Speed up your property sale – a guide to avoiding the most common delays

Speed up your property sale – a guide to avoiding the most common delays

Speed up your property sale – a guide to avoiding the most common delays

  • Consumer Guides

This guide is designed to help you identify, and hopefully avoid, potential delays in selling your property. For most residential property sales, we estimate the average timeframe is about four to five months. However, for some property sales there can be delays and for a few, those delays can be significant.

Selling or buying a property is not always straightforward or quick. For most people it is the biggest purchase they will ever make, and the process is designed to protect them and their money. Over the years, other protections have been built into the process for selling property including measures to prevent money laundering and a requirement to collect outstanding taxes on behalf of the Revenue Commissioners.

All of this has made the process more complicated and, in some cases, there may be as many as 15 parties involved in the transaction. Those involved range from the seller and the buyer to multiple financial institutions, government agencies such as local authorities, the Revenue Commissioners and the Probate Office (see page 6 for a full list).

Some of the process has become digitised but, unfortunately, much of it remains paper based. While there are already projects in place to develop e-Conveyancing and e-Probate, these will take time.

As things stand, there are several common delays in selling your property. If you are aware of them, you can plan ahead and try and avoid them wherever possible. Our shortlist of common delays when selling or buying a property are below and explained in more detail on page 7.

Seven common delays in selling (and buying) your property:

  1. STARTING – If you are the seller, you have to start the process by gathering the appropriate documentation and instructing your team (solicitor and estate agent).
  2. DEEDS – Getting the title deeds for the property (usually the bank has them).
  3. ROADS – Confirming who has responsibility for maintaining the roads, lanes and services (water and sewage) for the property.
  4. PLANNING AND BUILDING REGULATIONS – Ensuring that all planning permissions (back to 1964) and Building Regulations have been complied with.
  5. TAXES – There is an increasing number of taxes which have been attached to property and must be collected before a sale. These include Local Property Tax (LPT), the Household Charge, Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT) and the Fair Deal scheme.
  6. PROBATE – If the property is being sold following the death of the owner, then the sale could be conditional or ‘subject to’ probate causing very significant delays.
  7. MONEY – Having the finance in place to complete the sale (buyer) or having the final redemption figure from their bank to settle the existing mortgage (seller).

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