The legal process for switching a mortgage or a re-mortgage is straightforward but does require the services of a Solicitor.

Once you have identi ed the best value mortgage either by using a broker or approaching the banks directly you are obliged to complete the loan application form and return it with the supporting documentation e.g. bank statements / pay-slips / id etc.

This is the reason why so many people give up. However, once you are approved, the hard work is done and you can save thousands.

As part of the loan application, you have to identify your Solic- itor. At this point, you should ask your Solicitor to start working on your behalf. Your Solicitor should do the following:

  1.  Provide you with an estimate of the costs;
  2.  Send you an authority to take up the Title Documents from the current lender; The Solicitor will need to know the fol- lowing to prepare that authority:
    • Name and addresses of mortgage holders;
    • Name of the current lender;
    • Mortgage account number;
  1.  When the loan is approved, the loan offer will be sent directly to the Solicitor with a loan pack.
  2.  Complete the documentation and request that you call into the office to sign the documentation:
    • Accept the loan offer;
    • Authority to act on behalf of the bank to put the mortgage in place;
    • Mortgage document(s);
    • Family Home Declarations;
    • Assignment of the life policy;
  3.  Comply with any special conditions in the loan offer;

6. The Solicitor then carries out searches against the proper- ty, arranges to draw down the new mortgage and pay off the old mortgage;

7. Prepare a statement of account and pay any surplus funds to you;

9. Send the Title Documents to the bank to be held until the mortgage has been paid off.

8. Register the vacate (discharge) of the old mortgage and record the new mortgage in the Land Registry or Registry of Deeds;

1. Give yourself a few weeks to get your home ready

As a signi cant number of people selling their homes work Monday to Friday, it can be hard to nd the time to declutter and start packing up, but it’s something that is crucial to give time to.

You’re moving anyway, buy the boxes and the bubble wrap now. Don’t put them in black bags and move them out of the house and then repack them when you do move. Get rid of the stuff that you don’t want, box up the stuff you are taking with you and commit to it before you go to the market. Don’t go to the market in a rush, you will lose out. If there’s a house in the same area, in the same price bracket, in better condi- tion, that will go quicker at the end of the day.

2. Don’t be put off if your home was undervalued

Often those selling up may feel like their home has been underpriced, however this is all part of a well-established plan. Most properties on the market that sit unsold are simply overpriced.

Auctioneers do go a bit lower and that can be offputting for the client but they know what they’re doing. They know they will get one or two interested parties that start bidding to- gether and that’s when the house price then goes up. They are experts in the area, leave them to it.

3. Consider renting furniture

A big part of selling your home is enabling prospective buyers to see themselves living in your home, something that be- comes very dif cult without furniture – which is a service that home stagers can provide.

It’s very hard to sell a house that is vacant where there’s no furniture because when the clients or prospective buyer visits the property, there are no memories, there are no feelings. There’s nothing to take away with them. While it is an investment to hire the furniture for two or three months, it is likely you will get that back in your asking price. You want to perspective buyers to come in and say ‘wow, I could live here. I could see my children playing in this room. I could see us having dinner here’.

4. Don’t underestimate how nosy people will be Within the fifteen minutes that people view a home, it is important to impress from the minute they step in the gate.

Focus on basic things like cutting the grass, repairing the letterbox and broken gates. First impressions are huge. Couples often spend a Sunday afternoon looking at houses and it could be the difference in getting them in the door. Don’t leave your bins full of rubbish outside. Just hide them for the day that’s in it.

Don’t leave laundry in the laundry basket, don’t leave food in the fridge. People who do go that extra mile do bene t from it but it does take time.

5. Put away your toaster and microwave (yes, really!)

An important thing to remember before viewings is to make the most of the space you have in each area, and this may mean removing appliances.

Remove the toaster, kettle and even the microwave if it’s sit- ting on the counter. Show the space – you’re not selling your stuff, you’re selling the space.

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Readying your home for sale isn’t something you should aim to do in a weekend. It usually requires small repairs – inside and out, paintwork, decluttering, nding the right estate agent and assembling the necessary documentation.

All this takes about three times longer than you think so take plenty of time to prepare and the following pointers should help along the way.

There is no doubt that selling your home is stressful, with lots of possible outcomes before your home is sold. You can lessen the stress and be prepared with our 11 steps guide to selling your house. Click here to download the full guide.

1. Property Valuation

To find out the market value for your property, you can book a free valuation with an estate agent. Checking the Irish prop- erty price register online is a good starting point.

Sign up to property portals and receive digital alerts about houses for sale in your area. This can give an idea of what the competition in your area looks like, the prices being sought and which estate agents are most active in your area. Also, don’t be afraid to attend open viewings of similar properties in your area to get a real sense of the market.

2. Choose An Agent

Invite agents who are most active in your area for their thoughts and recommendations. This service should be free if you’re thinking of selling. Ask each what you need to do to maximise the appeal and value of the property. The mean average of the valuations given by a selection of agents is probably the most realistic asking price.

Don’t be swayed by estate agents offering you the world in terms of property valuations. If an agent says they can get you a price that sounds incredibly high, then it’s probably too good to be true.

Before you decide on an agent, ask for a complete break- down on fees and then negotiate on the rates charged. It may be possible to incentivise the selling agent with a higher fee if they achieve over a certain value for you.

3. Marketing Your Property

Traditional estate agents will charge marketing fees on top of their commission, and they are likely to charge additional fees for newspaper advertising. Everyone likes to see their property in the paper. Still, you should be sure that it makes sense for your property before incurring the additional expense. Over 90% of prospective buyers in Ireland look for property online.

Photography is critical when selling your property, so make sure your estate agent provides you with high-quality photos.

Would-be buyers will probably rst view your home online – before they ever cross its threshold. They will have already noted its pros and cons. The history of the house may also be online if it sold in the last ten years. Choose a digital-savvy agent for the best chance at selling your home.

4. Choose A Solicitor

The legal formalities around selling your property are called ‘conveyancing’, and it’s essential to choose your solicitor early in the process.

Be aware that many solicitors charge a percentage of the asking price of the home.

5. Energy Rating Cert (Ber)

It is a legal requirement to have a Buildings Energy Rating (BER) certificate for your property when you put it up for sale. The BER is designed to make the energy performance of a property transparent to potential buyers. This process will involve a BER assessor completing an appraisal of the property. The assessor then submits the results to the Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) who then issues a certificate.

6. Viewings

As previously mentioned, make sure to prepare your property for viewings so that it’s presented in the best light. With regards to viewing times, be as flexible and accommodating as possible for your potential buyers.

Serious buyers will snoop during open viewings, so make sure every nook and cranny has been looked over. On the viewing day, open windows to air the house. Don’t burn strongly scented candles as it may put some viewers off. Fresh-cut owers in the hall or kitchen are a nice touch.

Have the re burning in the main reception rooms. In darker months, make sure all table lamps and accent lighting is on during a viewing. Step back and let the agent do their job. Don’t hang around. You will be in the way, and you don’t need to overhear viewer critiques of your own home.

7. Receive Offers & Negotiate

Know your bottom line and don’t ever go below it if you can help it. How you handle this will depend on how close to the asking price the offer is, your timeline to sell and your appetite for a longer negotiation. When buyers start making offers, you can either accept one or stand rm and wait for higher bids.

8. Sale Completion

The sale is formally completed when all the legal documents between buyer and seller have been signed, and full ownership has been legally transferred to the buyer.

A suitable completion date will be agreed and arranged by your solicitor, and the remainder of the money from the sale will be transferred into your solicitor’s account.

For more information on Buying, Selling, and Remortgaging click here to download our FREE e-book.

1. Ask about certified heating

Nothing can ruin a cosy winter evening like your heating giving up the ghost. If spending the first winter in your new home wearing ski jackets in bed sounds unappealing then it’s important to make sure that the property you have your eye on comes with certified heating.

Most houses with gas heating systems are subject to annual boiler inspections. So don’t be afraid to ask the estate agent if you can have a peep at the boiler. Check the sticker to see when the last inspection was. No sticker is a bit of a red flag – so ask for a certificate.

2. Be on the lookout for mould

Get a slight waft of damp? Or did small black spots on the ceiling catch your eye?

Unfortunately this is a sign of mould. If you employ a surveyor, they’ll be able to point out most of the structural issues contributing to the damp. But a home that isn’t well ventilated may have spots that the surveyor doesn’t report.

Fixing mould related issues can be expensive, so check behind the curtains and stick your nose in the under-stairs cupboard to determine if it might be an issue.

3. Test the water pressure

Water pressure is essential for a good shower. Getting dribbled on is no way to start the day. Turn on the shower and see if it’s to your liking. If not, you may have to spend a good chunk of change getting it fixed.

4. Understand your full costs by accounting for renovation

Many folks make the mistake of bidding on houses that appear to be within budget but forget to factor in renovations. The total cost may turn out to be far higher than they had planned to spend.

For example, if you spot a house for €350K in a nice part of town where similar houses sell for €400k, you might be tempted to jump on it. But factor in the price needed to get it up to modern standards and your total bill is €50K more than the other houses on the street.

Make sure you have a very clear picture of what you’re willing to spend, including all of the work required to get your property into the condition you want it in.

5. Explore the neighbourhood

After your viewing, make sure to spend a little time strolling up and down the streets surrounding the property. It’ll give you a better feel for what it’s like to live in that neck of the woods.

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for unsightly rubbish, bedraggled gardens and untrained dogs barking. Have an idea of your limits and don’t settle for less.

If you’re feeling cheeky, why not approach someone on the street or in a café and ask them about the area? Friendly enough folk will provide valuable insight into what it’s like to live there.

For more information on Buying, Selling, and Remortgaging click here to download our FREE e-book.

Buying a house can seem like a complicated process. But, when broken down into manageable steps, you’ll find it isn’t too tricky. Click here to download the full guide.

1. Set A Budget

When buying a house, it’s important not to set your sights too high. This means establishing a budget, but how can you work out what you can afford? The three things to take into consideration are your current savings; any stocks, shares or investments; and a potential mortgage.

You will need to have all your ducks in a row with the first two, before speaking to a bank about how much money they will be able to lend you for purchasing a home. An independent mortgage broker who covers the entire market should be able to guide you through the process.

Once you have worked out your budget, be sure to factor in legal fees and stamp duty. Most people forget about these, but you will not be able to complete the purchase without paying them.

2. Put Your Finances in Order

It’s essential you carefully go through your finances, as any reputable lender will do the same. After all, they will be offering you a large sum of money, and they must ensure you can afford the repayments. Avoid any unnecessary delays by ensuring everything is in order right from the start.

Red flags to look out for during this process include missed credit card or loan repayments. Pay off as much as you can on outstanding credit card debt and avoid betting transactions, as they tend to make you look like a risky investment.

First-time buyers purchasing property exceeding €220,000 will have a 90 per cent limit applied to the first €220,000, with 80 per cent limit on anything over this.

Lenders also require buyers to have life insurance, sometimes called mortgage protection when applying for a property loan. This will also insure you against any damage or theft that occurs within your home. As this can take time to arrange, be sure to start the process as early as possible.

3. Appoint A Solicitor

Once you’ve found the right home for you, it’s time to enlist the services of a solicitor, who will open a file and put transaction proceedings into motion. This professional will be able to guide you through all the paperwork you need to complete and what exactly needs to be done when.

4. Payment

After you receive approval for the purchase, a booking deposit must be paid to the estate agent. This could be anything from a few thousand euros to three percent of the total sale amount, so be prepared to hand over a substantial amount as a down payment.

As neither parties have yet signed the documents, this deposit will be refunded if the sale falls through. The estate agent can then issue sales details.

Sales details are simply the information prepared by the estate agent and distributed to the buyer, seller and solicitor. It should include the names and current addresses of all parties, the price and the estimated closing date of the sale.

One element to keep an eye on is whether the property is unencumbered. An unencumbered property is one free from any encumbrances, such as creditor claims or debts. These types of properties are straightforward to buy or sell.

One that has claims against it from parties that are not the owner can be harder to transfer or can have its use restricted until the encumbrance is lifted. It is crucial to find out about any hurdles and the effects they could have on the sale.

5. Pay The Deposit and Sign The Contract

You and your solicitor should check the contract closely, sign it and pay the contract deposit. Usually, this equates to ten per cent of the purchase price, excluding the booking price already paid. New builds may require a payment that has been calculated differently.

Your solicitor will duplicate all your documents and forward them to the solicitor representing the seller.

6. Exchange of Contracts

Once the contracts have been exchanged, a binding agreement is made between all parties, which is subject to the terms and conditions set out within the contract. 

For more information on Buying, Selling, and Remortgaging click here to download our FREE e-book.