Confusing legal terms explained for first time buyers

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  1. Conveyancing: the process of buying and selling your home.
  2. Vendor: The person selling the house.
  3. Deposit: 10% of the purchase price payable in two parts.  For example, a purchase price of €300,000 needs a deposit of €30,000. €5,000 is paid to the auctioneer when you agree to buy the house (known as the booking deposit) and €25,000 is paid when you sign the contracts, usually around four weeks after you pay the booking deposit. If you change your mind before signing the contracts you should be able to get your booking deposit back immediately.
  4. Title: The documents that prove the seller’s right to sell the house.
  5. Binding Contract: A signed legal agreement to buy your home and payment by you of the full 10% deposit. This usually happens four weeks after your booking deposit has been paid. Once contracts are binding you can no longer change your mind without financial and legal consequences.
  6. Closing date: This is the day you get your keys. A purchase normally takes eight weeks. The closing date is usually two weeks after the contracts are signed and become binding.
  7. HTB / Help to Buy Scheme: This is a government grant to assist first time buyers of newly built homes.
  8. Stamp Duty: A government tax, which is 1% of the purchase price (slightly less for new builds as the VAT amount is not stampable). It is collected by your solicitor who then pays it to the Revenue Commissioners.
  9. Land Registry/PRAI: Government authority that keeps details of the ownership of all property in Ireland. Any mortgages, rights of way etc are also recorded. The details of each property are noted on a document called a Folio.
  10. Survey: You will arrange for an engineer to visit the house and carry out an inspection to make sure the house is structurally sound and that the planning documents provided by the seller match the reality on the ground. You should hold off on carrying out the survey until your solicitor has received all the documents from the seller.

Service was excellent. Sinéad was very quick to respond to queries and return calls.

A.B., Conveyancing Client

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