Buying your First Property- For the First Time Buyer
For most people especially First-Time Buyers the process involved in buying their property is both an exciting and a daunting experience.
Step 1: Contact Your Bank
Contact your Bank to arrange your finance and this will then be printed out in the form of a Written Loan Offer from your Bank.
Step 2: Find a Suitable Property
Find a suitable Property within your budget. Once you have secured same put down your booking deposit with the Estate Agent involved. You should get a receipt from the Estate Agent for your Booking Deposit. This Booking Deposit is Refundable until the exchange of Contracts.
Step 3: Appoint your Solicitor
Your Solicitor will complete the Legal side of the Purchase/ Conveyance on your behalf.
Contracts are sent to your Solicitor by the Seller’s Solicitor. Your Solicitor will investigate the Title of the Property and will advise you of any issues or special conditions in the Contracts that you should be made aware of.
If you are buying a second-hand property then you are strongly advised to obtain a Structural Survey to complete a report on the Property for you. This ensures that the property is structurally sound and that there are no hidden defects to the property.
Similarly, if you are buying a new Property you will have to carry out your Snag List once the property has been completed to ensure all works have been carried out correctly and to your satisfaction.
Step 4: Sign Contracts
Once all these matters are in order and your written Loan Offer has issued from your Bank you will then be in a position to sign the Contracts for Purchase. At this time your solicitor will also negotiate a closing date based on your instructions. You will also be required to pay the balance of your deposit at the time of the signing of the Contracts. This is normally 10% of the Purchase Price minus the Booking Deposit that you have already paid. At this appointment your solicitor may also get you to sign all the Legal paperwork in connection with your Mortgage in order to speed up the process for you. Your solicitor will then send these documents into your Lending Institution to the Cheque Issue Department to be ready for drawdown when required.
Step 5: The Contracts are Sent
The Contracts will be sent back to the Seller’s Solicitor whereon the Sellers will sign and return one part to your solicitor. Once this happens you are legally bound to complete the Purchase and any deposit monies that you have paid will become non-refundable.
Step 6: Proceed to Completion
Your Solicitor will then raise some further queries called ‘Objections & Requisitions on title’ prior to Closing. All Draft Documents are prepared for Closing at this stage and interchanged between Solicitors for each other’s approval.
Step 7: Closing
Your Solicitor will requisition your Loan Funds from your Bank and discuss with you your closing requirements in full. At this stage you need to finalise your Insurance Policies with your Bank and ensure that all items on you Snag List are finished (if you are buying a new property). The Closing will take place on the date as appointed in the Contract and your Solicitor will firstly carry out Law Searches against all the parties to the transaction to ensure that there are no other interests involved in the property or any litigation pending against the property or the parties to the transaction. Once these searches come back clear your solicitor will exchange the balance of Purchase money with the Seller’s solicitor for the balance of the Title Deeds, Keys and possession on your behalf.
Step 8: Stamping and Registration
Once the Purchase has completed, your solicitor will then present your Deed of Transfer to the Revenue Commissioners to pay your Stamp Duty (if applicable) on your behalf. The Stamp duty is impressed onto the Deed of Transfer. In the case of a First-time Buyer no Stamp Duty is payable however the Deed of Transfer must still be presented to the Revenue Commissioners where they will stamp or ‘PD’ same exempt from Stamp Duty.
Your Solicitor will then prepare your documents for Registration in the Land Registry or Registry of Deeds depending on the title of the property.
The registration will typically take between 2-6 months depending on the title and the length of delays in the Registries.
Once the registration has been completed your solicitor will notify you of same and she will schedule up your Title Deeds and return them to your Lending Institution who will hold them as security for the term of your mortgage.