Firstly, a big shout out to Ciaran Mulqueen for his book ‘How to Buy a Home in Ireland’. 

This is the book I should have written but I didn’t!  It is a great updated source of practical information that all buyers, both Irish and movers to Ireland, are in need of. While we are experienced in buying (and selling) property for well over 20 years, we could all do with an update to keep us at the cutting edge to benefit you as the buyer. 

Included in this book are the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) Questionnaire and how to choose the right Solicitor. In order for you to know where you stand with us I thought I would take the questions and put our answers to them. This will help you to compare us to anybody else you might be considering to use for your transaction. 

  1. How much do you charge for standard conveyancing? 

Firstly, there is no such thing as a standard conveyance. Every property is different with the circumstances for the buyers and sellers changing each time. There are always a number of variables in each transaction. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, but as far as possible if things were ‘standard’, you can expect to pay a legal professional fee of between €1500 – €2000, plus VAT at 23%. This sum is added to the various outlays which are mainly comprised of Government taxes and duties. 

2.What does the fee not include? 

The professional fee relates to the expertise applied by the Solicitor and their team to bring the process from sales agreed, to handing over the keys. This includes paying the stamp duty due on the property and registering the property with the Property Registration Authority, and if finance is being arranged then compliance with any conditions raised by the finance persons. 

The fee does not include arranging an inspection by an engineer to check the property is not defective in any way, nor does it include any negotiations that may take place with any financial institution if there is difficulty with the loan pack. Sometimes buyers see a better deal on borrowing funds and they change to another institution. If work is already being varied out and the loan pack is issued, this would be an extra in relation to work on the file. 

3.Do you have a fixed fee quotation or an estimate? 

We have a Conveyancing Cost Calculator on our website. When the purchase price is agreed or if the proposed price is inserted, this gives you a complete breakdown of the fees, outlays, and taxes payable. This calculator can work for budget purposes even if you are only making inquiries about various properties. The insertion of any potential price will give the relevant figures to allow you to budget. 

That quotation stands provided there is no unforeseen issues arising. 

4. Will there be any extra fees for administration costs? 


The fee quoted includes any administration costs at our end. This includes postage, dealing with state offices, and all of the phone calls and emails in all associated activities relating to the transaction.   

5. Could the fee change and if so why? 

We will not change the fee unless something unforeseen happens during the transaction outside of the normal procedures. We issue a letter known as a Section 150 letter which clearly outlines the process. 

See below for the listing of the work which we carry out. This reflects what usually happens in purchases. Only if something happens and more time is spent on extra items do we consider increasing the professional fee, which we think is only fair. 

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

By this I take it as if somebody changes their mind and decides not to buy after the contracts are sent to our firm, should they have no liability for any time spent on the file? 

In reality, what happens is we don’t do any investigations of the title until we see a loan pack arriving into our office if finance is being arranged. If the buyer is a cash client and changes their mind after some title investigations were carried out then we would normally bill. Again, we think this is only fair given our time spent on the file. 

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 make specific provision that in the event of some extra item arising during the transaction, which was not known at the start, we are obliged to notify you in writing of the fact and whether any extra professional fees and outlays are involved. 

8. What is the maximum I can expect to pay?

Again, this depends on the type of transaction. Most transactions are straightforward with cooperation from the other side being of utmost importance.  Ideally, somebody acting for a seller, if known to us, can speed matters up. 

Sometimes we come across colleagues, whose reasons best known to themselves, may not operate at the same level of efficiency that we pride ourselves in. In dealing with those you are protected and you have a three-page written quote for your purchase to show you exactly what’s involved. 

9. What parts of the process will you look after?

I attached below the contents of the Section 150 letter which we will both sign at the start of the transaction. This outlines the basic steps in a purchase which we are responsible for. You will note that if anything beyond that comes up, we may be required to organise that, but as stated above we will advise you of these extra steps and why they are necessary. 

  • Inspect the Contract, Replies to Requisitions and vouching documentation.
  • Raising pre-contract enquiries in relation to the title where necessary.
  • Attending on you for signing of the Contract (and Loan Offer where necessary).
  • Drafting purchase Deed.
  • Dealing with your lender and drawing down loan cheque in relation to your mortgage where necessary.
  • Arranging completion of purchase.
  • Arranging for registration of the property in your name.
  • Arranging to forward your Title Deeds to your lender where necessary. 
  • 10.How long does the process take?

I have a saying that we are as quick as the slowest member of the chain. Bear in mind all the parties involved in a transaction. After it leaves the hands of an Auctioneer it involves the lending institution, solicitors, perhaps an engineer, maybe an insurance broker, and a financial institution again for the transfers of funds both into our client account and the seller’s solicitor’s client account. 

Following on from that after you have your keys, we are working to pay stamp duty, register the property in your name, place a mortgage on the property and finally transfer all the documents of Title to the Financial Institutions Deeds Department. 

The contract generally puts the closing date at 4 – 6 weeks. Sometimes that will be completed in advance depending on how efficient all parties are and even the time of year. Both with the Christmas and the August period, progress seems to slow down with people absent from work. On the plus side, with the arrival of electronic funds transfers (EFT), the transfer of funds has made closing the sale more efficient without waiting for cheques to clear, as what was the practice in the past. 

11. How will you update me and how often? 

I like to think we control a fairly efficient operation in relation to the purchase of properties. With the daily use of emails, it is easy to update you with copy correspondence, bringing you along as the transaction continues. As a lot of us may only look at personal emails after hours, progress can be checked by the emails received.

Emails and texts have become the standard way of communicating with clients now, and indeed Zoom calls in order to save clients from having to come into the office for matters which can be sorted online. Can I please refer you to the testimonials on our website to back up what our existing clients which may give you more confidence to deal with us. 

12. What do we need to do before the closing date? 

The first thing to do is budget in relation to your purchase. Once you know the purchase price, what your legal and outlays are going to be, and when you get your loan approved we take up the case from there. You then have to arrange your life cover and once the contract is signed by both parties, arrange insurance cover on the house. You also need to transfer over the amount quoted in our Conveyancing Cost Calculator and I will see the balance of the funds not paid to the auctioneer to make up the amount raised from the financial institution. 

Apart from that, make arrangements to pick up the keys from the auctioneer when the sale is closed. What happens at the end is that the title is sent to us and we hold it in trust. The funds are sent to the seller’s solicitor and they hold them in trust. We complete searches to see that everything about the title and the people selling is in order. We send these to the seller’s solicitors to confirm that the title is clear and with that, they authorise the release of the title deeds to us and we, in turn, authorise them to release the proceeds to their client. They sent an email to the auctioneer to tell them to release the key to you and you pick it up from their office. 

13. Are you a member of the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland? 

This is a strange question for the CCPC to put in. 

All solicitors must be registered each year with the Law Society. There is a statutory obligation to register and no person can buy or sell a property without being registered. This protects you as a potential purchaser in the event of any fraud that may occur when dealing with legal practitioners. 

You will see on the bottom of our website and indeed notepaper that we are registered legal advisers with the statutory body controlling solicitors in Ireland. 

If there is any matter we can help you with arising out of this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us by email or through our website.