered on an annual basis and insured for professional indemnity in relation client care.

We hope this has been of assistance to you if you are considering us as your legal adviser in relation to any conveyancing matter. Please feel free to email us at info@michaelmonahansolicitor.ie and we shall assist you in any way we can.

You can download our Property Purchase Guide Here