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Buy Sell Property Guide

Buying & Selling Property Guide

Whether you are buying or selling, there are a number of important steps you should consider and research to get the best possible deal. Below, we set out a basic checklist of the more critical factors which should not be overlooked.

  • Advertising & Shopping Around

    Individual sellers now have the option of using traditional Estate Agents, arranging private advertisements or, even better, both. If a seller is expecting a sale to a local buyer, they may simply put up a For Sale sign or employ a local Estate Agent to do the work for them, supplemented by an advert in a shop window or the local press. However, in a buyer’s market, getting the right deal should involve a more thorough strategy.

    It is now possible to publicize a property sale locally or country-wide (or even internationally) at no extra cost by using internet advertising facilities as provided by PROPERTYSTEPS. A seller can advertise their property individually alongside other professional adverts by e-mailing a short description and photos, or alternatively employ a recommended estate agent who guarantees to upload your property details on to the best internet property portals.

    Make sure that the selling price is realistic. Websites such as this enable sellers and buyers to quickly compare house prices of similar descriptions in the same locality. Highly individual properties should be valued by a qualified & licensed Valuer, and most banks keep a list of locally registered Valuers.

    By using PROPERTYSTEPS, buyers can browse through many adverts and quickly select the properties which tick all the right boxes, i.e. location, house type & size, price range, appearance, availability, etc. This selling system avoids unnecessary cost and time for both parties in a property sale. A viewing list can be drawn up which only includes properties of real interest.

  • Viewing

    Whilst an unlimited number of photographs on our website greatly helps browsers to identify suitable property, we strongly advise that first and second inspection viewings are arranged directly with vendors prior to considering purchase offers. Sellers should insist that viewings are only permitted at convenient times when the property can be presented in its best possible condition. Buyers should expect the property to be presented in a visually appealing way and be wary of unkempt sites which demonstrate that the seller undertakes poor maintenance or even tries to hide possible defects.

  • Legal

    Although not absolutely necessary initially, we recommend that the seller identifies a solicitor early in the advertising process to control their interests in the potential sale. A prospective buyer will want to know if there are any specific conditions of sale such as the inclusion of certain fixtures & fittings, or access and parking restrictions, etc, and in any case the seller will have to present a legally-binding Contract of Sale to the buyer prior to any sale being formally agreed. It may be possible to negotiate a “no sale, no fee” advice only deal with a selling solicitor, but this will bind the seller to a set fee upon completion of the sale. The seller must be able to prove upon request that they are the legal owners of the property in question throughout the selling process.

    The buyer must appoint a solicitor to legally handle the transfer of property and thus this party must budget for the professional fees involved. PROPERTYSTEPS advises that the buyer should seek out a solicitor who specializes in the conveyance of property title (i.e. transfer of ownership) and personal recommendations of satisfaction from family and friends will be invaluable in making this important decision. A recognized solicitor should give you a fairly accurate estimate of his legal service fees before appointment in order for you to shop around for a competitive price. Fixed rates rather than a percentage of the sale value might be more appealing in lots of circumstances.

    A solicitor representing the buyer is duty-bound to offer advice and oversee many aspects of a property sale, including but not limited to:

    • Examining the ownership title of the property you intend to purchase, checking boundaries & rights of way, researching related planning permissions.
    • Examining the contract for sale supplied by the vendor\'s solicitor.
    • Registering the new title of the property with appropriate agencies, and ensuring that the correct level of stamp duty is paid to the Revenue Commissioners.
    • Drafting and executing the family home declaration.
    • Examining any mortgage offer from a lender, and submitting title deeds for approval.
  • Finance

    Unless you are in the fortunate position of having readily available cash to spend, most buyers will have to seek a loan in the form of a mortgage to buy their dream property. Refer to our Mortgage section for some important but basic advice.

  • Valuation

    The seller has no obligation to value their property accurately, however they must be realistic in order to instigate enquiries. The buyer should always undertake a property valuation via a qualified Valuer to ensure that the sale price is in line with their own personal criteria. If the buyer is lending a substantial amount of money, the lender will insist upon a professional valuation. The buyer is at liberty to propose a recognized Valuer, subject to the approval of the lender. As always, shop around and negotiate a fixed fee for this service. To ensure that the Valuer has done his job properly, prospective buyers can ask that signed photographs are produced as part of the valuation report.

    Always remember that a house valuation is not a structural survey (see below). A qualified Valuer may report the consequences of visible defects or deficiencies, but unless instructed otherwise, valuation experts do not investigate the actual construction methods used to build a property, or its structural condition underneath surface finishes.

  • Surveyors

    In many property sales a surveyor’s report is not necessary. However, PROPERTYSTEPS advises that a housing survey can be a great investment for a buyer preparing to make the biggest single purchase in their lifetime. For certain house types or locations, the mortgage provider may insist upon a Building Survey. We recommend that consideration is given to the appointment of a surveyor before closing a property sale if any of the following are of concern:

    • Property over 50 years old or associated with a record of structural defects.
    • Property which you intend to renovate or substantially alter in structural terms, or property which has undergone previous alterations.
    • Property which the Valuer reports needs further investigation.
  • Builders / Trades people

    Remarkably, one section of the property trade is often overlooked during the buying and selling of houses, apartments, etc. These are the professional people who actually spend their lives constructing our ideal homes - the builders and the specialist trades. For every “dodgy” tradesman who rightly gets bad press, there are dozens of hard-working experts who offer their advisory services for free. The secret is getting hold of the names of the established trades people in the locality of your property interest, and simply asking around in the vicinity for references from satisfied customers. PROPERTYSTEPS aims to help buyers and sellers in this regard by listing recognized local building trade experts in our unique Tradesmen's Corner.

    Prospective property sellers should use the services of these trades people to fix those odd jobs which would enhance the value of the sale if everything was in good working order prior to agreeing to viewings. Maybe a few basic improvements or modernization of your property features would clinch a sale, and more than pay for the refurbishments.

    After a first viewing, buyers should take along a building tradesperson on a second inspection if there are areas of concern. As well as getting free advice towards your property purchase decision-making, you can also ask for a free estimate of any renovations required. A knowledge of the cost of any repairs or alterations will be invaluable to the buyer when negotiating a property sale price.

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