Do I need a property Solicitor?

Do I need a property Solicitor?

Do I need a property solicitor when buying, selling, or transferring a property in Ireland can be an exciting experience, but it can also be a complex process, particularly when it comes to the legal aspects of the transaction.

Do I need a property solicitor to carry out my property conveyance?

This is where a conveyancing solicitor can make a valuable contribution. In Ireland, a conveyancing solicitor plays a crucial role in guiding you through the legal process of property transactions and ensuring that your interests are protected. In an earlier blog post, What is property conveyancing? we explained conveyancing is the process of legally transferring property ownership from one property owner to another. In this blog post, we take a closer look at when you might use a conveyancing solicitor, and how a solicitor that specialises in property transactions can help you meet the legal requirements involved in the transaction and ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

When should I use a conveyancing solicitor?

Property transfers are bound by strict legal requirements in Ireland. It is possible to take on your own property conveyancing, but unless you have an extensive background in property and a strong understanding of the law that applies, you may find the process challenging, or worse, make an error that jeopardises your interests in the property.

Most people associate conveyancing with buying or selling a house, however conveyancing applies in other situations too. For example, if you plan to transfer ownership of a property, such as adding a partner to the title, or gifting a home or parcel of land to a family member, a conveyancing solicitor can help you meet the legal requirements of the transfer and complete the necessary checks and paperwork for the transaction. A conveyancing solicitor can also help if you are re-mortgaging a property to make sure your mortgage paperwork is completed properly and submitted to the right agencies.

A solicitor with expert knowledge of property law and the conveyancing process is a valuable partner in any type of property transaction to make sure the process runs smoothly and your legal rights are protected.

Do I need a solicitor to buy or sell a property?

It isn’t a legal requirement to use a solicitor to purchase or sell a property in Ireland, but you will need a solicitor if you are taking out a mortgage to make a purchase. A solicitor provides in-depth knowledge about conveyancing requirements and how to deal any issues that might arise. To begin with, a property solicitor will review the legal documents associated with your transaction, such as the contract for sale, title deeds, planning permission, and building regulations, to ensure they are accurate, legally binding, and that your interests are protected. They will also carry out important property searches to find out whether there are any legal issues that could impact the property’s value or affect your ability to buy or sell the property. An experienced property solicitor will provide valuable legal advice about stamp duty, land registry and property taxes due and will handle the finances of the transaction, including arranging for the transfer of funds and ensuring your mortgage documents are in order (if a mortgage applies to your transaction). A conveyancing solicitor will make sure there are no surprises and provide you with confidence your property transaction has met all the necessary legal and financial requirements.

Do I need a solicitor to switch my mortgage?

A conveyancing solicitor will play a similar role if you decide to switch your mortgage. A re-mortgage changes your existing mortgage product to another for the same property. It can be a complex process and an experienced solicitor will thoroughly understand what legal and financial requirements have to be met. Firstly and perhaps most importantly, they will review the terms of the mortgage you plan to take and ensure it aligns with your expectations. Then they will liaise with your mortgage provider to complete legal paperwork such as the mortgage deed, and ensure that the documentation is accurate and legally binding.

With interest rates on the rise and the cost of living at an all time high, it can make sense to switch your mortgage and save money on your monthly mortgage repayment. Several providers now even offer to cover the cost of a solicitor to complete the legal paperwork, while others are offering generous cash back deals. Your expert property solicitor at Gibson & Associates can advise you about the pros and cons of mortgage switching and discuss whether it is right for you.

Do I need a solicitor to transfer ownership of my property?

You might think the process to transfer a property into another person’s name should be simple enough, but there are a number of legal requirements that must be met for the transaction to be legally binding. In addition to reviewing the legal documents associated with the transfer and conducting relevant property searches, a property solicitor can also advise on the tax implications of the property transfer. For example, stamp duty, capital gains tax and inheritance tax may apply to the property transaction and it is important you are fully aware of your financial obligations. Your property solicitor can also arrange for the transfer of funds and ensure all your financial transactions are completed in compliance with Irish legal requirements.

Why should I use a solicitor for my property conveyance?

There are several reasons we recommend you use a conveyancing solicitor. Firstly, an experienced conveyancing solicitor has specialised knowledge of property law and the legal process of buying, selling, transferring a property or switching a mortgage. They have a deep understanding of the legal requirements and potential pitfalls of property transactions, allowing them to protect your interests throughout the transaction. They also offer a degree of legal protection, helping you to avoid and manage any legal issues that arise. A conveyancing solicitor will save you time working through the legal aspects of the transaction, and can also refer you to a trusted network of property professionals including surveyors, engineers and mortgage brokers for any additional services you might need. Remember, if you are planning to take a mortgage to purchase a property, you will be required to use a conveyancing solicitor to complete the transaction.

How can Gibson & Associates help with my property conveyance?

Our team is dedicated to making sure you enjoy a seamless property transaction. That’s why we focus on offering you:

  • competitive, transparent fees
  • a speedy 21-day closing service
  • video-call appointments to save you travelling to our offices
  • expert advice on buying, selling and transferring property and re-mortgaging, and
  • providing you with one point of contact to support you throughout the conveyancing process.

Property transactions have the potential to be stressful but our team of experienced property solicitors take the hassle out of conveyancing, giving you complete confidence in the process and a successful outcome. To speak with a member of our conveyancing team, please call us on (01) 582 1743 today.

Questions You Need to Answer Before Selling Your Home

Questions You Need to Answer Before Selling Your Home

Selling you home in Ireland. So, you’ve decided to sell your house. Perhaps you need to move for work, or your family have outgrown your first home and need some extra space? Or maybe you’ve found your dream property and you’re ready to take your next step on the property ladder.

Key Questions You Need to Answer Before Selling Your Home

Whatever the reason, the prospect of selling a property can be daunting, so we’re here to break down all the important questions you need to answer before you embark on the journey.

Is selling your house the best option for you?

Selling your property can be a long and expensive process, so it’s important that you’re 100% sure selling is the right option for you. Depending on why you’re selling your house, there may be cheaper alternatives that could work better for you in both the long and short term. For example:

Property Upgrades V Extensions

If you’re selling to upgrade to a bigger property but you’re happy in the area you’re currently living in – consider re-mortgaging and extending your current home instead. Not only will you be able to enhance a home you already love, but the extra work will likely add value to your current home in the long run, making it easier to afford an even bigger property further down the line.

Location Changes V Temporary Renting

If you’re moving away for work, selling your home might seem like the most sensible option. However, it’s worth thinking about what other opportunities are available. For example, if house prices are on the rise in your area, an alternative to selling right away could be to rent your home out for a while. This will keep your mortgage paid, (and potentially earn you a yield!) while, depending on the market in your area, increase your profits when you eventually decide to sell.

Downsizing V Modification

If you’re looking to downsize your property, it could be worth considering how you can modify your current home to suit your needs first. Selling and buying homes is expensive. The same can be true for modifying a home to suit individual mobility needs. However, the latter can be a more cost-effective route and it allows you to keep your beloved home.

Selling your home can you afford the move?

Unfortunately, selling your home isn’t as straightforward as simply handing your key to someone in exchange for a bag of money. In fact, there are a number of extra costs that you’ll need to consider. These include:

Estate agent fees: Expect to pay between 1 and 2.5 per cent in estate agent fees
Solicitor/conveyancer fees: Expect to pay between €1200 – €2000
Stamp Duty: 1% is paid on any property transaction up to €1,000,000
Removal: Moving your belongings to your new property.
While these costs aren’t eye-watering, they do add up. Add an unexpected cost while you’re in the process of selling and you’ll feel the pinch if you haven’t budgeted for these expenses.

How should you choose your estate agent?

Estate agents will charge anywhere between 1 – 2.5 per cent of your house value to sell your home for you, so it’s important you understand what’s included in their price before choosing them.

With so much choice available, it’s vital you do your research: read reviews, check their processes and talk to a variety of companies and get a feel for how they operate. It’s also a good idea to talk to the individual agents themselves! By working with people who you like and get along with you can make a stressful situation far less challenging. Note down what each estate agent offers as part of their service, and how their fees measure up against each other.

Many people choose to use a variety of estate agents in order to get a bigger market exposure. If you chose to do this too, be aware that whichever agent sells your property for you will be the ones you’ll need to pay – so repeat the above process with each agent you select!

What will you do after selling your home?

Before you put your home on the market, you’ll most likely have a good idea about what you plan to do. Most people will buy another property – while others may pocket any profit for whatever they have planned next.

Either way, considering your plan for after selling is vital. Will you start renting another property, or are you looking to buy again?

What do you need to do to get your house ready to sell?

In today’s world of Instagram filters and pristine Pinterest boards – there have never been higher expectations to meet. Home buyers want to walk into a house and be wowed – so if your home doesn’t have the “wow factor” then selling it might be an uphill struggle.

Avoid the stress of low, or even no offers, by making sure your house is well painted, well-furnished and well tiled before you invite any serious viewers in. Regardless of whether the new owner will redecorate, it’s the presentation side of things that really stands out to potential buyers. So, get the paint brushes out!

How much do you want for the property?

The unpredictability of the property market can mean that even if you have a selling figure in mind, that figure may no longer be achievable – or it could be really undervalued! That’s why it’s vital you get your property valued by a professional before you put it on the market.

Recently, Irish property prices have been on the rise – so, depending on when you bought your home, it’s easy to assume that you’ll be able to sell your home for a profit. However, depending on where you live and how much you bought your property for, this may not be the case. That’s why being aware of how much your house is actually worth is really important. Firstly, this insight will speed up offers, as you’ll be advertising your house in line with the current market’s prices. Secondly, you’ll end up with the best possible selling price for your market.

How should you choose a conveyancing solicitor?

In order to sell your house, you’ll need the help of a solicitor. They’ll do everything from drawing up the draft contract to organising a completion date – so it’s important you find a fully qualified property solicitor who has a great track record.

However, just a good track record isn’t everything. Because selling property can be such a trying experience, choosing a solicitor that shows a human side and empathises with the stress and financial implications of selling property can make the process far less challenging.

Check what previous clients have to say about the law firm and you’ll get a good idea of how a company treats their clients in general. It’s also worth talking to a combination of national or local conveyancing solicitors before you make your decision. While some local solicitors tend to offer a more friendly and attentive service, national conveyancing specialists can also provide an extremely valuable service. Find out about how we help clients all over Ireland sell their properties.

Are you prepared to wait in a property chain?

When selling a property, it’s likely you’ll end up in some sort of property chain. This means you’ll be waiting until either your seller or your buyer – or both – have exchanged their contracts on the other properties they’re buying or selling. For anyone who’s looking for a quick sell, it’s important to only accept offers where the chain is short or non-existent – otherwise you might find yourself stuck waiting for longer than you’d like.

First time buyers are often a good bet for people who need to sell quickly, as they’re not waiting to sell their own property. Cash buyers are also a good option, as they’re not waiting for their property to be sold to be able to afford to buy their next one.

Are you selling a freehold or a leasehold property?

If you’re selling a leasehold property, it means that you’re only the owner of the property and not the land it sits on. This is often the case with flats and apartments, although some houses can also be set up this way. Your land “ownership” will be for a fixed number of years, so you’ll need to bear this in mind when it comes to selling, as you may be selling a much shorter leasehold than when you bought the property. A good conveyancing solicitor will be able to advise you on this issue so you don’t run into any trouble.

How Gibson & Associates can help you

At Gibson & Associates, we offer conveyancing with the heart and soul of a local service, but we help people across the whole of Ireland.

We understand how stressful selling a property is, which is why we go out of our way to provide you with a service that provides the peace of mind you need. Our team has a wealth of experience when it comes to successfully closing property deals quickly, cleanly and efficiently across the country – from Dublin to Galway; from Cork to Donegal.

Don’t delay, please call us now on +353 1 264 5555 or complete our Online Enquiry and we’ll be delighted to help you.

First Time Buyers Dublin Property Buying Guide

First Time Buyers Dublin Property Buying Guide

Dublin has recently been dubbed ‘the most attractive property market in Europe’ with investors and residential buyers alike, sizing the capital up for its strong return on investment, high rental demand and the city’s invigorating, historic and cosmopolitan feel. So have put together first time buyers guide.

First Time Buyers In Dublin – A Property Buying Guide

With house prices steadily on the rise, the property market in Dublin offers first time buyers both affordability and a sturdy investment opportunity. However, for new and seasoned buyers alike, the process of buying property can seem like an endless race through jumps and hoops.

But with the right support and information, buying your first property in Dublin can be a positive and hectic-free process.

Our Dublin Property Buying Guide will provide you with a checklist of everything you need to consider and do when buying property in Dublin.

Follow the guide down or use the drop down links below to skip to a specific area:

  1. Choosing your Property
  2. How Will You Pay For Your Property?
  3. Method of Sale: Auction or Private?
  4. Is the Property Freehold/Leasehold?
  5. Property Title
  6. Searches Against the Property
  7. Total Costs
  8. Make an Offer
  9. Exchanging Contracts

1. Choosing Your Property

Dublin is a large city with a huge amount of choice and variety, offering something to buyers with all ranges of budgets and personal preferences. However, there are many other aspects about the property that you need to consider before sealing the deal.

What can I realistically afford?

If, like most people, you’re borrowing to buy, it’s important to consider how much you can afford to borrow. Most people set out with a budget in mind, however dream properties can sometimes get the best of us, and bigger mortgages are applied for.

After you find out how much your creditors will loan you to buy a property, you should consider carefully if the repayments associated with the loan are something you can comfortably afford.

Even if you are granted a bigger mortgage than expected, allowing you to buy the home of your dreams, remember that years of hefty repayments can have a huge impact on your personal finances. Big mortgages can become a burden if you lose work or find yourself in any other type of financial crisis.

Where is the Property Located?

Buying a property is about more than owning your own home, and in a city like Dublin where property investments are set to offer good returns, it’s important to think about how the location of your property could impact the return on investment you’ll receive if and when you chose to sell the property.

Before buying, ask yourself the following:

Is the area where the property is located popular/likely to become popular?
What is the crime rate like in the area?
Are there good schools/shops/restaurants nearby?
How good are the transport links?
Is the property near main roads/motorways?
Is there development work set to take place where the property is situated? Will these help or hinder the property’s profitability?
Why am I Buying Property?

Many people buy property for lifestyle purposes, while others for investment reasons. Either way, it’s important to think long term about what a property can offer you.

For example, the first property bought by an individual will act as the foot in the door needed to get onto the property ladder, so consider how you might make your money grow once you’ve bought a property. Renovation, redecorating and choice of property location all come into this.

If you’re looking at a property for the long term, and not only as a way into the market, you need to think about how the property will serve you for the years to come.

Are you starting a family?
Is the property big enough for your current or growing family?
Is the outside space sufficient?
Does the area offer you everything you need in terms of amenities?
Is there space to grow your property if you wanted to?

2. How Will You Pay For Your Property?

Ahead of buying, you’ll need to secure funding for a property. If you’re able to buy in cash, you will already have this sorted, but if you’re borrowing, this means a mortgage for the proposed price of the property has to be secured ahead of the sale.

Choosing a Mortgage

The market for home lending is very competitive, with banks and the various lending institutions all offering various deals and rates, so you need to talk to as many providers as possible to understand how each can help you.

Talk to prospective lenders about interest rates, general terms of the contract, and contract length.
Once a lender has given you an idea of the amount they are willing to lend you, you can determine your actual budget.

Deposits

If you are using a mortgage to buy, you will need to put down a deposit on the property. This is usually anywhere between 10-30% and will decrease the mortgage amount you need to apply for. Before buying, you need to have this deposit saved and ready to use.

Most people use savings and monetary gifts from family to pay a deposit.

Help to Buy for First Time Buyers

From January 2017, first time buyers in Ireland will be able to claim a tax rebate of up to €20,000, or equal to 5% of the value of the house they are buying. This incentive is to help people purchase new homes in Ireland, and is aimed at people who might not be able to afford to put down a big enough deposit in line with Central Bank Mortgage Rules. However, this rebate applies to new buildings only. This rebate can also be claimed on new homes bought since July 19th 2016. The Help To Buy schemes ends December 2019.

From Feb 1st 2018 – First Time Buyers in Ireland can also apply for low interest rate mortgages from local authorities – read more here about this Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan. Furthermore, extra savings can be made if first time buyers also manage to take out one of the bank mortgages that offer cashback – such as with Bank of Ireland, they could get as much as 8% total cashback.buying (Money Guide Ireland).

3. Method of Sale: Auction or Private?

Understanding how your property will be sold is crucial, and although most property is sold privately, some people choose to buy property sold in auctions.

Although property auctions can be intimidating, especially for those with little buying experience or knowledge, they can also be a great option for those with smaller budgets or who are looking for an investment project to do up.

However, if you plan to buy this way, organisation is key. It’s essential to have the property surveyed before attending the auction, as well as having the title of the property investigated before the financial arrangements put in place.

You’ll also need to instruct a solicitor to ensure your well being from a legal point of view.

4. Is the Property Freehold/Leasehold?

Knowing whether your desired property is freehold or leasehold is important, as it may determine what you are able to do with the property in the future.

A freehold interest in property is the highest interest that can be held, and allows an owner do exactly as they wish with the property. The property also belongs to the owner forever, until they choose to sell it.

A leasehold interest is less than a freehold interest, and means the owner just owns the building and not the land it is on. It also fixes your ownership for number of years – not forever, like freehold properties.

Leasehold properties also require owners to pay a ground rent to the person who owns the ground it is built on, an amount of which can vary. Often this is payable to the local authority, and will add to your regular expenses.

Be clear when buying, and discuss the pros and cons with a trained property solicitor.

5. Property Title

A property’s ‘title’ is the document that verifies that you that own the property, and guarantees that no one else can claim that they do instead. You need to be clear on what type of title your property has – a solicitor can help you identify which you need.

In Ireland, there are two types of property title:

The registration of title system (Land Registry) which provides a State-guaranteed title to property
When title or ownership is registered in the Land Registry, all relevant details concerning the property and its ownership are entered on documents known as folios. These form the registers maintained in the Land Registry.

Any property registered at the Land Registry is known as registered land, as every transaction on a property is registered on a folio. The folio is guaranteed by the State as a confirmed record of the title to the property to which it refers.

The registration of deeds system (Registry of Deeds) which records the existence of deeds and conveyances affecting property
The Registry of Deeds Title is that which is registered with the Registry of Deeds. It is used when the title has built up over a number of years, and includes Deeds of Conveyance used to transfer freehold-unregistered land or Deeds of Assignment used to transfer leasehold unregistered land.

On completion of a sale of an unregistered property, the purchase deed is lodged with the registry of deeds where the details of the registration and the time of the registration are noted on the Deed.

6. Searches Against the Property

Depending on your plans for the property, a number of ‘searches’ are required to be made against the property ahead of the sale. These include:

A planning search
This is to determine whether the property is zoned residential, commercial or otherwise, whether there any proposals for road widening in the area; and whether or not any applications for planning permission in respect of the property have been granted or indeed rejected.

A licensing search
This is needed for properties acting as a pub or a hotel, and establishes whether or not licensees for alcohol and other restricted goods are permitted.

Discuss with your solicitor whether or not you need to carry these out ahead of purchase.

7. Account for All Costs

There are several extra costs involved in buying a property, most of which are separate to the purchase price of the house. These need to be accounted for ahead of buying, and include:

Stamp Duty
This fee applies to all transactions made in relation to purchasing the property, and will depend on the value of the house.

Search Fees
These will vary depending on the title and extent of the enquiries to be made, but any searches made on the property in advance of buying will need to be paid for.

Solicitors Fees
You’ll need to contract a solicitor to carry out the property conveyancing, and this can vary from solicitor to solicitor. Many offer extra services such as will writing along with their conveyancing service, so it’s worth asking around to get the best deal. You can find out more about our conveyancing service here.

Surveyors Fees
Having a property surveyed is critical for assessing the condition of the property. An experienced surveyor can flag up any structural issues with a property that may impact you in the future. Failing to do so can leave you vulnerable to expensive repairs or restoration.

Registration Fee
These are the costs associated with registering the title with either the Registry of Deeds or the Land Registry.

Insurance
All properties need insurance, and while it’s the seller’s responsibility to have the property insured up to the date of the closing, once the purchase is completed, it is the responsibility of the purchaser to ensure the property is insured.

Buyers will also need mortgage protection insurance. This ensures that if the borrower dies, the insurance will pay off the remainder of the mortgage.

8. Make an Offer

Once all the above is done, it’s time to make an offer on your chosen property. But before you do, make sure you’ve considered the following:

Often, first time buyers, buyers with no chain and buyers who have pre-arranged mortgages have a head start on most of the competition. If this is you, make the agent and seller aware of this, as this can put you in a very favourable negotiating position, especially if the seller is in a chain.
Check if the sellers are in a hurry to sell or have been trying to sell for a long time. If so, they may be willing to accept a lower offer to make the sale.
Check, check and re check what the property is truly worth. While sold house prices in the area can help give an idea of recent sales, it’s better to see what the current competition is like.
Once you are certain of how much you will offer, your solicitor will contact that of your seller with the amount you have decided on. It is then up to them whether or not they will accept.

If the seller does accept your offer, ask them to take the property off the market. They don’t legally have to do this, but asking them to do so will prevent other potential buyers coming in and offering a counter offer.

9. Exchanging Contracts

When the signed contracts are swapped between the two legal firms representing the buyer and seller, and a deposit is paid by the buyer, this is when an agreement to buy or sell becomes legally binding.

Your solicitors must draw up contracts, and both parties must agree upon a completion date. Once these have been finalised and signed by both parties, the house will legally be yours, and no one can back out of the agreement.

Property Conveyancing with Gibson & Associates

At Gibson & Associates, We offer a true quality of service when it comes to conveyancing.

Our job is to make sure your property transaction proceeds smoothly and efficiently, and we pride ourselves on our extremely professional and high-quality service.

While our solicitors will handle all the details of a property exchange, they will also ensure you’re kept in the loop, explaining the process in an approachable and jargon-free manner.

We also offer fixed fees on all our conveyancing services, so you’ll never pay more than first agreed. We also offer our clients a free will when they use our conveyancing service.

Get in touch with our dedicated team today. We’d be delighted to answer any queries or questions you may have – Don’t delay, please call us now on +353 1 264 5555 or complete our Online Enquiry and we’ll be delighted to help you

Benefits of Hiring a Conveyancing Solicitor

Benefits of Hiring a Conveyancing Solicitor

The first time you will probably ever need to consider hiring a conveyancing solicitor is buying your first home. Then, there may be other occasions such as selling your home, switching a mortgage, or changing ownership. Conveyance involves the processing of documents involved, and the legal transfer of home and/or land ownership deeds.

What are the benefits of hiring a conveyancing solicitor?

You could attempt doing conveyancing yourself but it’s not recommended the process is very complicated; property is expensive and you don’t need the extra costs of errors over minor things like where to park your car or major disputes over land boundaries. It’s best to use a licensed property/conveyancing solicitor to do the conveyancing work for you. If you’re taking out a mortgage, you MUST use a licensed property/conveyancing solicitor.

A conveyancing solicitor is a licensed conveyancer working in a legal firm or sole practice, generally used for buying and/or selling property.

So you have made an offer on a property? You need to hire your conveyancing solicitor once the offer has been accepted. And, the same goes if you’re selling a property. You will find a list of reputable solicitors on The Law Society website (www.lawsociety.ie), or contact our property solicitors here look for a property solicitor that has a few year’s of experience, and remember that the cheapest conveyancer is not always the best!

What will your conveyance solicitor do?

Here is a brief summary of a few typical tasks that you can expect your solicitor to take care of for you:

Handle contracts

One of the most important tasks a solicitor will complete for you is the drawing up of documents, this includes transferring the Title of Ownership. For selling a property a Contract of Sale will be prepared. They will also deal with the formal mortgage offer and all the conditions on your behalf and the deposit will be handed over to the seller’s solicitor.

Give legal advice

The solicitor will do the legal leg work for you, and give you the advice to inform any decisions you make. For example, this could include any special conditions you want to stipulate on the contract of sale, or, maybe you want to stipulate a special condition that resulted from the property searches, to help protect your rights.

Carry out local council searches

When buying a property there is an obligation for the seller to inform you of certain things such as defects on the property, before the contract is signed. However, they don’t legally have to tell you everything, this is why searches are important. You will find out the answers to questions such as does that adjacent shed have planning permission? Etc.

Deal with the Land Registry or Registry of Deeds

There are two systems of dealing with the documents transferred in a property transaction: the Land Registry and the Registry of Deeds. Your solicitor will know which one is appropriate in your case and carry out the necessary checks.

Transfer the funds to pay for your property

Once your offer on a property is accepted, known as ‘sale agreed’, a booking deposit is paid to the estate agent, then the sale details can be sent to your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor. Your solicitor will then arrange to have the deposit on the property paid. Your solicitor will agree to a ‘closing date’ the date that you get your keys, the remainder of the money must be paid and associated paperwork completed.

RISKS OF NOT USING A CONVEYANCER

By not hiring a conveyancing solicitor  to carry out your conveyancing work, you are potentially opening up yourself to several risks and disadvantages:

Costly Mistakes

Conveyancing can be a complicated process, mistakes can be hugely expensive. Look for a solicitor with several years of experience, they will also have insurance if something does go wrong. If you’re doing a DIY conveyancing, and something goes wrong, you will have to hire a solicitor anyway to amend any errors.

More expense or disputes

A good conveyancing solicitor has the experience to advise on any potential pitfalls when purchasing a property, this specialist advice could save you money. They will advise on any issues that come out of property searches, and advise you in court if a dispute arises.

Top Tip

When getting a conveyancing quote, ask if your fee estimate covers all costs. Sometimes there are additional charges such as stamp duty, so ask for your quote to include all charges when buying a property. Shop around online when looking for a conveyancer, rather than taking the estate agent’s recommended solicitor — this could save you money.

Poorer resale value

Maybe you’ve moved to a new city such as Dublin, where you don’t know the areas very well. Try to hire a conveyance solicitor based in Dublin, they will have knowledge of the estate agents and locality.

They also will know the local development plans, so you can find out if a nightclub is going to open up at the end of the road sometime soon. Or, maybe the neighbor has a right of way to your property. This will be beneficial especially when thinking about the resale value of the property.

New legislation pitfalls

Property law often changes, and a solicitor will be up to date on all new and pending legislation, as well as new legal processes. For example, the process normally used in Ireland to buy and sell houses will change next year. Starting Jan 2019, solicitors will move to a pre-contract investigation of title (PCIT) system. It means that property title queries will be dealt with pre-contract, this method is already the modus operandi by Gibson & Associates Conveyancing Solicitors.

Your conveyance solicitor will know all the legal terms and advise on any contract terms that could be hidden in the fine print. If there are any issues in the seller’s contract, they will be able to negotiate extensions and qualifications on the conditions.

Not being able to complete complex transactions
Sometimes property transactions can be drawn out very complicated, especially where additional land is involved. This is where an experienced conveyancing solicitor will really shine. For example, in cases where the title deeds are lost or contested, could be tricky for an amateur conveyancer.

When it comes to the contracts involved in these transactions, solicitors will carefully examine any documents, it can be easy for the untrained eye to overlook a detail until it’s too late, and end up with residential disputes in the bargain.

Other situations include commercial property transactions, this type of conveyancing is very different from buying a house.

Hiring a Conveyancing Solicitor Odds & ends

A Solicitor can speed up the conveyancing process for you, Gibson & Associates Solicitors offer a 21 day closing service, which means you could have the keys to your house in three weeks! This is done by liaising with your bank or mortgage provider to ensure that all contract conditions are met by due dates.

You will receive an organized list of all paperwork and ensure that you receive a clear title of the property. Your solicitor will also tie up any loose ends, taking the stress out of the property for you!

Don’t delay, please call us now  about hiring a conveyancing solicitor  +353 1 264 5555 or complete our Online Enquiry and we’ll be delighted to help you.

Selling a House

Selling a House

Everything You Need To Know Before Selling Your Home

So, you’ve decided to sell your house. Perhaps you need to move for work, or your family has outgrown your first home and needs some extra space? Or maybe you’ve found your dream property and you’re ready to take your next step on the property ladder.
Whatever the reason, the prospect of selling a property can be daunting, so we’re here to break down all the important questions you need to answer before you embark on the journey.

IS SELLING YOUR HOUSE THE BEST OPTION FOR YOU?

Selling your property can be a long and expensive process, so it’s important that you’re 100% sure selling is the right option for you. Depending on why you’re selling your house, there may be cheaper alternatives that could work better for you in both the long and short term. For example:

PROPERTY UPGRADES V EXTENSIONS

If you’re selling to upgrade to a bigger property but you’re happy in the area you’re currently living in – consider re-mortgaging and extending your current home instead. Not only will you be able to enhance a home you already love, but the extra work will likely add value to your current home in the long run, making it easier to afford an even bigger property further down the line.

LOCATION CHANGES V TEMPORARY RENTING

If you’re moving away for work, selling your home might seem like the most sensible option. However, it’s worth thinking about what other opportunities are available. For example, if house prices are on the rise in your area, an alternative to selling right away could be to rent your home out for a while. This will keep your mortgage paid, (and potentially earn you a yield!) while, depending on the market in your area, increasing your profits when you eventually decide to sell.

DOWNSIZING V MODIFICATION

If you’re looking to downsize your property, it could be worth considering how you can modify your current home to suit your needs first. Selling and buying homes is expensive. The same can be true for modifying a home to suit individual mobility needs. However, the latter can be a more cost-effective route and it allows you to keep your beloved home.

CAN YOU AFFORD TO SELL YOUR HOUSE?

Unfortunately, selling your home isn’t as straightforward as simply handing your key to someone in exchange for a bag of money. In fact, there are a number of extra costs that you’ll need to consider. These include:
Estate agent fees
Solicitor/conveyancer fees
Stamp Duty
Removal
While these costs aren’t eye-watering, they do add up. Add an unexpected cost while you’re in the process of selling and you’ll feel the pinch if you haven’t budgeted for these expenses.

HOW SHOULD YOU CHOOSE YOUR ESTATE AGENT?

Estate agents will charge anywhere between 1 – 2.5 percent of your house value to sell your home for you, so it’s important you understand what’s included in their price before choosing them.
With so many choices available, it’s vital you do your research: read reviews, check their processes and talk to a variety of companies and get a feel for how they operate. It’s also a good idea to talk to the individual agents themselves! Working with people you like and get along with can make a stressful situation far less challenging. Note down what each estate agent offers as part of their service, and how their fees measure up against each other.
Many people choose to use a variety of estate agents in order to get a bigger market exposure. If you chose to do this too, be aware that whichever agent sells your property for you will be the one you’ll need to pay – so repeat the above process with each agent you select!

WHAT WILL YOU DO AFTER SELLING YOUR HOUSE?

Before you put your home on the market, you’ll likely have a good idea about what you plan to do. Most people will buy another property – while others may pocket any profit for whatever they have planned next.
Either way, considering your plan for after selling is vital. Will you start renting another property, or are you looking to buy it again?

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO GET YOUR HOUSE READY TO SELL?

In today’s world of Instagram filters and pristine Pinterest boards – there have never been higher expectations to meet. Home buyers want to walk into a house and be wowed – so if your home doesn’t have the “wow factor” then selling it might be an uphill struggle.
Avoid the stress of low, or even no offers, by making sure your house is well-painted, well-furnished, and well tiled before you invite any serious viewers in. Regardless of whether the new owner will redecorate, it’s the presentation side of things that really stands out to potential buyers. So, get the paintbrushes out!

HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT FOR THE PROPERTY?

The unpredictability of the property market can mean that even if you have a selling figure in mind, that figure may no longer be achievable – or it could be really undervalued! That’s why it’s vital you get your property valued by a professional before you put it on the market.
Recently, Irish property prices have been on the rise – so, depending on when you bought your home, it’s easy to assume that you’ll be able to sell your home for a profit. However, depending on where you live and how much you bought your property for, this may not be the case. That’s why being aware of how much your house is actually worth is really important. Firstly, this insight will speed up offers, as you’ll be advertising your house in line with the current market’s prices. Secondly, you’ll end up with the best possible selling price for your market.

HOW SHOULD YOU CHOOSE A CONVEYANCING SOLICITOR?

In order to sell your house, you’ll need the help of a solicitor. They’ll do everything from drawing up the draft contract to organizing a completion date – so it’s important you find a fully qualified property solicitor who has a great track record.
However, just a good track record isn’t everything. Because selling property can be such a trying experience, choosing a solicitor that shows a human side and empathizes with the stress and financial implications of selling property can make the process far less challenging.
Check what previous clients have to say about the law firm and you’ll get a good idea of how a company treats its clients in general. It’s also worth talking to a combination of national or local conveyancing solicitors before you make your decision. While some local solicitors tend to offer a more friendly and attentive service, national conveyancing specialists can also provide an extremely valuable service. Find out about how we help clients all over Ireland sell their properties.

ARE YOU PREPARED TO WAIT IN A PROPERTY CHAIN?

When selling a property, it’s likely you’ll end up in some sort of property chain. This means you’ll be waiting until either your seller or your buyer – or both – have exchanged their contracts on the other properties they’re buying or selling. For anyone who’s looking for a quick sale, it’s important to only accept offers where the chain is short or non-existent – otherwise, you might find yourself stuck waiting for longer than you’d like.
First-time buyers are often a good bet for people who need to sell quickly, as they’re not waiting to sell their own property. Cash buyers are also a good option, as they’re not waiting for their property to be sold to be able to afford to buy their next one.

ARE YOU SELLING A FREEHOLD OR A LEASEHOLD PROPERTY?

If you’re selling a leasehold property, it means that you’re only the owner of the property and not the land it sits on. This is often the case with flats and apartments, although some houses can also be set up this way. Your land “ownership” will be for a fixed number of years, so you’ll need to bear this in mind when it comes to selling, as you may be selling a much shorter leasehold than when you bought the property. A good conveyancing solicitor will be able to advise you on this issue so you don’t run into any trouble.

HOW GIBSON & ASSOCIATES LLP CAN HELP YOU

At Gibson & Associates LLP, we offer conveyancing with the heart and soul of a local service, but we help people across the whole of Ireland.
We understand how stressful selling a property is, which is why we go out of our way to provide you with a service that provides the peace of mind you need. Our team has a wealth of experience when it comes to successfully closing property deals quickly, cleanly, and efficiently across the country – from Dublin to Galway; from Cork to Donegal.
To find out more about our conveyancing service, don’t delay, please call us now at +353 1 264 5555 or complete our Online Enquiry and we’ll be delighted to help you

Buying a house in Ireland

Buying a house in Ireland

Buying a house in Ireland (A to Z)

Are you thinking about buying a house in the near future? Not sure how to get started? There are lots of ‘buying a house checklists’ online. Most will mention the various laws, documents, and fees you should be aware of. Hiring a solicitor is a reoccurring theme. And this is because spending the time to learn about all of the ins and outs of buying a house can be extremely confusing and time-consuming.
Before you hire a solicitor to help you buy a house, it makes sense to learn the basics of conveyancing. If conveyancing seems like a scary world full of jargon, complex legislation, and procedure to you then we’re here to help. Gibson’s & Associates Solicitors have got you covered. We’ve put together a helpful A – Z guide that covers the basics. You’ll learn some of the conveyancing vocab, but we’ve also drawn your attention to some easily forgotten aspects of buying a new house.
A – Advised Market Value (AMV)
If an estate agent is helping to sell your home, the Advised Market Value (AMV) is the estimated valuation that they think you should sell your property for.
A – Auction
You can buy property at an auction in Ireland. This can be a good way to find a cheaper, unusual property. We’ve written a complete guide about how you can buy property at auction in Ireland, so check that out for more information.
B – BER Certificate
The BER Certificate stands for “Building Energy Rating”, and rates the overall energy efficiency of a building (residential or commercial). The rating is similar to the energy label on your fridge and is denoted on a scale of A to G. A1 is the most energy efficient and G is the least energy efficient. The certificate contains the following information:
• The building name and address,
• A BER number
• The date of issue
• The date until when the BER is valid
• The BER assessor number
• The BER assessor company number
B – Builder
When you’re provisionally viewing a house, it can be helpful to bring a builder along with you. They may be able to spot things that are wrong with the building, including potential structural issues. But bear in mind – this is not the same as a professional inspection or survey.
C – Conveyancing
Conveyancing is the legal work that covers buying or selling a property. Check out our comprehensive guide on conveyancing.
C – Contract
In almost all residential sales, a contract is known as a contract for sale. The contract for sale binds the parties to the completion of the sale. In other words, once it’s signed you have to go through with it or risk losing your deposit. The completion date will be set out in the contract and the balance of the agreed purchase price will be due on that date.
If you buy at auction you must immediately sign the contract for sale. If you buy through a private treaty (private treaty explained under P) your solicitor will check that the contract is in order before you sign it.
D – Deposit
This is a certain proportion of the total value of the property that you need to pay upfront. Your mortgage typically covers the remainder of the cost.
E- Electoral Register
Make sure you tell the authorities when you move. Notifying the local council of your change of address quickly is a must. If you want to exercise your right to vote in local and national elections you will need to change your address on the role of electors. You can use checktheregister.ie to check to see if you are on the Electoral Register.
E – Exchange contracts
This phrase is used to describe the moment when legal contracts are swapped between the seller and the buyer of the property. The contracts are signed by the buyer ( purchaser) in duplicate, then passed over to be countersigned by the seller (vendor). The “exchange” takes place when the seller returns the signed contract to the purchaser, creating a binding agreement between them.
F – First-time buyer
A first-time buyer is someone that is buying their first property. It also means that they are not reliant on the sale of current property to be able to complete it.
Ordinarily, buying a house will coincide with someone else buying another house. This means that you are part of a chain of people all trying to buy and sell. This means that your purchase is often dependent on other deals being done. If there’s a first-time buyer in the chain, it simplifies matters as they won’t have a house to sell.
If you’re a first-time buyer yourself, there are advantages and disadvantages. You may have access to help-to-buy-incentive (TTB) and better mortgage rates but you may not have the experience and knowledge to help you make well-informed decisions. But don’t worry, we’ve already created a first-time buyers guide to help you.
G – Gazumping
Gazumping is when the seller of a property accepts an offer from someone that wants to buy the house but then changes their mind and accepts a higher offer from someone else.
G – Gazundering
This is the opposite of gazumping. A buyer might decide to lower their offer just before the contracts are signed. Sometimes the buyer doesn’t choose to do this but is reacting to an event in the chain, or findings in the survey.
H – House Insurance
As a homeowner, it’s important to ensure your property against damage such as flooding, storm damage or even a fire. Contents insurance is also a great idea. You must have an insurance policy in place before a mortgage is agreed upon.
H – House Price Index
A house price index (HPI) is a tool that measures the price change for residential housing. In the Republic of Ireland, the central statistics of Ireland has published a monthly house price index since 2005.
I – Interest rate
You will have to pay interest on your mortgage. The interest rate is the amount you have to pay to borrow money. It is usually seen as a percentage per year. Interest rates can be either fixed or variable. Fixed means that the interest rate and the monthly payment stay the same for a set period of time. This means that for every month during this period, your mortgage repayments will remain the same. A variable-rate mortgage will go up or down in relation to the Bank of Ireland’s base rate or your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR).
J – Joint Tenants
This means the whole property is owned by two or more people with the intention that, when one dies, the other person will automatically own all of the property.
K – Keys
When you buy your new house, it may be a good idea to change the locks. This means you’ll know for certain how many keys there are and who has them.
L – Loan to Value Rate
The loan to value (LTV) is essentially the size of a mortgage that a lender is prepared to offer you in relation to the value of the property you are buying or re-mortgaging. For example, if the property value is €200,000 and the loan is for €150,000, then the LTV is 75%.
M – Mortgage
This is a loan that is provided to you by a lender (usually a bank or building society) so that you can purchase a property.
M – Mortgage Valuation Fee
This is often a fee charged by your mortgage lender for commissioning a mortgage valuation. A mortgage valuation is quite a basic inspection of your property. This is not a professional survey. The mortgage provider will value your property and make sure it’s worth the amount you wish to borrow. Some lenders might waive this fee on certain mortgage deals.
N – New Build
This term refers to a house that has recently been built or is yet to be built.
O – Off-plan
Off-plan refers to buying a house when it has not been built yet. This might sound risky, but in a market where property prices are on the up and more homes are needed, it can have its rewards. Buying off the plan means that you’ll need to find a suitable development and, in some cases, pay a reservation fee.
P – Private Treaty Sales
A private treaty sale is an opposite of buying a house at auction. You’ll negotiate with the seller, usually via intermediaries such as an agent and solicitor, until you reach an agreement for the property. This is the most common way of buying property.
Q – Questions
If you are viewing a house it’s a good idea to have lots of questions prepared beforehand. These should include both broad and specific questions so that you leave the viewing with all the information you might need to make a decision.
R – Requisitions on Title
Requisitions on a Title are a set of conveyancing questions raised by the buyer’s conveyancing lawyers to the seller’s conveyancing lawyers. This is normally a questionnaire designed to get certain key information on the property. Questions can include:
• A planning search, with the local planning office, to reveal whether there are plans to construct anything which would adversely affect the value, enjoyment, or use of the property such as roads, railway lines, airports, shops, or factories, and whether applications for planning permission in respect of the property have been lodged or refused;
• A compulsory purchase order search with the local authority to find out whether the land is subject to compulsory purchase by the state or local authority, e.g. for road building or widening;
• A licensing search (in the case of a hotel or pub).
S – Stamp Duty
A fee in the form of a government tax that’s added to the purchase price of a residential house or property. Stamp duty is normally 1% of the selling price of any residential property up to €1m.
S – Survey
This is a property health check carried out by professional property surveyors. The level of detail they will go into depends on how much you are willing to spend. If you are concerned about the structural health of a property, it is a good idea to get a comprehensive structural survey carried out. Being forewarned is being forearmed. A detailed house survey should be a priority because it will give you the peace of mind to move in worry-free.
The survey will, at the very least, produce a helpful ‘snag list’ on the property (an inspection of minor faults) allowing you to budget for repairs or renovations beforehand.
T – Transfer Deed
When a property is sold, a Deed of Transfer is submitted to the land registry, and the Registrar replaces the vendor’s name with the new buyer’s.
U – Unregistered Title
This is the term used to describe property that has not been registered in the Land Registry. The essential difference is that with a registered property the seller’s name is recorded in a Land Certificate and a purchaser does not have to trace back the previous owners as the persons whose name appears as the owner is regarded as being conclusive proof of his ownership.
V – Vendor
This is a conveyancing term used to describe the seller of the property.
W – Wayleave Agreement
A Wayleave Agreement is a formal agreement made between the landowner and the energy company to allow them to use the land to run cables or to place equipment on the site. In return for granting the right to use this land, the energy company will usually pay a fee, similar to a tenant paying rent to a landlord. A solicitor can check if there are any such agreements for the property you want to buy in place.
Y – Yield
Yield is a term often used in relation to how much a property can make through rent compared to its overall value. This term is commonly heard when discussing buy-to-let ventures. If a house has a high yield rate, it means that you have paid a fairly low price for the property but are able to rent it out for a higher price.
Z – Zoning
Zoning is the process when local authorities decide what land can be used. This happens when local authorities create development plans for areas of land. Land may be designated for residential use, industrial, commercial, agricultural, or recreational use; as open space; or as a mixture of these uses. Home buyers should check that the property they want to buy has been built in a zone of land designated for residential use.

Property Conveyancing With Gibson & Associates

At Gibson & Associates, we offer a high-quality conveyancing service. It’s our job to make sure your property transaction goes through smoothly and efficiently.
While our solicitors will handle all the details of a property exchange, they’ll also ensure you’re kept in the loop, explaining the process in an approachable and jargon-free manner.
We also offer fixed fees on all our conveyancing services, so you’ll never pay more than what’s first agreed.
Get in touch with our dedicated team today. Don’t delay, please call us now at +353 1 264 5555 or complete our Online Enquiry and we’ll be delighted to help you.