Conveyancing for a Buyer
As follows is a brief overview of a typical conveyancing process as it applies to a person buying a residential property.
Before signing the contract
You pay a booking deposit to the auctioneer and give the auctioneer the name of your solicitor. The auctioneer will then notify the vendor’s solicitor who will send contracts, Replies to Objections and Requisition on Title together with copies of the title documents to your solicitor.
Before you sign the contract documentation, your solicitor will have checked that all documentation is correct, that the title to the property is in order and that any pre-contract enquiries have been replied to satisfactorily by the vendor’s solicitor. Your solicitor must ensure satisfactory replies to Objection and Requisitions on Title are received to all requisitions prior to closing. The purpose of this stage of the process, from the purchaser’s point of view, is so as to ensure that the purchaser is given a good title on completion in accordance with the contract and that there will be no issues concerning the property raised on the closing day which the purchaser was not made previously aware of. If there are any contents included in the sale, a complete list will have been obtained from either the auctioneer or vendor’s solicitor prior to signing.
Planning & Structure
If you are purchasing a second hand property, when you sign the contract you are agreeing to take the property in its current state of repair and condition, the vendor will not be liable for any defects and you will receive no guarantee or warranty from the vendor as to the structural soundness of the property. The position is different for a new property in that you will receive warranties from the builder and have the benefit of the Homebond guarantee.
Therefore before you sign the contract for the purchase of a second hand property, it is very important that you instruct a professionally qualified architect or engineer with appropriate professional indemnity insurance to carry out a full structural survey of the property so as to ensure that the property is structurally sound, that there have been no extensions or alterations to the property constructed without the benefit of planning permission and further to check if there have been any extensions or alterations constructed which are exempt from planning permission.
Furthermore, you should have your architect or engineer carry out a full planning search in the planning office of the Local Authority to check the County Development Plan and how it affects the area in which you propose to purchase the property and further to check the planning permissions, either granted or pending, in the general vicinity of the property you propose purchasing to make sure there is no development pending which may adversely affect the property.
Finally, for certain transactions, your architect or engineer will need to check the boundaries of the property as they appear on the ground as against the title map so as to ensure that the physical boundaries correspond with the boundaries as shown on the map.
You should not sign the contract until you have loan approval and both you and your solicitor have been furnished with the loan offer and you are satisfied you can comply with all the conditions in the loan approval. Your solicitor will take specific instructions in relation to this issue when you attend for signing of the contract and provided all is in order when you sign the contract you will at the same time sign all the necessary documentation relating to the mortgage.
From signing contracts to closing
Your solicitor will forward all necessary documentation to your mortgage provider to draw down your loan cheque. You will need to engage with your lender directly at this point to put in place life cover (if required) and house insurance.
Before closing, and on the day of closing, you should exercise your contractual right to inspect the property to ensure that there has been no deterioration from the date of the contract and that all the agreed contents, fixtures and fittings are present and undamaged.
Closing takes place when your solicitor furnishes the vendor’s solicitor with the balance purchase money in exchange for the pre-agreed list of completion documents and keys. Closing will either take place at the vendor’s solicitors office or by post/delivery. On the day of closing your solicitor will carry out all appropriate legal searches on your behalf and on behalf of your mortgage provider to ensure that there will no issues with the title following completion. Assuming there are no issues you will receive the keys on the date of closing.
Your solicitor will attend to stamping of the Deed with the Revenue Commissioners and registering your title and mortgage in the Property Registration Authority. When registration completes, all title documents will be sent to your mortgage provider. Finally, now that you are buying a home, you may consider it a prudent time to make a will. We would be happy to draft a will to suit your new circumstances.