Purchasing a Property

Purchasing a property is an exciting time for first time buyers but there are always questions about the process. We are hoping to shed a little light on the basics. As follows are some of the frequently asked questions we receive from first time buyers:

  1. When would you suggest is the best time to engage with a solicitor?

Have your solicitor lined up as soon as possible. It gives you time to get quotes and see who you feel the most comfortable with.

  1. What should be your first step?

Mortgage approval, always get the mortgage ready if you are obtaining a mortgage.

  1. Is the booking deposit refundable?

The booking deposit is fully refundable and the purpose of this payment is to take the property off the market in order for contracts to issue. Always check to make sure that the auctioneer is registered with the PSRA.

  1. Is the bank valuation the same as a survey?

Your bank will request a valuation to be carried out on the property. The valuation confirms that the price you are paying is the market value. We would always recommend that an architect/engineer is engaged separately to ensure that there are no issues with the property that cannot be seen by the paperwork or by inspection. This report will let you know if there may be any problems in the future and help you make a full informed choice about the purchase.

  1. Once a buyer’s bid has been accepted, what can they expect to happen next?

Contracts are issued and pre-contract investigation is carried out by your solicitor. Your solicitor will provide you with information about the property. Once they receive your loan pack, they will arrange to meet with you and sign the contracts.

With a second-hand house, a closing date would be agreed in advance and you would have your house insurance and life insurance in place by then.

  1. If a couple are receiving a gift for the purchase, what additional documents may be requested by the bank?

The bank may look for an additional document to be signed, maybe a Gift Letter or a Deed of Confirmation that the family member may have to get independent legal advice on.

  1. If the couple are not married, what other legal paperwork would you recommend?

We would recommend a Co-Ownership Agreement where the owners agree in advance on how to deal with the property if there are any issues in the future.

  1. How much should a buyer typically allow for legal fees on a standard home purchase?

Purchasers should keep in mind there are a few things that must be paid for at the same time as the purchase of their property.

  • Your solicitors professional fees including VAT
  • Stamp duty would then be due at 1% of the purchase price
  • Registration costs could cost up to €1,000 and is also based on the purchase price
  • There are search costs which are required on the day of closing against all parties involved
  • A planning search is required for a second-hand property but would not be required for a new build.
  • A second-hand house would also have Local Property Tax (LPT) to be apportioned from the date of closing. This would not be required on a new build (this could be subject to change)
  • Swearing costs – Commissioner for Oaths
  • Architects/Engineers fees which are paid directly to them.
  1. What can delay closings?

Getting title deeds from bank, getting loan offers, one party waiting on the purchase of another house. Every purchase is different, and your solicitor can give you this information when they receive the contracts.

  • What happens on the day of closing?

On the day of closing, you will be able to collect the keys. Closing searches are carried out on the morning of the closing and all the closing documents are checked to make sure they are accurate. Your solicitor will then pay your stamp duty and registration will begin in the Land Registry.

If you are looking for a solicitor to assist, feel free to contact us on

Please note: This post should not replace independent legal advice and should be only used as a guide.