Selling your house – some of the matters to consider

Private Treaty/Auction

There are two ways to sell a house – by private treaty or by auction. It is important to be guided by an auctioneer or other professional in the area as to the best way to sell your house. Which method is better will depend on a number of factors including the type of house, the state of the property market, the area etc.

Is there a mortgage on the property?

A lot of houses these days have mortgages on them. If your house still has a mortgage on it you will need to give authorisation to your solicitor to take up the title deeds from the lending institution in order to prepare the contract for sale. It is important to do this as early as possible as it can take a number of weeks for the lending institution to release your deeds.

When does my Solicitor send out Contracts?

The contract for sale is prepared by your solicitor once he/she has received all the relevant documentation from the lending institution and from you, the vendor.  As the person selling the house you need to provide all relevant planning documentation, as referred to below, and the Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificate to your solicitor.   In addition, you need to provide your Solicitor with all the necessary certificates and receipts in respect of the NPPR charge, Household Charge, Local Property Tax, registration of the septic tank and Irish water application details.  If all of these documents are not available it will delay the sale of your property

Planning Documents

Any house built since the 1st October 1964 requires planning permission. Your solicitor will need to make sure that the planning documentation is in order. This will usually entail an engineer’s certificate stating that the conditions of the planning and building regulations have been complied with. If there has been any development on the property a similar approval will be required. It is very important that the planning documents are in order before the proposed sale as otherwise the potential purchaser(s) may, on discovery of a planning issue, decide not to proceed with buying your house.

The Process

The first stage of the contract process is that your solicitor sends contracts and a copy of the title deeds to the purchaser’s solicitor for signing. That Solicitor will then research the title and study the contract conditions and then advise the Purchaser as to any changes/issues that may be relevant. After these have been addressed the purchaser will sign the contract and pay a deposit, if he/she is proceeding to buy your house.
The contract is then returned to your solicitor who will contact you to arrange an appointment to sign the contract in duplicate. One part is then returned to the purchaser’s solicitor who will then raise requisitions on the title (multiple questions about the property), which have to be responded to by your solicitor.
Your Solicitor will then prepare the documents for closing and you will need to sign same.  Also it may be necessary for your spouse/cohabitant/civil partner to sign documents depending on your circumstances and if there is a mortgage your solicitor will obtain redemption figures from the lending institution. On closing your solicitor will exchange the closing documents and keys of the property, for the purchase money and then proceed to redeem your mortgage secured on the property.