Once a price has been agreed, the lawyers of both parties are connected by the agent. The seller’s lawyer will draft a contract for consideration by both parties and a search will be carried out to ensure that there are no encumbrances placed on the property.
There may be a requirement for a small deposit to be paid to take the property off the market (3-5k), but at signing of the contract (‘exchange of contracts’) a substantial amount is paid by the buyer (normally 30%) and the contract of sale is lodged with Land Registry in the buyers name. This means that the seller cannot sell to any other party.
At this point the seller undergoes a tax clearance process to ensure that all dues are paid and once that is completed a booking is made at Land Registry for the transfer of the property to the buyer (‘completion’).
This final step is of course accompanied by the transfer of the balance of the full purchase price to the seller. The whole process can be carried out by each party’s lawyer provided they have signed a Power of Attorney. The purchase process normally takes 2-3 months.
Expenses incurred by the buyer are the transfer fees, stamp duty and legal fees.
Transfer Fees (based on the valuation placed on the property by Land Registry at point of sale)
Thereafter @ 4%
Stamp Duty (a very small tax)
Approximately €2,000-€3,000 plus VAT@19%