Flanagan & Co. Solicitors

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Step by Step Guide: Buying a Home

Buying a home for the first time can be stressful for new homeowners. In this blog post, we shed some light on the different steps you should consider when purchasing your house.

Once you have a good idea of your budget and where you would like to buy your home, you can begin the process by:

1. Getting a Solicitor

Conveyancing is the legal work involved in buying or selling property. We have covered conveyancing more in depth in our other blog post which you can check out here.

2. Get your mortgage approval 

You have found the home you want to buy! Now it’s time to apply for your mortgage. There are different types of mortgages and different mortgage providers, so always carry out your research to find the one that suits you best. You can get mortgage approval in principle before you start to look for a property; this will let you know how much you have to spend. However, when you find a property you like, you must get formal mortgage approval before you sign the contract for sale. If you sign a contract for sale and subsequently don’t get mortgage approval, you will lose your deposit and there may be other penalties.

3. Planning Enquiries 

At this stage, it is always useful to start making enquiries about the planning in the area and future development plans of where you might live. You can find this information in the Planning Department of the Local Authority Offices where you can view the planning file, development plan and the zoning of the area. It is always good to take a look at this documentation because
once you execute the contracts, you will be tied to purchase the property.

4. Make your offer 

When you have decided on the home you want to purchase, you can make an offer to the seller. Contact the seller to offer your price and tell them your offer is ‘subject to contract and survey’ (this means that you are offering to pay this amount in principle, providing there are no legal or structural issues with the property). It is at this stage that your conveyancing solicitor will check there are no legal issues, and you will need a surveyor to check that there are no structural issues.

5. Sale Agreed!

Once your offer is accepted, the estate agent will prepare a document of sale details and send this to the seller’s solicitor and to your solicitor as well. This document contains the details of the price,
conditions of the sale, the estimated ‘closing date’ (the day you will be given the keys to the property) and the names and addresses of all those involved in the sale.

Once the seller’s solicitor receives the sale details from the estate agent, they will send the contracts for the sale of the property, along with a copy of the Title Deeds of the property to your solicitor.

6. Signing the contracts

Your solicitor will explain and complete various documents with you to ensure that the contracts are in order. If you are satisfied with the contracts, you will sign two copies – both for the seller’s
solicitor. It is at this point that you have agreed to buy the property.

You will then need to pay a deposit – usually 10% of the purchase price depending on whether you’re a first-time buyer or not, less any booking deposit you have paid – to your solicitor, who will arrange to have it paid to the seller through their solicitor. Once the seller’s solicitor receives the contract you have signed and the deposit, they and the seller will sign and return one copy of the contract to your solicitor. At this point the seller has legally agreed to sell you their property.

Both solicitors will arrange for a final “closing date” and time at which stage you will be given the keys to the property. Before this, the remainder of the money must be paid, which means all the
paperwork and approval for your loan must be completed and returned to your lender by your solicitor. Your solicitor will complete all intermediate legal work and documents so that the transaction is completed. Once this is completed, you are officially a homeowner!

Your solicitor will continue their services to pay Stamp Duty and also register your title (the purchasers) to the property.

Are you buying a home in the South Dublin area?

Flanagan & Co are experience conveyancing solicitors and are happy to help you with every step of the way. Get in touch with us here.

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