Selling a house need not be a stressful event with some careful planning and preparation, Make the process easier with our top tips;

Title Deeds

Once you have decided to sell your house, find out where your title deeds are. If you have a mortgage, they will be held by the bank so contact your Solicitor as soon as possible so that they can take up the Title Deeds. By having the deeds early on, the Solicitor can start working on drafting contracts and checking the title to see if there are any issues that need to be dealt with.

Family Home

If the property you are selling is a family home but only one spouse is the registered owner, the non-owning spouse will have to consent to the sale and should be available to sign the contracts.

Taxes

If the property is not your family home there could be Capital Gains Tax payable so you should consult an accountant or Tax Adviser to satisfy yourself in this regard.

Ensure that all taxes relating to the property are paid. These include the following;

  1. Household Charge which was levied in 2012
  2. Non-Principal Private Residence charge (NPPR) which was levied in the years 2009-2013 on second properties. If you lived in the property as your principal private residence during those years, you will be exempt from the payment  but if you owned the property as a second property, you will need to provide receipts for the payment of the charge every year, otherwise, you will have to discharge it before the sale closes in the amount of €7,230.
  3. Local Property Tax. You should ensure that this is paid up to date as the purchaser will need confirmation that there is nothing outstanding.

Planning & Development

If you have carried out any extensions, alterations or development works to the property since you acquired it, you will have to get an Architect’s Certificate of Compliance with Planning Permission and Building Regulations or a Certificate of  Exemption from Planning Permission. Any work done at all, no matter how small should be disclosed to your Solicitor straight away and dealt with accordingly.

  1. Vacant Possession

If you have a tenant living in your property, ensure that you serve him/her with a valid notice of termination of tenancy and ensure they have sufficient time, as per their legal entitlements, to vacate the property.

  1. Services:

Is the property serviced by a well or Group Water Scheme? Provide full information. If the property is serviced with a Septic Tank, ensure you have a Certificate of Registration.  If the Septic Tank or Well servicing your property are on a neighbouring property, let your Solicitor know immediately so that they can ensure the correct legal easements are in place.

Management Company

If your property is in a managed estate, ensure the service charge is up to date and provide details of the Management Company so the Solicitor can contact them and find out information from them regarding the common areas, insurance, financial accounts, house rules, AGMs etc.

Closing Date:

Have a closing date in mind. This date is always subject to specific circumstances but it is important to be able to inform a purchaser when the property will be vacant so that the purchaser can organise their finances and affairs in order to close the deal by the selected closing date.

Stephanie Trant Solicitor

Gerrard L. McGowan Solicitors

Balbriggan