Selling Your Home: The Legal Process

Here at Irwin, Kilcullen & Co Solicitors, we know that moving house can be an extremely stressful time, and we like to simplify the process for you so that it runs as smoothly as possible. We specialize in all aspects of property law, and we’re on hand to help whenever you need us.

When you’re selling your home, it is helpful to have a clear idea of how the legal process works so that you know you have everything you need to proceed. We’ve put together a handy guide to how the process works, so you’ll know exactly what to expect, every step of the way.

How To Sell Your Home:

1. Engage the professionals. A house sale will almost certainly involve some stress at some point, but ensuring that you have a good team of professionals will help to minimise this. If you are selling through an estate agent or at auction, you should talk to several agents or auctioneers before engaging one. If you have decided to handle your sale yourself, or to use an online agency, it will be even more important that you have an experienced and reliable solicitor to handle the legal proceedings. Find a specialist solicitor who will understand the process and make it easier for you to complete your sale with ease.

2. Prepare all documents. The legal process of selling your home is dependent upon all the paperwork being present and correct when needed. You should provide your solicitor with the title documents to your property as soon as possible, so that he or she can draw up the contracts for your sale. You must also provide recent copies of relevant utility receipts and identification documents, and you should be advised of these in detail by your solicitor.

3. Consider contents. If you wish to sell any of the contents of the house, you will need to let your solicitor and estate agent know what you wish to sell and the price you are asking. If your buyer wants to buy these, this will be incorporated into your contracts. You should be aware that you are legally obliged to remove all contents not included in the sale before the keys are handed to the new owner and the sale is complete.

4. Provide all information. As a seller, you will need to provide certain information to the potential buyers of your property. All properties will require a BER certificate, detailing the energy efficiency rating of the home, and you should contact a BER Assessor to arrange this as soon as possible. It is a straightforward and inexpensive requirement, but it could hold up your sale if it is delayed. You may require other documents depending on the type of property you are selling, such as proof of planning permission for any alterations, or details of ground rent or rights of way if relevant.

5. Sign contracts. You and your buyer will sign contracts as soon as all enquiries have been answered satisfactorily and all investigations regarding the property are complete. Your solicitor will prepare these contracts, and then hold them until the day of completion or closing. On this day, your buyer will transfer the agreed funds, and your solicitor will release the property keys to the new owner. Any loans on the property will be repaid in full, and the balance of the monies will be transferred to you.

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