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Steps in a Conveyancing Transaction/The role of the Solicitor

STEPS IN A CONVEYANCING TRANSACTION

The term “conveyancing” is the term used to describe the process by which the ownership of property is transferred from one person to another in Ireland.

The following are the steps involved in nearly all conveyancing transactions;

  1. The purchaser agrees a price with the vendor for the property through an Auctioneer and pays a booking deposit to the Auctioneer.  This booking deposit is fully refundable up until formal contracts are signed, exchanged and the balance of the deposit is paid.
  2. The vendor gives his solicitor written authority to take up title deeds to the property in question as the title deeds will be held by a bank if a mortgage was used for fund its’ purchase.
  3. The purchaser instructs a solicitor to act on their behalf. They then notify the Auctioneer and their lending institute of their solicitors’ details.
  4. The vendors’ solicitor receives the title deeds, prepares contracts and sends both the contracts and a copy of the relevant title deeds on to the purchasers’ solicitor.
  5. The purchasers’ solicitor will then receive the contracts, a copy of the relevant title deeds and a letter or loan offer from a bank/building society.
  6. He will then request a Planning and Development Search through his town agents/law searchers to verify the planning status of the house and to see if there are any breaches of the relevant planning permissions or building regulations and will furnish the relevant documents to the architect/engineer who is doing the Survey for the purchasers so that they can confirm having visited the relevant property that there are no issues with the planning permissions or building regulations.
  7. The purchasers’ solicitor examines the title deeds and raises any pre-contract queries on title.  Upon receipt of satisfactory replies from the vendors’ solicitor, the contracts are returned to the vendors’ solicitor with balance deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price less the booking deposit) and loan documents are returned to the lending institute for processing.
  8. N.B. Purchasers should ensure prior to signing the contracts that they have complied with all of the special conditions in the Letter of Loan Offer and have written confirmation of this prior to signing contracts so that mortgage funds will issue when requested without any problems.
  9. A meeting with the purchaser is arranged and advices are given in respect of the title documents furnished, the various provisions contained in the contracts and indeed advices in respect of the mortgage.
  10. Once the vendors’ solicitor has returned one copy of the contracts signed by the vendors a legally enforceable contract is in place.  At this point neither purchaser nor vendor can pull out for any reason.
  11. The purchaser will then need to pay his solicitor the full amount of stamp duty payable on completion, currently 1% of the purchase price together with any monies required to close the transaction.
  12. The purchasers’ solicitor raises Objections and Requisitions on Title (essentially a long questionnaire about the property) and prepares a Draft Deed of Transfer for approval by the vendors’ solicitor.
  13. The vendors’ solicitor takes instructions from client and replies to Objections and Requisitions on Title.
  14. The purchasers’ solicitor requests his clients’ loan cheque from the lending institute in anticipation of completion.
  15. The purchasers’ solicitor attends the offices of the vendor’s solicitors with balance purchase monies.  Title Deeds and keys are handed over in exchange for funds.
  16. The purchasers’ solicitor then pays the Stamp Duty and sends the paperwork to the Land Registry for registration of the change of ownership.
  17. Once registration is complete the purchasers’ solicitor will send all title deeds to the relevant bank/building society where they will remain until either the house is to be sold at some point in the future or the loan has been redeemed and the owners wish to take ownership of the deeds.

What is the role of your solicitor in purchasing a property?

From a buyers’ perspective the role of your solicitor is;

  1. to ensure the contract is fair and to explain fully the terms and conditions contained therein prior to you signing the contract
  2. to ensure that the title deeds to the property are in order and you get what is known as ‘good marketable title’
  3. to ensure that the Transfer deed is drafted correctly, that your loan cheque is furnished from the lending institution, that the correct title documents are furnished on closing and that proper searches are carried out,
  4. to pay the stamp duty 
  5. to register you as owner and also to register the mortgage
  6. and finally to ensure that that the deeds are sent to your lender for safekeeping