1. Don’t wait to instruct a solicitor! If you’ve instructed an auctioneer and a For Sale sign has gone up, don’t wait until you have an offer to instruct your solicitor.
If you have a mortgage, the title documents for your property will be in the bank, and your solicitor will ask the bank to send them out. Your solicitor will need to have these before he or she can draft up the Contracts for you. It may take the bank several weeks to send these out. That will be a frustrating wait if you’ve already had an offer you are keen to accept!
Your solicitor will also want to ask you some questions about the property, so that you can figure out together exactly what you need to do to prepare for sale. For example, if you have developed the property by adding an extension, you will need to gather the planning documents, and/or get a Certificate from an Architect or Engineer to confirm that the development is not in breach of planning requirements and building regulations.
Your solicitor will, usually, take their fees out of the proceeds of sale at the end, so it won’t cost you anything to instruct him or her in good time, and if all of the various items you need are ready, you will be able to go from offer accepted to cash in hand much more quickly!
2. Check your LPT: Go online and log in to your account at revenue.ie, and confirm that your LPT has been paid to the end of the current year.
If it has not (for example if you are paying by monthly standing order), you will need to pay the LPT to the end of the current year before the house is sold. You will pass a screenshot of the Revenue website confirming you’ve discharged the LPT to your solicitor, and the purchasers will refund the amount that you have paid for the rest of the year to your solicitor along with the sale price. This is the system under the standard Contract for Sale that applies to all domestic conveyances in Ireland.
3. Consider NPPR – the Non Principal Private Residence charge:
If you owned your property between 2009 and 2013, you will need to consider NPPR. This was a charge payable on any property that a person owned in which they did not live (with a few exceptions). This charge follows the property, so to speak; in other words, if you owe NPPR, the purchasers of your property could potentially buy your debt along with the property. For that reason, you will need to provide them with confirmation that there is no unpaid NPPR in respect of the property.
If you lived in your house/ apartment from 2009 – 2013, then the charge didn’t apply to the property. In that case, you will need to make a simple application to the Local Authority, including utility bills for 2009 – 2013, in order to get a Certificate from them confirming that the charge didn’t apply to you.
If you didn’t live in the property, you will need to get confirmation from the Local Authority that you paid the charge. Or, you may be one of those in respect of whom an exemption applied; again, you will need to ask the local authority to confirm the position.
So, the For Sale sign’s up, you’ve done your homework, and your fingers are crossed – good luck!