Selling a House in Ireland Checklist

Selling a house in Ireland can be full of unwelcome surprises especially for those who may be attempting the process for the first time. Even for those who have bought and sold several times, difficulties can still be encountered due to increasingly stringent demands from banks, solicitors and engineers all of which have the potential to slowdown or derail the sale of your property.

Before going to market you will need to consider the documents that are required in order to sell your house.

First off you will need an up-to-date Building Energy Rating Cert along with the accompanying Advisory Report. If you have a BER that is over 10 years old a new one will have to be carried out.

The next port of call is to consider the deeds of the property. If there is a mortgage against the property then the deeds will reside with the financial institution that has provided the loan. You will need to sign an authority at your solicitor’s office in order to have the deeds released from the bank. In theory this should be straightforward but it can take up to 8 weeks for the banks to release the deeds to your solicitor. It is imperative that this be done in advance of going to market so that any delays will not impact the sales process.

Your solicitor will need to inspect the deeds before the contracts can be sent over to the purchaser’s solicitor.

Once your property has been sale agreed then the contracts should be sent over to the other side as soon as possible. Delays are often encountered at this juncture as your solicitor is preparing the contracts. The longer this process takes the more nervous the buyer will become. The below are some of the documents which may slow down the release of the contracts for sale.

Documents Required By Your Solicitor to Sell Your House

You will need to ensure that your local Property Tax (LPT) is up-to-date. You will need to pay this in full for the year ahead and upon closing you will be reimbursed by the purchaser for the portion of year after the sale has completed.

If the property was not your principal private residence in the years 2011 to 2013 and you have not paid your NPPR (Non Principal Private Residence) Tax, then this will have to be paid retrospectively. Alternatively, you may also apply for a Certificate of Exemption which can be signed by a commissioner of Oaths.

If there is a septic tank on the property the solicitors acting on behalf of the purchaser will look for evidence that it has been registered. And if it is a modern sewage treatment plant they may also look for the service contract agreement.

Engineering Considerations

Your planning documentation will need to be in order. You need to ensure that all of your boundaries are correct as per the land registry. This is especially true if you live in a ‘one off’ house in the countryside. The type of sewage treatment system installed should correspond to what has been specified in the grant of planning permission and be situated in the prescribed location. If boundaries and septic tanks are not where they should be an application for retention will need to be submitted to your local council. His will take 12 week to be granted so it is advisable to make any required application in advance of going to market.

You may also need an updated cert of compliance for the building if any alterations, extensions etc. have been carried out. If you have made any alterations to the property for which you have not made a planning application you may need to consider applying for retention. We have seen sales fall down over relatively simple changes such as the addition of a bay window for example. The good news here is that the seven year rule will apply to any alterations that have been carried out in excess of seven years previous. You cannot be asked to undo any works that are in place for over seven years. However in order to be in compliance with planning you will need to apply for retention.

The lender for the purchaser will want a clean title so that in the event of a mortgage default that the property can be reposed and re sold so they will take dim view of what may appear to be relatively minor issues, such as; the aforementioned bay window scenario or indeed any alterations to the front elevation of the house, a garage built without planning or from different material than prescribed by the planning, a front boundary wall that should be in place, or ESB pole that should have been repositioned.

It is good idea to get an engineer to do a pre sale report for you so that you will be aware of any issues and can have solutions in place before they have the potential to derail your sale.

If you live in a housing estate in theory there should be less issues. Albeit it will need to be determined who is responsible for any common areas and if the roads, sewer and street lights have been taken in charge by the council.

Apartment blocks pose a different set of issues. You will need to ensure that there is a management company in place. That there is a sinking fund and block insurance along with an up-to-date fire cert.

If your property is part of a multi-unit-development, you will require the MUD Act documentation. These documents are available from the management company in charge of the development and include documents such as block insurance, next year’s budget for the development, information on the sinking fund balance as well as on the number of vendors behind on their management fee payments, for example. It can take the management company some time to send this documentation, so the sooner it is requested, the better.

The MUD report will have to be sent over to the purchasers solicitor for inspection. Any management fees owed will have to be paid in advance of sale.

If you are a first time seller this may all seem somewhat overwhelming at first but don’t worry, if you have read all the above and are prepared to take the required action then you will be well positioned to make the process as smooth as possible.

Most importantly, you will need to get a good team around you and that means; a good solicitor who will keep things moving for you, a good engineer who will find any issues before they become problematic and of course a good auctioneer who will oversee all of the above and will ensure that that your deal gets over the line without a hitch.

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