Property Law

  • Residential Property Purchases & Sales
  • Commercial Property Purchases & Sales
  • Commercial Leases
  • Landlord & Tenant Matters
  • Mortgages & Re-mortgages
  • Agricultural Property
  • Co-ownership agreements
  • Co-habitants agreements
  • Planning Law
  • Arbitration regarding Property Matters

Whatever your Property requirements, Patrick Buckley & Co. have the combination of practical knowledge and over 30 years of legal expertise to ensure that the service you receive is competitively priced and efficient.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process involved in buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging or re-mortgaging a property. Patrick Buckley & Co. Solicitors can assist you with all of your property needs.

Are you buying or selling a home?

Buying or building a home is one of the most significant events in our lives, and for most of us it represents one of our biggest financial and legal decisions we will make.

It involves transactions with Auctioneers, Builders, Banks and Insurance Companies, and there are important legal steps to be taken along the way.

At the heart of the transactions is your solicitor, and at Patrick Buckley & Co., we have over 25 years of experience and insight into the process.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a house, there are a number of things you should do including instructing a solicitor.

If you are purchasing or selling a property, it's important to know the steps involved in a conveyancing transaction, budget for your costs and outlay including stamp duty and registration fees.

We've produced a list of Frequently Asked Questions and guide to Steps in a Conveyancing Transaction for your ease.


Q. Is the booking deposit which I pay to an auctioneer refundable?

Yes, booking deposits are fully refundable until such time as a binding contract for sale comes into existence. If you change your mind about buying a property before signing contracts for sale you are automatically entitled to a refund of your booking deposit.


Q. When buying a second hand house, do I still need to carry out a survey even though my Bank's valuer has already looked at the property?

Yes, we highly recommend that you carry out a survey by a structural engineer or surveyor. When you buy a second-hand house the principle of "Buyer Beware" applies. This means that you are buying the property warts and all. A valuer for the Bank will carry out a very superficial inspection of the property merely to ascertain the market value of the property. They are not in any way certifying the property to be structurally sound. It is therefore very important to arrange for a comprehensive survey of the property so that you are fully aware of the state of repair of the property.


Q. When do I have to pay stamp duty?

Stamp duty is payable within 30 days of completing your purchase. If the stamp duty payable is not paid within the 30 day period, substantial penalties may be imposed by the Revenue Commissioners.


Q. How long will the conveyancing transaction take?

Unfortunately this is one question that cannot be answered with any degree of accuracy, as each transaction is unique. This depends upon how organised both the Vendor and Purchaser are, how quickly each wants to complete and the availability of funds. The most common reason for a transaction not completing on time is a delay in the issue of a loan cheque from a bank


Q. How long does it take for a loan cheque to issue?

Most lending institutions issue loan cheques or funds by Electronic Fund Transfer within five working days of receiving a cheque request provided all formalities such as insurance have been complied with. If all formalities have not been complied with, then there will be a delay in the issue of your loan cheque.

It is always recommended that when asking your solicitor to request your loan cheque that you contact your mortgage adviser/broker to ensure that all the conditions of your loan approval have been complied with.


Q. What if I decide to change my mind and not buy a property after I have signed contracts?

Never a good idea! You are essentially throwing yourself on the mercy of the Vendor. If the Vendor is not prepared to let you walk away from the transaction, at the very least you run the risk of losing your deposit, but also may be forced by the courts to go ahead and buy the property by way of an order for specific performance.

If you have any reservations about purchasing a property, don't sign the contract.


Q. What is the difference between a joint tenancy and a tenancy in common?

Ownership of a property is often described as either being a joint tenancy or a tenancy in common.

A joint tenancy is where a property is owned collectively, and is not split up into separate shares. If one of the joint tenants dies, the other surviving Joint Tenant(s) take the ownership of the property automatically by way of survivorship. This type of ownership is most commonly held between husband and wife.

Tenancy in common on the other hand involves a division of the ownership of the property into separate and distinct shares. If one of the tenants in common dies, his share remains intact and passes under the terms of his will or under the laws of intestacy and not by way of survivorship. This type of ownership is most commonly found in a business context.

Steps in a Conveyancing Transaction

1. The Purchaser agrees to purchase the house

The Purchaser agrees the price with the auctioneer and pays a booking deposit which is usually refundable in the event of the purchaser deciding not to proceed with the transaction prior to signing contracts for sale. The Purchaser gives his/her Solicitor's details to the Auctioneer. The Auctioneer sends a copy of the sales advice note to the Solicitors for both sides, setting out the terms that have been agreed i.e. price, deposit, closing date, list of contents included in purchase price etc.

All documents are marked Subject to Contract/Contract Denied. This makes it clear that there are no binding contracts yet, usually until contracts have been executed as well as exchanged by both purchaser and vendor in addition to a full deposit having been paid.


2. The Vendor's solicitor issues contracts for sale to the Purchaser's solicitor

The Purchaser's Solicitor reads the Contract and Title Documents to ascertain that the title is goos and marketable.


3. The Purchaser's Solicitor arranges for the Purchaser to sign contracts

If the title is in order and conditions of the sale have been agreed between purchaser and vendor, the Contracts for Sale are signed by the purchaser in the presence of their solicitor. The Purchaser must provide the necessary funds for the balance deposit monies due. The Purchaser signs mortgage documentation.


4. The Purchaser's Solicitor returns contracts

The Purchaser's Solicitor returns contracts, along with a cheque or bank draft for the balance deposit monies due.


5. The Vendor signs the contract

The Vendor signs the contracts for sale, usually at his/her solicitor's office. The vendor's solicitor returns one part of the contract to the purchaser's solicitor. Only now is it a Binding Contract.


6. Purchaser’s Solicitors tasks

The Purchaser’s Solicitor sends questions about the title of the property called requisitions on title, a draft purchase deed for approval and a note of the closing requirements to the Vendors Solicitors.


7. The Purchaser's Solicitor requests their client's loan cheque

If the purchaser is borrowing money to buy the house, his/her solicitor will normally request the Loan Cheque or funds by electronic funds transfer about two weeks before the closing date for the sale. It takes about one week for a cheque/funds to issue provided all formalities are in order, and it can take up to 5 days or a further week to clear the solicitor's client account.


8. Closing the sale

Closing the sale is where the purchaser acquires title/ownership of the property and as a result becomes the owner of the property. It is essentially a swapping exercise; money is swapped for documents and keys. While traditionally sales were closed in the offices of the Vendor's Solicitors, many closings now take place by post.

Once the Vendor's Solicitor has received the Balance Purchase Monies, and the purchaser's solicitor is happy that the documents are in order and searches received are clear/certified by vendor's solicitor, the sale is completed and the purchaser can take possession.


9. The Purchaser's Solicitor attends to stamping and registration

For stamp duty purposes, the Purchaser's Solicitor must attend tp stamping of the Transfer Deed by the Revenue Commissioners. Even if there is no stamp duty payable, details of the transaction are submitted to the Revenue Commissioners for noting.

Once the Transfer Deed is returned, the deed is submitted for registration in either the Property Registration Authority.

Once the registration of the transfer deed is completed, the Purchaser is the registered owner.


10. The Purchaser's Solicitor completes the registration and sends title documents to the purchaser's lending institution.

Once the registration is completed, the Purchaser's Solicitor sends the Title Deeds to the lending institution which provided the mortgage for the house purchase.

If the property is mortgage free, the deeds are available for collection at the solicitor's office or the solicitor can retain them in their fireproof cabinet for safe keeping.

The transaction is completed.