Welcome to Louise Howard Solicitors

Buying a Second Hand Home

The steps involved in buying a second hand home:

1. Booking Deposit – Once you have paid your booking deposit you will need to give your solicitor’s name to the auctioneer in order that they may instruct the solicitors for the vendor (Seller) to forward us the Contracts for Sale and vouching documentation.

2. Loan Approval – In the meantime you should be attending to the matter of Loan Approval and you will need to instruct your Mortgage Broker / Lender of the full purchase price, the property address and your Solicitor details in order that they issue the complete letter of offer of loan approval (i.e. not loan approval in principle). The Bank will generally arrange for a valuation of the property to be carried out before the loan offer issues.

3. Planning Issues – It is important at this time that you make enquiries as to the planning in the area and the likely future development of the locality.

The best way to find out this information is to enquire personally with the Planning Department of the Local Authority offices to inspect the planning file and ascertain the development plan, the zoning of the area and any planning application in the local area which may affect the property.

At the relevant Planning Department, you can inspect and ascertain the following:

  • The Planning File
  • The Development Plan
  • The zoning of the area
  • Road development
  • Planning Applications in the local area

This needs to be done before you sign a contract. As you are intending on making the locality your home for many years to come it is important that you are satisfied with any proposed development for the locality.

4. Property Survey – We strongly advise at this stage that you engage an Architect, Engineer or Surveyor to conduct a full and thorough survey of the property and its maps. This will help avoid any future unforeseen problems arising that you may not have been unaware of, such as heating problems, poor insulation or ventilation, illegal extensions or additions to the property which could lead to planning complications.

We also strongly advise you to consult an architect to deal with any issues relating to planning permissions for any development that has taken place OR may take place, during or following the sale.

You also need to check the planning issues for the surrounding areas, as these may affect the property being sold.

Likewise, if there are issues relating to engineering matters arise such as mapping or the laying of pipes, these should be dealt with by an engineer.

5. Examination of the Title – Once we receive contracts, we read the title and raise any queries regarding it with the solicitors acting for the vendor. When all queries are addressed and when your written loan approval is to hand, we will contact you we will make an appointment to meet with you to go through everything.

6. Signing of Contract – When the contracts and balance deposit are returned to the vendor’s solicitors, the agreement to purchase is binding.   The contracts are then countersigned by the Vendor with their Solicitor and one part returned to our office whereupon the contract is legally binding upon all parties to the transaction.

7. Transfer of Title – Further legal work then takes place between the Vendor’s Solicitor and the Purchaser’s Solicitor to prepare for the transfer of the title and legal ownership to you.

8. Lodging Title with your bank – If you are borrowing, your solicitors submit further legal documentation in connection with the loan to your bank. This includes a report on the title to the bank and undertaking to deposit the title deeds and Certificate of Title with the bank on draw-down of the loan as well as registration of the change of ownership.

9. Getting your mortgage cheque – You must attend directly with your bank / building society to ensure that all items necessary are in place to have your loan cheque issued in time for closing.  Also ensure that your direct debit mandate, mortgage protection, house insurance etc are in place. The balance of the monies towards the purchase of the property should also be organised in anticipation of the closing date.

10. Getting your keys! – We will then arrange to draw down your loan cheque and make arrangements with the vendors’ solicitors for the completion of this transaction at which time our fees will be payable and you will get the keys to your new home!

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+ 353 (91) 564 973

1st Floor, Churchyard Street,
Galway City.