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Legal and Financial Considerations When Selling Your Property in Dublin

The process of selling a home in Dublin is governed by a complex legal framework designed to protect all parties involved. Before you list your property for sale, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with this framework to avoid any potential legal pitfalls.

1. Title Deeds and Property Ownership: The first step in selling your home is to ensure that your title deeds are in order. These documents prove your ownership of the property and are necessary for the sale to proceed. If you have a mortgage on your property, your lender will hold these deeds and you will have to instruct your solicitor to draw down your deeds on your behalf.  Please note that this process can take from a month to two months to draw the deeds down so it is critically important that you complete this task as soon as you have decided that you want to sell.

2. Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificate: Selling a home in Dublin requires you to have a valid BER certificate, which assesses the energy efficiency of your property. This rating must be included in all advertising related to selling your house.  It is important that you book in your BER accessor early and that they can turn around your paper work quickly as there can be delays in up to a week or more between booking in your accessor and getting your BER cert and report. 

3. Property Tax Compliance: Ensure that all Local Property Tax (LPT) obligations are up to date. A history of LPT payments may be requested during the sale process.  You cannot close your sale until all outstanding LPT taxes are paid in full.  If they have not been paid in full you may incur penalties and interest.

Selling a property is not just about the transaction price; it involves several financial considerations that can impact your overall return.

1. Capital Gains Tax (CGT): If you’re selling a property that’s not your principal residence, you may be liable for CGT on any profit made from the sale. The current CGT rate is 33% on any gains, with specific exemptions and reliefs available in certain conditions.  Your CGT is the difference in what you bought your property for and what you sell it for

2. Solicitor’s Fees: Legal fees can vary significantly, so it’s advisable to obtain quotes from several solicitors before making a decision. These fees will cover the cost of drafting the contract for sale, dealing with the title deeds, and ensuring all legal aspects of the sale are covered.  Don’t select the cheapest fee option when deciding to select a solicitor as a lot of times these type of solicitors are high volume solicitors with junior legal executives working on your file with the main partners based in court.  Sales can and do fall through if a solicitor is not fast, not communicating with the other side and on the ball.

3. Estate Agent’s Fees: If you’re using an estate agent to sell your property, you’ll need to factor in their fees, which are usually a percentage of the sale price.  Never select the cheapest agent as they will not get you the strongest result in the end.  The discount agents are based on high volume and not quality of outcome.  Selecting the cheapest choice can lead to your most expensive outcome.

A solicitor plays a critical role in the sale of a property in Dublin, overseeing the legal aspects to ensure that everything proceeds according to the laws and regulations. From drafting the initial contract to handling the closing documents, your solicitor will guide you through the following key areas:

1. Drafting and Negotiating the Contract for Sale

Once you’ve accepted an offer on your property, your solicitor will draft the contract for sale. This document includes details of the transaction such as the sale price, property boundaries, planning permissions, and any other relevant conditions. It’s essential that this contract accurately reflects the agreement between you and the buyer to prevent any disputes later on.

2. Handling the Closing Process

The closing process, or “conveyancing,” involves transferring the legal ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. Your solicitor will coordinate with the buyer’s solicitor to ensure all necessary documents are signed, exchanged, and that the sale proceeds correctly. This includes managing the payment of outstanding mortgages or loans secured against the property.

3. Resolving Any Legal Issues

If there are any disputes or issues related to the property, such as boundary disputes, planning permission issues, or problems with the title deeds, your solicitor will work to resolve these before the sale can proceed. This may involve negotiating with third parties or obtaining necessary documents to clarify the legal status of the property.

To ensure a smooth transaction when selling your home, consider the following checklist:

  • Verify Ownership: Make sure your title deeds are in order and readily available.
  • Obtain a BER Certificate: Ensure you have a valid BER certificate to include in your property listing.
  • Check Property Tax Compliance: Confirm that all Local Property Tax (LPT) payments are up to date.
  • Understand Tax Obligations: Familiarize yourself with any potential Capital Gains Tax (CGT) liabilities.
  • Compare Solicitor’s Fees: Obtain quotes from several solicitors to find the best combination of expertise and cost.
  • Factor in Estate Agent’s Fees: If using an estate agent, be clear on their fees and what services they will provide.
  • Prepare Your Home for Sale: Consider making any necessary repairs or improvements to enhance your property’s appeal to potential buyers.

Selling your home in Dublin involves navigating a complex array of legal and financial considerations. By understanding these aspects and preparing accordingly, you can ensure a smoother and more efficient selling process. Engaging with knowledgeable professionals such as solicitors and estate agents can provide invaluable support and guidance, helping you to navigate this challenging journey with confidence. We wish you every success on your journey.


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