buying a property in Ireland

Buying a property in Ireland step by step

If you are living in Ireland, you will probably be willing to buy a property in Ireland at some point in your life. This involves following few steps before your dream of home ownership becomes totally true. The steps to follow for buying a property in Ireland.

Before buying a property in Ireland

Before buying your property, make sure that owning your home is a dream within your reach. Indeed, it is important to understand and evaluate the different costs that you will have to bear for the purchase of your property. For example:

  • Agency fees.
  • Administration fees.
  • Insurance fees.
  • Interest related to your loan.
  • Notary fees.
  • Costs of use of the property (utility charges, property tax, etc.).

Keep in mind all costs involved when buying a property in Ireland.

If you are native or foreign, ask yourself the right questions: are you buying a main residence, secondary, or is it an investment?

Before you start your research, determine your  budget? To do this, make an appointment with your banker to help you estimate, depending on your resources.


Finding a property

To find a property to buy, many channels exist:

photo credit: “Freepik”
  • Real estate portals. 
  • Auctioneers (sales auction) or real estate agents. These professionals require a licence to operate. You can verify it on the Property Services Regulatory Authority’s (PSRA) website. Using the services of a real estate professional for selling costs the seller 1 to 2% of the final sales price.
  • Call a “property sourcer” or real estate broker who will seek a property that meets your criteria, will attend the visits and manage the entire purchasing process. His services will be charged for 3 to 5% of the purchase price of the property.
  • Certain newspapers also have sections or edit supplements dedicated to ads.


Contact a solicitor

Alongside your property search, contact a solicitor. He will take care of all the legal work to transfer the property from the owner to the buyer. If you find a property that interests you and your offer is accepted, the realtor will ask to contact your solicitor to start the process. If you do not have one, you might well miss the opportunity that you have found.

Solicitor will take care of all the legal work.

Solicitor fees vary according to professionals and cities. They may represent a percentage of the price of the house, or be subject to a flat fee. Learn well before choosing.

Visit the property

It is essential to visit the property before buying. The visit allows to evaluate the potential of a property but also to realise some potential work and repairs to be done. This sometimes allows the buyer and seller to meet if he engages himself the visits.

In any case, take your time and do not hesitate to ask detailed question Remember to ask the energy label (BER) of the building and verify if it was tested for radon (see maps of risk areas).

Finally, ask a field survey of the SCSI, the professional body of surveyors. This survey will let you know if the property presents risks, defects or hidden defects.

These are all key criteria for buying a property in Ireland. They can help you compare two things and choose the one that best fits your needs. They also avoid falling into a scam.


Make an offer

photo credit: “Freepik”

Once you have found the property that suits you, make an offer to the seller or real estate agent. Stress that this offer is made subject to the writing of a contract and a preliminary investigation. In other words, it is only valid if no structural or legal problem is detected. If the preliminary investigation reveals problems that you were not informed, you can withdraw your offer or see the property again.


Pay a deposit

if your offer is accepted, you must pay a deposit to the realtor. This deposit is either a specific amount or a percentage of the offer you have made.

The deposit is refundable if the sale does not go though.

The deposit is refundable until the signing of the sales contract.

Paying this deposit sends a strong signal to the realtor. This means that you fully intend to purchase this property. The real estate agent will generally withdraw the property from the sale market or mark it as “sale agreed” within three to four weeks.


The sales documents

Once your offer is accepted by the seller, the realtor starts preparing a detailed sales document. This document contains the terms of sale, the price, the estimated date of disposal, the key collection date and the identity of the stakeholders. It will be sent to the buyer, to you and to the respective solicitors.

There are two separate systems for recording real estate:

  • The securities registration (Land Registry), which gives this property a title guaranteed by state.
  • Recording acts (Registry of deeds) which records the existence of acts and transfers of the property.

A title is intended to demonstrate that you are the owner of a property whether it was purchased or transmitted. A deed is a written document that details the events affecting the ownership (sale, donation etc.).

Your lawyer will be able to know which of these two systems is most relevant to you.


The waiting time

Be patient before obtaining the keys.

Buying a property is unfortunately not overnight. For obtaining the keys, it will take in total between 3 to 12 months. The registration of the deed may take even more time, sometimes years.


And you, are you considering  buying a property in Ireland? Leave us a comment!

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