Buyers Guide

1. Save for a Deposit

Different Central Bank of Ireland rules apply to the amount of deposit you need depending on whether you are a first-time buyer or not.

2. Work out a Budget

Carefully review your budget to see how much you can afford to spend on mortgage repayments each month and to make sure that you have enough to cover the other costs involved in buying and maintaining a house.

3. Research and apply for a mortgage (if required)

You can start talking to lenders either before or after you have saved your deposit. You might want to approach lenders to find out how much you may be able to borrow and that will help you work out how much you need to save. You can apply directly to lenders for a mortgage or use a broker.

4. Find a solicitor

While you are looking for a property, you should also look for a solicitor to do the conveyancing – this is the legal work to transfer ownership of the property from the seller to you. It is a good idea to choose a solicitor before you start looking at properties, because as soon as your offer is accepted, the estate agent will ask for your solicitor’s details to pass onto the seller’s solicitor. Your solicitor will also check that the sale of the property is legal – that the person who is selling the property owns it and has the right to sell it, and that nobody else could claim to own it.

5. Solicitor’s Fees

These can vary considerably and may be either a percentage of the property price or a flat fee. You will usually be charged extra for services like telephone calls, postage, search fees and registering deeds. So, before you choose one, ask several different solicitors for written quotes and details about their professional fees and other costs.

6. Start house hunting

You are now ready to start your search. This is where we come in. We have a huge range of properties all around Waterford and surrounding areas to suit your needs. We can arrange a call or meeting to discuss what you’re looking for and look at the properties that will suit your needs.

7. Make an offer

When making an offer set yourself a maximum price you are willing to pay for the property and do not exceed this. If you are selling a home as well as buying another, you’ll be in a better position if you have already found a buyer for your own home when it comes to making an offer on another property.

Make sure you are in a strong position when making an offer by having a letter from your lender showing that you have mortgage approval in principle, and a bank statement showing you have the funds available for the deposit. Estate agents will look more favourably on a bid when you can prove that you are ready to buy.
A seller will take the bid that suits them best, which may not necessarily be the highest bid. If you can provide proof of funds and/or proof that your current house is sold, they will look more favourably on your offer as there is less likelihood of the sale falling through or being delayed.

8. Sale agreed

Once your offer is accepted the property is considered to be sale agreed and you will need to pay a booking deposit to the estate agent. Booking deposits vary – they can be a specific amount such as €5,000, or a small percentage of the offer you have made. The booking deposit is refundable up until you sign the contracts. Paying your booking deposit is a strong signal to the estate agent that you intend to buy the property and will usually mean that the home won’t be put on the market again for three to four weeks.

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. This document contains details of the price, conditions of the sale, the estimated closing date – the day you will be given the keys of 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. Title deeds are legal documents showing the ownership of a particular property. Each time the ownership changes a new deed is drawn up to show the change.

9. Complete the purchase

You should strongly consider hiring your own surveyor, engineer or architect to carry out a detailed structural survey, especially if you are buying an older property. This will highlight any issues you may not have been aware of when you made your offer. For example, if your surveyor discovers that the roof needs to be replaced, you may change your offer to account for this, or decide not to buy the property.

If you are buying a property at an auction, you would usually have your survey completed before the auction. Ask the auctioneer for the terms and conditions of the auction, which will be available before the auction date. If you are buying a newly built home, you and your solicitor will receive a completion notice from the builder once all the work is finished

10. Exchange the contracts and move in

Once all the conditions of the mortgage have been met, your lender will approve your loan for the property and the amount, and will send you a formal ‘letter of offer’. This sets out the details of the mortgage your lender is offering you, including:

  • The value, length, cost and repayment schedule of the mortgage
  • The address and description of the property to be bought
  • Any terms and conditions which apply to the offer
  • Expiry date of the mortgage offer

Your bank will send a copy of your letter of offer to your solicitor, along with other legal paperwork, so you should arrange to meet with your solicitor as soon as possible after getting your letter of offer.

11. Signing contracts

Your solicitor will explain and complete various documents with you. If you are happy with all the details, you formally accept the letter of offer from your lender, through your solicitor. Your solicitor will also check that the contracts are in order and if they are happy with the contracts, you will sign two copies. Your solicitor will return both of these copies to the seller’s solicitor. At this point you have legally agreed to buy the property.

You will then need to pay your deposit, usually 10-20% of the purchase price depending on whether you’re a first-time buyer or not, less any booking deposit you have paid. You pay your deposit to your solicitor, who will arrange to have it paid to the seller through their solicitor.

Once the seller’s solicitor receives the signed contract and your 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.

Once your lender is happy that they have all the paperwork and it is in order, the mortgage cheque will be issued to your solicitor. Your solicitor will arrange to have these funds transferred to the seller through their solicitor.

Property Services at Hutchinson

Our expertise has always been in Residential & Commercial Property Sales and our Residential Lettings department is second to none in securing quality tenants

Hutchinson Auctioneers provide the following property services:

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