Being as organised as possible will go a long way to ensure selling your home goes as swiftly as possible.

It’s that time of year again when people consider placing their property on the market. Kids have gone back to school and the summer holidays are coming to an end. Be it your family home or an investment property, selling a house is a transaction many of us will do in our lifetime. Make it as stress free as possible by following these simple tips to ensure that the transaction runs as smoothly as possible.

Check where your title deeds are located in advance of securing a purchaser to avoid delays.
They may be with your solicitor or, if your property is mortgaged, they are usually retained by your financial Institution. Even if your mortgage has been repaid, there could still be held by your bank so it is important to establish the position as early as possible to avoid delays issuing contracts to the solicitor for the purchaser.

If you are in negative equity, you will need written consent from your bank for the sale. This can take several months, so it is prudent to apply for it immediately.

Providing clean title is extremely important. If issues are identified early on, for example, an unregistered right of way, a mapping error, a planning permission problem etc., you have time to explore potential solutions and solve the issue.
Instruct your solicitor to review your title deeds as soon as possible to ensure that there are no defects with the title or matters that need to be attended to.

Ensure that you furnish your solicitor with all planning documentation for the house.
It will be necessary to furnish the purchaser with Certificates of Compliance and Planning Permission and Building Regulations, if applicable, as evidence that the all buildings are in compliance with same. Furnish all planning permission documentation in your possession to your solicitor and he or she will review the paperwork and advise you accordingly. It is very important that the planning documents are in order before the proposed sale, otherwise the potential purchaser may, on discovery of a discrepancy, withdraw from the transaction. If the building was constructed prior to 1964, it is not necessary to furnish planning documentation.

It the building was constructed after 1964, then it will be necessary to furnish the purchaser with certificates of compliance and planning permission and building regulations, if applicable, as evidence that the property is in compliance with same. If an extension is exempt from planning and building regulations, a competent engineer will need to certify same. If there is part of the house, for example, an extension to the property or velux windows on the roof that do not have the benefit of planning permission or is not exempt, then it will be necessary to instruct your engineer to lodge an application for retention of planning permission. An application for retention planning permission can take at least three months to finalise from the date it is lodged.

Ensure that the map is correct and accurately reflects the property being sold. This is critical.

Consult with your accountant or tax consultant in advance of selling to ensure that you are aware of any potential Capital Gains Tax liability. This helps to avoid an unfortunate, last minute surprise. Again your solicitor/accountant will advise you as to the amount that you will have to pay to the Revenue Commissioners. It will depend on the value of the house when you sell and the value you acquired the house at the outset.

If you are leaving contents pass with the house, make a list and give them to your auctioneer and/or solicitor to avoid ambiguities or disputes at a later date.

If you have a tenant on your property, ensure that you serve him/her with a valid notice of termination of tenancy and afford them sufficient time, as per their legal entitlements, to vacate the property. In some cases, the tenant will be staying and it is important to hand over the tenant’s deposit, confirmation that the tenancy has been registered with the PRTB, any apportionment of rent etc. agreed to the purchaser etc.

Gather all your Property Tax paperwork and give your solicitor receipts for the Property Tax, Household Charge and Non-Principal Private Residence Charge, if applicable.
If there is a septic tank on your property, this will also need to be registered with Protect Our Water if you have not already done so.

Buying and selling at the one time can be quite a tricky area if you are trying to juggle both to happen at the same time.
It is very important to consult your solicitor in this area, as he/she will have experience in such matters. It is usually best to first get a binding contract for the purchase of the new house.

You may want to sign the contract for the purchase of the new house contingent on the sale of your old house going through. It is not essential that both closings be on the same day, and in some ways it can add to the stress trying to do so in the one day as things can be delayed at the last moment.

Try to be as organised as possible with your paperwork and it will go a long way to ensuring that selling your home moves as swiftly as possible.
Best of luck with your move.

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