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What Legal Concerns Should You Expect Regarding Real Estate in Ireland?

August 31, 2022
With its stable economy and charming culture, Ireland really is a great place. Particularly, when it comes to purchasing your own real estate. Buying a property in Ireland is a good investment. Whether you use it as your main residence here or you lease it out to earn a profit, there are a lot of benefits to reap. But before that, you have to go through the process of purchasing real estate in Ireland, as well as the many legal issues that come with it. There's your residency status, for instance, or the different types of surveying the property.

What Legal Concerns Should You Expect Regarding Real Estate in Ireland?

Your Residency Status

As of this writing, there are now laws that restrict non-residents from purchasing real estate in Ireland. No matter what your residency status or country of origin, you're allowed to buy your own property here. In fact, it's even possible to go through the entire process of buying a property in Ireland for sale without ever stepping foot in the country. But that's not necessarily the best way to go about it. You should still see the place you're planning to buy in person at least once. And if you have a Schengen Visa, you can do just that! Moreover, your residency status may not matter when it comes to buying real estate, but it may be a different story when it comes to getting a mortgage.

Private Treaty Sale vs. Public Auction

Here in Ireland, there are two common ways to purchase real estate legally. The first is through a private treaty sale. In this situation, you need to contact the seller directly (or their real estate agent), negotiate the final price, and finalize the sale. It's a more straightforward process. The second is through a public auction. Here, sellers put their apartments or houses in Ireland for sale, particularly through an auction set at a date and time. You will have to do your best and bid as high as you can to become the official buyer of the property. And if you win, you'll have to pay a deposit and sign the contracts immediately!

What Legal Concerns Should You Expect Regarding Real Estate in Ireland?

Paying The Important Costs

Buying a property in Ireland entails paying a few important costs. According to Wise, they include your solicitor's fee, a mortgage valuation fee, the stamp duty, land registry fees, and notary fees. Fortunately, some of them are paid via percentages of the final property price. But others, namely the mortgage valuation fee, have to be paid beforehand. In any case, it will really help you set up a local bank account in Ireland. You can directly pay all these costs without having to use third-party money transfers and the like. This will also ensure that your money goes directly to the proper recipients.

Checking with The Land Registry

Once you've chosen a property in Ireland to purchase, you need to check with the Land Registry first. Though it rarely happens, it's possible that the seller isn't actually listed as the owner on the title deed. And if that happens, then you can't legally purchase the property until it's fixed. So it's better to avoid that scenario by getting your solicitor to check with the Land Registry first. Once you've made sure that the seller is, in fact, the listed owner of the property, you can proceed with the purchase.

What Legal Concerns Should You Expect Regarding Real Estate in Ireland?

Conducting Your Own Survey

It's important to note that sellers (and their real estate agents) are not legally obliged to disclose any issues regarding the current state of the property in Ireland. This means it's up to you to conduct your own surveys on the place. You'd do well to do it because you'll be liable for any major or minor issue regarding the property after the sale. And if you don't take care of them, you can get into serious legal trouble. This is also why mortgage lenders insist on conducting valuations as part of your application.

Requisitions on Title

Another reason why you ought to conduct surveys on the property in Ireland is when the process reaches the Requisitions on Title. Done after signing the contract for sale, this is where your solicitor will ask a set of questions to the seller's solicitor regarding the sale agreement and the current state of the property. Only if you conducted surveys will you be able to catch any misrepresentation the seller or solicitor might make during this step. And if that happens, they'll be legally liable to be 100% upfront about the property and even take care of the necessary repairs.

Signing The Contract of Sale

One of the most important documents in this process is the contract for sale. Not only does it detail the transaction between you, the buyer, and the seller, but it also legally binds both parties to the sale. In other words, you'll be legally required to see the purchase through to the end once you sign this contract. Upon signing, you have to pay the seller a 10% to 30% deposit. If you ever decide to bow out of the agreement after you signed the contract, you won't ever see that deposit again. You might even get into legal trouble too!

What Legal Concerns Should You Expect Regarding Real Estate in Ireland?

Real estate in Ireland is rife with all sorts of legal issues and concerns left and right! It's better that you understand even a little about them now so that you'll know what to do if ever you get stuck in a sticky situation!

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