What are the steps in buying a property in Ireland?

So you’ve just gone “sale agreed” on your new house and you want to know what happens next? Then read on.

The auctioneer will ask you what solicitor is acting on your behalf and, once they have this detail, they will then issue a “sales advice notice” to your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor. The sales advice notice is a document setting out the terms agreed between the parties – basically it will set out the purchase price for the property, whether the purchase of the property is subject to a mortgage or not and the amount of deposit paid.


The seller’s solicitor drafts the contracts so your solicitor will not have any legal work to do until they receive the draft contracts and copy title for the house however, they may discuss the type of property you are buying, how you’re financing the purchase, the house price and the closing date with you.

Title Investigation

Once your solicitor receives copies of the documents from the seller’s solicitor in the post or via email, he will immediately embark upon a perusal of the contract and documents furnished to establish the nature of the title being offered, a full description of the property, whether it includes any contents and what if any, special conditions the seller’s solicitor seeks to impose. The question of the title and the nature of the title is a matter for your solicitor to clarify and satisfy himself on before you will be allowed to sign the contract.

The full extent of the pre-contract enquiries and searches to be made will depend entirely upon the nature and title of the property that you are buying and careful consideration should be given to this aspect of the matter.


If the contract is to be made subject to loan approval or survey, very careful attention should be paid to the precise terminology being used. If it is being made subject to loan approval, then a simple clause to that effect of itself may not be sufficient. All loan approvals of themselves contain conditions and if the contract is being signed before the formal loan approval document has issued then it is of critical importance that the contract is made subject, not only to loan approval, but subject to the purchaser being in a position to comply with any conditions attached, or that there are no conditions attached which the purchaser is unable or unwilling to comply with.


Once the terms of the contract are agreed, you will sign two copies of the contract and your signature will be witnessed by your solicitor. The two signed contracts will then be sent to the seller’s solicitor along with a 10% deposit (this is 10% of the house price less whatever amount you have paid to the auctioneer). The seller will then countersign both of the contracts and return a dated and signed contract to your solicitor. You will then be in binding contracts and required to complete the purchase of the property in accordance with the terms of the contract.

The contract will provide for a closing date upon which the sale of the house to you must complete. It will usually be 4 weeks from the date of the contract. If you are using a mortgage to purchase the property, your solicitor will liaise with your bank and/or mortgage advisor to drawdown your mortgage within this timeframe.


On the closing date (or shortly beforehand) the balance purchase price will be sent to the seller’s solicitor (on trust) and the title documents for the property will be sent to your solicitor (on trust). Closing searches will be raised by your solicitor (to ensure there is no litigation pending against the property) and provided these are clear, the transaction will complete.

The seller’s solicitor will then email the auctioneer confirming that the sale has closed and that the house keys can be released to you. Your solicitor will tend to the registration of you as owner of the property in the Land Registry.

further reading 

  1. Critical things to consider when buying or investing in property with a friend. 
  2. Can you buy auction property with a mortgage? 
  3. How to switch your mortgage
  4. Top tips for selling your house
  5. What are the costs and outlays when switching your mortgage? 
  6. Buying an apartment is different to buying a house. Here's why!
  7. How to Claim Adverse Possession in Ireland 


We have extensive experience in dealing with all matters relating to conveyancing and buying and selling properties. For specific legal advice on buying a property , then please get in touch today.

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