Sarah Byrne outlines the key steps in preparing for a property sale.
Once you have decided to sell your property, you should contact your solicitor to clarify the next steps. The guidelines below list some of the items your solicitor will require in order to progress the sale.
1. Where are your title deeds?
Before your solicitors can start drafting contracts, they will need to examine the title deeds to your property. If you have (or had) a mortgage, the title deeds may be held by your bank.
You should inform your solicitor if you have carried out any alterations or extensions since you acquired the property. Even where an alteration or extension has been carried out without the requirement to obtain planning permission, it may still be necessary to get certifications associated with the works.
3. Auction or private treaty?
You will need to decide whether to sell by auction or private treaty. There are a variety of reasons why you might choose to sell your property at auction, rather than by way of private treaty, As the seller, this is your commercial decision and the choice is yours.
4. BER Certificate and Advisory Report
An estate agent or auctioneer is prohibited from advertising a property without first obtaining the BER (Building Energy Rating) Certificate and advisory report.
If your property is let, you must decide whether you are selling the property with or without tenants. Should you wish to sell the property without tenants, it is necessary to review the letting agreement. You may or may not have the right to terminate the tenancy early, and will be obliged to adhere to strict notice periods unless an agreement can be reached with the tenant.
If the property is being sold with tenants in occupation, you should provide your solicitor with a copy of the letting agreement. The security deposit should be transferred to the purchaser on closing, and rent will be apportioned up to the closing date.
6. Managed properties
If your property is situated within a housing estate or multi-unit development, there is a suite of documentation which must be supplied by the management company, including information in relation to service charges, company accounts and house rules. The management company will usually charge a fee for supplying this information.
7. Residential property taxes
a) Non-Principal Private Residence Tax: With some exceptions, this tax was charged on properties which were not the principal residence of their owners from 2009-2013. Even where a property is your principal private residence, you will need a Certificate of Exemption from the local authority. While the initial charge was €200 per annum, where the tax was due and has not been paid the total
sum due is now €7,230.
b) Household Charge: The Household Charge was a once-off €100 charge introduced in 2012 and has now been subsumed into the Local Property Tax.
c) Local Property Tax: This tax, introduced on 1 May 2013, affects all residential properties. Before selling your property, you must discharge the total LPT due for the year of sale. The purchaser will reimburse a proportionate amount on closing.
d) Water charges: At the time of writing the system for water charges seems likely to change dramatically. Your solicitor will be able to inform you of the most up-to-date position at the time of sale.
Depending on the vendor and the nature of the property, a capital gains tax liability may be triggered when the property is being sold. It may be necessary to seek specific tax advice.
While no two transactions are the same, the tips outlined above should help you make a good start to your sale.Back to Full News
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About the Author
Sarah is an associate solicitor in the Property and Private Client team. She has worked with a wide variety of clients throughout her career, and has extensive experience advising clients in relation to a broad range of transactions. In particular, Sarah has acted for clients in relation to the purchase, sale, mortgaging and refinancing of both residential and commercial properties.