Buying a house?


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If you are considering buying or selling property, Mulroy and Company Solicitors Galway have a fixed price fee for conveyancing transactions. You can read more here.

Please feel free to complete the form here. Mulroy and Company Solicitors Galway will contact you as soon as possible with a detailed quotation of the fees, costs and outlays involved in the purchase of a property.

Do you have questions on your house purchase?  You can read more here.

What are the steps involved in buying a house?

 (i) Appoint a Solicitor

It is important that you contact a Conveyancing Solicitor, who at an early stage, will provide you with a quotation of the costs involved in the property purchase.If you want to know the total costs involved please complete the form here.

The solicitor will need the following information from you:

  • Name, address, telephone number, mobile phone number, email address.
  • Marital/civil status.
  • Marriage certificate/civil partnership certificate, if applicable.
  • Details of PPS number and tax type.
  • Whether the property is to be a principal residence/investment property.
  • Address of the property.
  • Purchase price.
  • Name and contact details of seller.
  • 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 and/or value of contents.
  • Proposed closing date for the purchase.
(ii) Booking Deposit

Once you have decided which property you wish to purchase, it is normal to pay a booking deposit to the Auctioneer. Booking deposits can vary depending on the value of the property. Booking deposits are entirely refundable up until the point the Contracts are signed by both the Purchaser and the Vendor and the Contracts are exchanged.

(iii) Sales Advice Notice

On receipt of the booking deposit, the Auctioneer will prepare the Sales Advice Notice and will send it to the Solicitor for the Vendor and the Solicitor for the Purchaser. It should be noted that some Auctioneers do not send such an Advice Note to the Solicitors for the Purchaser, so therefore it is important that you keep your Solicitor advised as this transaction progresses.

(iv) Contracts 

The Vendor’s Solicitor will prepare the Contract and will send it to the Purchaser’s Solicitor together with the title documentation of the property you propose purchasing.

The Purchaser’s Solicitor wwil then examine the contracta and title documents. 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:

  • 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..
  • 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.
(v) Letter of Offer 

On the payment of the booking deposit, it is important you contact your bank or lending institution to ensure your loan offer issues for the property you propose purchasing, without delay. On the issuing of the loan offer, your lending institution or bank will send a loan pack to your Solicitor. On the basis of the title documentation furnished, your Solicitor will then prepare the Mortgage documents to be signed by you and advise you on the loan offer including any special conditions included in your loan offer which you may have to comply with, prior to the signing of any Contracts.

(vi) Valuation for Bank

A valuation is designed to give the bank an idea of the property’s condition and how much it is worth. This is it’s sole purpose. The bank will require this before agreeing to your mortgage.

This is carried out by an Auctioneer and is not a structural survey and it must not been seen as such.

(vii) Engineer

It is often advisable to employ an Engineer when you are purchasing a property, to ensure that the property you are purchasing is structurally sound as in certain cases, including in particular the purchase of a second-hand property, you may have no recourse against the Vendor in the event of any structural problems arising. It will also be necessary when you are purchasing certain properties that your Engineer would inspect the boundaries of the property as again you are purchasing the property with full knowledge of any difficulties which may arise in relation to boundaries.

(viii) Appointment

Arrange an appointment with your Solicitor with a view to signing the Contract. Once your Solicitor is satisfied that the title to the property is in order and that your are in a position to comply with all conditions in your loan offer, you should be in a position to sign Contracts and pay the balance of the deposit which is normally 10% of the purchase price, minus any booking deposit you may have paid to the Auctioneer.

(ix) Return of Contracts

Your Solicitor will then arrange for the Contracts to be forwarded to the Vendor’s Solicitor, who will arrange for the Vendor to sign the Contracts and return one copy to your Solicitor.

Your Solicitor will also prepare the documents that will be needed to complete the sale, including the deed of transfer/conveyance and send the draft closing documents to the seller’s solicitor for approval.

(x) Life Assurance and Home Insurance

All banks will require that you have Life Assurance in place to ensure that in the event of you or any other person with whom you purchased the property passing away, the loan will be discharged. It is important that this be dealt with as soon as possible.

When you get a mortgage to buy your home, you will generally be required to take out mortgage protection insurance. This is a particular type of life assurance taken out for the term of the mortgage and designed to pay it off on the death of the borrower or joint borrower.

Various Insurance Companies may require medical reports in regard to any medical problems you may have. This can sometimes take some time and often will delay the completion of the purchase of the property.

In most cases, the lender is legally required under Section 126 of the Consumer Credit Act 1995 to make sure that you have mortgage protection insurance before giving you a mortgage, with some exceptions – see ‘Exceptions to legal requirement’ below. However, if the lender offers a particular policy, you are not required to buy it. You can shop around for a mortgage protection policy that suits your needs. Your lender cannot refuse you a mortgage because you don’t buy the policy it offers.

Mortgage protection should be payable on a joint life, first death basis. This means that the mortgage is repaid on the death of the first borrower if a couple is involved.

It is important to review your mortgage protection policy regularly and ensure that you take out additional cover, if necessary, to cover extensions of the mortgage term or any penalties incurred. You must keep the premiums up to date. If you go into arrears, the policy may lapse.

You do not have to take out mortgage protection insurance if:

  • You are aged over 50 or
  • The mortgage is not on your principal private residence (your home) or
  • You cannot get the insurance, or can only get it at a much higher premium than normal or
  • You already have enough life insurance to pay off the home loan if you die

However, some lenders may insist that you take out mortgage protection insurance as a condition of giving you a mortgage, even if there is no legal requirement in your case.

Mortgage repayment protection insurance

Mortgage repayment protection insurance is usually optional. It is a type of payment protection insurance that is designed to repay your mortgage for a certain amount of time – typically 12 months – if your income is reduced because you have an accident or are made redundant, or for any other reason covered by the particular policy.

You should check with your mortgage lender or insurance broker or insurance company if you are uncertain about whether you have mortgage repayment protection insurance. You should also check exactly what it covers and ensure that it suits your situation.

(xi) Loan Cheque

Once a closing date is agreed, your Solicitor will arrange to drawdown your loan cheque from your bank or lending institution. Your Solicitor will also:

  • Prepare the solicitor’s bill.
  • Request and receive from the purchaser any balance purchase money needed, in addition to the loan, together with the solicitor’s costs, stamp duty and registration fees.
  • 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.
  • Arrange with the seller’s solicitor as to how the sale will close .
(xii) Closing of Purchase

The closing of the purchase of the property will generally take place in the Vendor’s Solicitor’s office. Your Solicitor will attend the office. Your Solicitor will check the documents to ensure they are in order and will carry out searches against both the property and the Vendor to ensure there are no judgements or burdens registered on the property, which adversely affect you.

Once your Solicitor confirms that the documents are in order and there are no matters appearing on the searches which give rise to concern, your Solicitor will pay over the balance of the purchase monies and the Vendor’s Solicitor will either furnish your Solicitor with the keys or contact the Auctioneer with a view to having the keys released to you.

(xiii) Signing of Deed transferring the Property into your name

When the transaction is completed, the Deed transferring the property into your name must be signed by you, the Purchaser.

(xv) Stamping of Deed by Revenue Commissioners

On the completion of the transaction, it will be necessary to have the Deed transferring the property into your name stamped by the Revenue Commissioners. If Stamp Duty is payable on property, it must be paid no later that 44 days from the date of the completion of the purchase of the property. It is therefore vital that you furnish your Solicitor with a Bank Draft for any stamp duty payable as the delay in the payment of the stamp duty could give rise to substantial stamp duty penalties.

(xv) Land Registry/Registry of Deeds

On stamping of the documents by the Revenue Commissioners, your Solicitor will proceed to have the property registered in your name in the Land Registry or the Registry of Deeds, depending on the nature of the title to the property you purchased.

(xvi) Title Documentation

Once the registration of the property is completed, your solicitor will schedule your title documents and forward them to your lending institution, who will hold them on your behalf, until such time as you require them, either for the sale or the re-mortgage of the property.


(xvii) Local Property Tax

Before the completion of the sale you or your solicitor should:

  • obtain any relevant information and any supporting documentation from the seller (property ID, valuation band or valuation, basis for their valuation and details of any exemption claimed)
  • check whether there is any outstanding tax, interest or penalties in relation to that property. You can check your outstanding LPT online.
  • ensure that Household Charge is fully paid
  • consider whether the valuation declared by the seller is reasonably and honestly made. The buyer or their solicitor should address any concerns prior to the closing of the sale.
  • All sellers must obtain general clearance and some must also obtain specific clearance from Revenue before completing the sale. This must be provided to the buyer.
  • If this is not the first sale since 2013, the seller must provide details of any clearance held for the earlier sale.
  • You, as the buyer, must ensure that the seller provides you with copies of the appropriate clearance(s).

When the sale has been completed you should confirm when you are liable to pay Local Property Tax (LPT) on the property.

To obtain a prompt quotation on buying a house contact us today.