Conveyancing & The Role Of The Solicitor In Purchasing Your Home.

Conveyancing is the term used to describe the legal work connected with the purchase or sale of land or property.

Conveyancing involves the practice of transferring rights, interests and liabilities. It arises in the context of the purchase or sale of a property/lands and the inevitably requires the appointment of a solicitor by the parties in the transaction.

The duration of the conveyancing process is determined by the individual circumstances pertaining to each particular transaction, though a typical conveyance may take anything from 8-12 weeks.

The most popular methods by which properties are bought and sold in County Kerry are:

  1. Public Auction

  2. Private Treaty Sales

Public Auction

An auction involves two or more parties competing for the sale, with the property being sold to the highest bidder. A reserve figure is set for the property, namely a figure below which the property will not be sold; this will often reflect the level of public interest in the sale.

In advance of the auction, your solicitor should check that there “ good marketable title ” to the property by examining the contract for the property, which will issue from the seller’s solicitor and any title documents that are referred to.

These enquiries would include questions as to the boundaries, rights of way, restrictive covenants, services, tenure, planning issues and any conditions attaching to the sale, e.g. what exactly comes with the property.

When the solicitor for the purchaser has concluded these enquiries, the next step is for the purchaser to organise a survey of the premises to ensure the premises are structurally sound.

Having determined the maximum amount you are prepared to spend on the property, including the outlay for stamp duty, mortgage costs, legal fees, registration costs and the other general expenses associated with purchasing a property in County Kerry, whether for a holiday home or to live in County Kerry permanently.

You are now ready to attend the auction.

Bidding commences and when the auctioneer declares that the property is “on the market”, this means that the reserve price has been reached and the vendor must sell to the highest bidder.

The successful bidder immediately pays a 10% deposit and the contracts are signed. The completion date will be set out in the contracts, and the balance of the agreed purchase price will be due on that date.

In the intervening period between the purchase, signing the contracts and the completion date, your solicitor raises standard queries about the property with the vendor’s solicitor. Such enquiries would include:

  • Is a Family Home Protection Act declaration required?

  • Is consent required under the land act 1965?

  • Is there planning permission in place for any changes that have been made to the property?

When your solicitor receives satisfactory replies to requisitions, a Deed of Conveyance is drafted by him and approved by the vendor’s solicitor.

At this stage your lending institution will be contacted by the solicitor to issue the approved loan cheque. The balance of the purchase price is paid to the vendor’s solicitor and all documentation and keys to the property are handed over to your solicitor.

It is also important that on the of the closing of the sale, your solicitor has arranged for searches to be made against the vendor to ensure that there are no judgements in relation to bankruptcy or sheriff’s searches lying against the vendor.

Further, depending on whether the title is Land Registry or Registry of Deeds, an up to date copy folio / hand search should be conducted by your solicitor, again to ensure that there is nothing adverse attaching the property.

On completion of the sale, you sign the documentation; thereafter, the solicitor notifies the Revenue Commissioners of the stamp duty liability, your title is registered and, where appropriate, the mortgage is registered against the property per the requirements of your lending institution.

Sale By Private Treaty

A sale by private treaty involves potential purchasers making an offer on a property that is quoted at a certain price. Again you, as the purchaser, must factor in stamp duty, mortgage costs, legal fees, surveyors fees and registration costs.

Solicitors become involved in the process when an offer has been agreed between you, the purchaser, and the auctioneer, after which investigations as to proceed and any queries are resolved prior to signing of contracts.

You should have a surveyor’s report and an architect’s report in place and have received loan approval within an agreed time frame.

On exchange of contracts a 10% deposit is payable from you. When your solicitor is satisfied as to the good marketable title and that all searches are in order on the day of closing, the balance of the purchase is paid to the vendor’s solicitor, contracts are signed and the keys are handed over.

At this stage stamp duty must be discharged by you and the property is to be registered in your name with either the Land Registry or the Registry of Deeds. Your solicitor will advise you accordingly.

The secret of a smooth purchase of your dream property in County Kerry is a good solicitor, one that you can trust, a solicitor that will do his job efficiently, quickly and at a good price and basically do what you ask of him/her.