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The waiting game: what to expect from sale agreed to drawdown

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26 May 2017

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Buying your home is one of the biggest steps you can take in your adult life. Yet not many people know what happens between the time you put in a successful bid and the moment you pick up your keys.

Obviously, there’s the whole fighting a dragon bit, which can be a bit daunting… We’re kidding, we’re kidding! Still, there are a few vital steps that have to be taken before you can relax and savour the feeling of joining the homeowners’ club.

It can be a little bit nerve-wrecking but your lender will be there to help you cross all the Ts and dot the Is. In the meantime, we’ve come up with this handy guide to walk you through the process.

The sale is agreed

This is it. You’ve made an offer on your dream home and the seller has agreed to it. You’ve danced around the room and told everyone you know. So what now?

Once you get to the ‘Sale Agreed’ stage, the estate agent forwards the relevant details of the sale to you, your solicitor, the seller’s solicitor and your lender. This includes everyone’s contact information, the price that you agreed on and a provisional date for the sale to be closed.

It’s finally happening but that doesn’t mean you can sit back and start drinking cocktails. There’s still a bit of work to be done before you get the keys to the castle.

Your solicitor gets to work

Your solicitor will now deal with all the legal documents and any outstanding issues. It’s recommended that first time buyers set aside €3000 for a solicitor, although costs can obviously vary. That may seem expensive but the fee also covers the Land Registry fee for the house deeds and the mortgage.

Your solicitor will also sort out the cost of stamp duty. Expect to pay 1% of your house price unless your house is worth more than €1 million. In which case, you can expect to pay 2% but at least you have a lovely house to show for it.

Arrange a valuer

Once you’ve agreed a price, it’s time to notify your lender, who’ll want to value the property to ensure that it’s worth the asking price. EBS will organise the valuation for you – expect to pay €150 for this service.

Getting covered

If you want a mortgage, you’ll need life insurance (also called mortgage protection). Nobody likes to imagine the worst case scenario but this ensures that the mortgage is covered should anything happen to you or your partner.

This can be handled by your mortgage advisor although you may need to have a medical as part of the process. The other thing that you’ll need to arrange is home insurance, which can be with EBS, or another provider

Make sure you get a survey

The valuation may assess the property value but you should always get a surveyor in to check for structural flaws that the average person could miss. Some hidden issues are only obvious to an expert.

The surveyor will ensure that there are no problems, make sure that those tiny cracks don’t signify a bigger issue and raise the alarm if there’s something that you need to know. A survey is not a legal requirement but paying approximately €300 could save you from making a very expensive mistake in the long run.

Wait for the letter of offer

Your solicitor will be able to walk you through the details before you sign it - this does not take a great deal of time, and your mortgage pack will be sent out to you by post.

Sign on the dotted line

Once everything’s been signed and checked by your solicitor, it’s time to put your John Hancock on the contracts. Then comes the bittersweet moment when you hand over your deposit. Sure, it’s a lot of money but just remember what you’re getting in exchange.

Your solicitor will send the signed paperwork and deposit to the seller’s solicitor, who’ll get their client to sign off on the deal and then send the paperwork back. Once this Exchange of Contracts takes place, it becomes a binding contract and everything is finally official.

Your solicitor will return the loan acceptance and other necessary paperwork to your lender and finalise any outstanding work to get the purchase deed for your new home. And that’s it. You’ll then receive the keys to your home and begin an exciting new home-owning adventure. Enjoy!

Are you thinking of buying your own home?

Does the thought of picking up the keys to your own place appeal to you? It couldn’t be easier to find out if you’re eligible for a mortgage. Simply call into your local EBS office for a chat with one of our friendly mortgage advisors.

Get the ball rolling with our First Time Buyer guide.

Find out how much you can afford to borrow with our mortgage calculator or book a mortgage meeting to suit you with one of our mortgage experts.

The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.

EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.

EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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