Those items of greatest interest to you will be how they impact on your budget. Some of the issues to bear in mind are:
1. Stamp Duty
When selling you have no stamp duty to pay. When buying, the stamp duty that is payable is determined by whether it is residential or non-residential and by the price.
2 Private Treaty, Sale or Auction
Private Treaty sale is probably the most common means of acquiring or disposing of property outside the cities. Within the cities many residential properties are bought and sold by auction. The essential difference is that if knocked down to you at auction, you must sign a Contract there and then and pay the 10% requisite deposit. Unless you have made prior enquiries, you have no opportunity to have our Solicitor examine the Title for you, to have a surveyor check the property etc., A Private Treaty sale on the other hand gives you the opportunity to carry out these pre-contract checks and also allows the opportunity to negotiate certain of the detail, hopefully in a more favourable manner to you. This can only usually be done with the assistance of your professional team and specifically our Property Solicitors.
3. Financing
As a seller you will obviously be concerned that your buyer would have the finance to purchase your property. Therefore accepting a Contract subject to the buyer obtaining a Loan Offer is not usually particularly attractive and most Solicitors would advise you against it. Even if Loan Offer is in place, it can often be subject to the establishment of an appropriate Life Policy. Careful consideration and advice should be taken from your professional team in regard to the implications of such Clauses.
As a buyer, it would be important that you have not just Loan Sanction in principle but a Written Offer with full details of the conditions requiring to be fulfilled. Due to EU directives and consumer protection legislation, all Loan Offers must now come with details of any additional costs to be incurred such as Arrangement Fees, Property Indemnity Bond Fees, Property Insurance Premia and so on. Again, our Solicitors are in a position to advise you based upon his/her comparative experience of other transactions. Naturally, you need to know whether you can comply with all of the conditions of your Loan Offer before you commit fully to the purchase. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your deposit and possibly being sued for the balance. Again, your Solicitor’s job is to protect you from that exposure.
4. Physical condition of property
On every purchase, our Property Solicitor will advise you to have the property properly surveyed. It is not sufficient to rely upon the Valuation Survey carried out for your proposed Mortgage Lender. This is not usually sufficiently thorough and is directed solely to market value as oppose to structure integrity. While much of the work can be hidden, a proper inspection may raise queries on compliance with Building Regulations, sufficiency of drainage, assessment of heating systems and other services. Examination of a Planning File at the Local Authority to establish proper compliance with planning or the potential impact for other developments in the area. The cost is usually money well spent. If you are unaware of the identity of an engineer or surveyor our Solicitors can usually put you in contact with a number of people who would do the work in the particular area in which the property is located.
5. Contents
Often times property are sold with additional contents. These are either negotiated as part of the over-all price or negotiated at a separate price. The stamp duty regulations stipulate that no stamp duty is payable on moveable goods. Most contents would fall into this definition. As such a reduction in the level of stamp duty payable can be achieved if the contents are valued separately. Revenue would generally accept a figure of between 3% & 5 % of the purchase price as being applicable to contents of a second-hand home. There is however a word of caution – if you had given the total purchase price to the mortgage company so that you can obtain say 90% of the purchase price by way of loan, then if the Deed under which you acquire the property shows a lesser figure, the mortgage company may have a difficulty. You are therefore better advised to explain to the mortgage company that there is a division between the contents and the purchase price.
6. Legal costs
It is a common misconception that legal costs when quoted amount to a figure which is payable in full to the Solicitor for his own benefit. This is not the case. Legal costs are made up of stamp duty where applicable, registration fees in order to register your new ownership on the Title Deed of the property, search fees to ensure that the property is not subject to any hidden judgments or revenue warrants and then the legal service costs for the Solicitor plus VAT on that figure .
We, at Neil J. Butler & Co., are prepared to discuss these fees on an individual case basis particularly if you are both selling a property and buying a new one. Economies of scale in such an instance should allow us to reduce the fee from both elements of the transaction.