If you’re looking to sell your house in Ireland, there are a few things you need to know. The process of selling a house in Ireland can be tricky, so it’s important that you understand what’s involved before diving in head first. Unfortunately, the process isn’t quite as simple as putting a “For Sale” sign up and waiting for the offers to pour in. There are many things that must first be considered, from setting the right price to finding the right buyer. In this blog post, we will outline the steps involved in selling a house in Ireland and give you some tips on how to make the process as smooth as possible. We will also provide some tips on how to find the right professionals to aid in the transaction, as well as share some information on buying and selling a house at the same time, so that you have a fuller understanding of the Irish real estate market!
Selling a house in Ireland
Auction vs Private Treaty Sale
There are two ways to sell a house – by private treaty or by auction. A sale by private treaty is the type of property sale most of us would be familiar with. This is where the seller puts their house on the market and, usually via an auctioneer or estate agent, invites offers for the property. Sales by auction are where a vendor will list their house for sale in a specific auction. The vendor will set a reserve price for the property – the minimum amount they would be willing to accept for the property. From here, buyers at the auction will be able to openly bid on the property, with the house being sold to the individual with the highest offer. In contrast to a private treaty sale, buyers at an auction are expected to sign contracts of purchase then and there on the day of the auction.
A professional auctioneer or other expert in the area can advise you on how to sell your particular house. The best method depends on a number of factors including the type of house, the state of the property market, and the area, so it is best to consult an expert in the area for the best option for you. It is essential that you notify your solicitor of your plans to sell the house so that he can prepare the title documents and the contract.
Finding a Solicitor
One of the first and most important steps in selling your property is finding the right solicitor to aid you in the transaction. There are a few things to look for when choosing a solicitor, such as:
– A solicitor who has experience in selling houses
– A solicitor who is based in the area where you’re selling your house
– A solicitor who has long-standing relationships with other solicitors and professionals in the area who are likely to also be involved in the transaction.
When it comes to selling your home, your solicitor will be responsible for a number of tasks, such as:
– Drafting and negotiating the contract for sale
– Being responsible for your title deeds. If you have a mortgage, this will mean requesting your title deeds from your lender
– Organising the transfer of ownership
– Calculating and paying the stamp duty on your behalf
– Submitting the Capital Gains Tax return on your behalf (if applicable)
Selling a house in Ireland is a big decision and, as such, there are a lot of things to consider before taking the plunge. With the help of a solicitor, you can be sure that all of the necessary steps are taken care of and that the process runs smoothly. Read our previous blog, Finding the Right Property Solicitor for Your Situation, to find out more about how to choose the right solicitor for you.
Contract for Sale
As soon as the solicitor has received all the necessary documentation from you and the lender, the contract for sale will be drafted. The solicitor leaves the purchaser and purchase price blank when preparing contracts for an auction sale until after the auction is over and the buyer is known. Prior to the auction, prospective bidders will want to review the title documents. If the sale is by private treaty the contract will contain all names including the purchase price. For private treaty sales, the contract for sale is not drawn up until after an offer has been accepted.
Setting the Right Price
A crucial step in selling a house in Ireland is to set the right price. For a private treaty sale, this is the asking price – a price set by the vendor as an indicator of what they expect to receive for the purchase. In an auction, this is the reserve price.
Pricing your home too high will result in it sitting on the market for a long time without any offers, while pricing it too low will mean that you’ll lose money on the sale. It’s important to find a happy medium, and the best way to do this is to consult with a local real estate agent. They will have a good understanding of the local market and can help you to set a competitive price for your home.
Hiring a Real-Estate Agent
While you can opt to sell your house privately, the vast majority of sales are done with the help of a real estate agent. An experienced real estate agent will be able to take care of many of the more time-consuming aspects of selling your home. They will value your property, photograph your home to ensure it’s looking its best, advertise and market your house for you and take care of any viewings. They will also coordinate the completion of the sale with your solicitor to ensure there are no legal loose ends.
One important thing to note before working with an estate agent is to ensure that they are registered with the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA). All estate agents in Ireland must be registered with the PRSA. You can check this by searching their name on the PSRA website.
The final step in selling a house in Ireland is to complete the sale. This involves signing a contract with the buyer and transferring ownership of the property. Once the sale is complete, you’ll be able to collect your money and move on to your next home!
Buying and selling at the same time
The juggling of both buying and selling a house can be quite challenging if you want them to happen simultaneously. If you intend on completing such a transaction, it is important to work with a solicitor who has experience in handling such matters. It is possible to sign a contract for the purchase of your new house contingent on the sale of your old house going through. It is not necessary for either of these to go through at exactly the same time as there are many things that can go wrong.
Up until recently, it was possible to obtain bridging finance from a lending institution to cover the time period between the purchase of your new house and the sale of your previous house. However, such lending options are no longer available in Ireland.
Handling a transaction of this nature can be quite complex and complicated but working with an experienced firm, such as Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, will ensure the process is carried out as hassle-free as possible.
Taxes involved in Selling a House
If you’re selling a house in Ireland, it’s important to be aware of the various taxes and fees that you’ll need to pay. The most common of these is stamp duty, which is a tax that is payable on all property transactions. The amount of stamp duty you’ll need to pay will depend on the value of your home as per the final sale price.
If you sell a house that is not your primary residence, you must pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on this sale. Generally, capital gains taxes do not apply to properties that are your primary residence. The general amount for CGT is 33% the sale price, however, the amount you will have to pay to the Revenue Commissioners can vary and you should speak to your solicitor to be advised upon the exact amount owed. This amount will vary according to the value of the property.
Other costs involved in selling your home include your real estate agent’s fee and your solicitor fees.
Sale Agreed v Sold
It’s important to understand the difference between ‘Sale Agreed’ and ‘Sold’. Sale agreed means that an offer has been made on your property and accepted by you, but the sale is not yet complete. Sale agreed is not legally binding and both you as the seller and the buyer may still pull out of the sale with no legal ramifications. Until the contracts are signed and the money has exchanged hands, the deal is not yet done.
In order for a sale to be complete, a contract for sale must be drawn up by the seller’s solicitor and signed by both parties and the agreed purchase price must be paid. Once this has happened, the property is officially sold.
The contract for sale will detail a number of important things, such as:
– The names of the buyer and seller
– The address of the property being sold
– A description of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms
– The agreed purchase price
– The date on which the sale will be completed. This is known as the ‘closing date’.
– Any special conditions that have been agreed, such as the buyer being given a certain amount of time to arrange a mortgage.
It’s important to note that, once the contract for sale has been signed, both parties are legally bound to go ahead with the sale. If the buyer pulls out of the sale, the vendor can forfeit the deposit paid andmay also seek additional compensation for proven losses. Similarly, if the seller decides not to sell they may face legal action for losses incurred by the purchaser.
Selling a house in Ireland can be a daunting task, but with the help of a professional and some knowledge of the process, it can be a relatively smooth experience. Be sure to consult with both an auctioneer and solicitor to ensure that you are getting the best possible service. And don’t forget to factor in the various taxes and fees that you’ll need to pay. With a little preparation, selling your home in Ireland can be a breeze!
Please get in touch with us at Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors if you have any questions.