Selling your home may be one of the most stressful things that a person does in their lifetime, but it doesn’t have to be. Being prepared and informed is the trick to a smooth sale. Here is a step by step guide of the process. The steps are pretty similar whether you are selling the property yourself or using an Estate Agent.  For the purpose of this guide we will assume that you are using an agent.

Step 1) Hire your professionals

It is important that you choose a solicitor and an Estate Agent (if you are using one) at the very beginning of the process. They will be able to guide you through the steps and answer any questions that you have along the way.  Not doing so may cost you time, money and stress in the long run.

Step 2) Get Your Title Deeds.

If your property is mortgaged, your deeds will be held by your bank or building society. Your solicitor can request these and hold onto them during the sales process. If you are possession of your title deeds you can just drop them to your solicitor. It is important that you arrange the Title Deeds immediately to avoid delays later.

Note: If your property is in “negative equity” you must work with your Lender to get their consent to the sale. You should address this at the outset.

Step 3) Find a Purchaser

Your Estate Agent will need to accurately value the property and then market it to the right audience. Potential buyers will make contact and these interested parties will be qualified before showing them the property. Once you have interested and qualified purchasers you will then need to negotiate the best possible price and agree the terms of the sale.

Step 4) Terms of Sale

Your estate agent will negotiate the terms of sale with the purchaser.  When the terms are agreed, the Estate agent will take a booking deposit.  The booking deposit does not commit the Vendor or Purchaser to the sale at this stage. It is fully refundable until the contracts are finally exchanged.

Step 5) Issuing Draft Contracts

Your estate agent will send details of the sale to you, to both solicitors and to the purchaser.  It is at this point that your solicitor will issue draft contracts to the purchaser’s solicitor. Draft contracts include information relative to the sale such as:

The purchase price

The contract deposit to be paid when signing the contract (typically 10%)

The closing date for completion of the sale

A list of contents included in the sale

Certain other information about charges affecting the property (refuse collection etc.)

Step 6) Pre Contract Questions

Typically the purchaser’s solicitor will have some questions about the Draft Contracts, known as Pre Contract Questions. These may be required to ensure that the title is in order or to identify missing documents that will be needed for the completion of the sale.

Note:     You should begin gathering the items that are usually needed as soon as you find a purchaser. See: 13 Items to Prepare When Selling Your Home

Step 7) Purchaser Signing Contracts

When the purchaser’s solicitor is happy that all of the pre-contract questions have been answered, the purchaser can now sign the contract and these will be returned to your solicitor. Once the signed contract is with your solicitor and the purchaser has paid the balance of their deposit, you will need to make an appointment to countersign.

Step 8) Countersigning Contracts

When you go to countersign the sale contract, you will need to bring a proof of ID and address verification with you. The solicitor will go through the fundamentals with you again to ensure that you are clear on every aspect of the sale. Terms, contents list, closing date etc. If everything is in order, you will countersign the contracts and the completion documentation.

Note: Once countersigned, the contract is binding on you and the purchaser at the price stated in the contract, for completion on the agreed closing date.

Step 9) After You Sign Contracts

Between countersigning the contracts and the closing date you should start organising the removal of contents. Typical contracts will require you to deliver “vacant possession”. Any items that are moveable (furniture, white goods, personal effects etc.) and that are not included in the sale must be cleared from the property prior to the closing date.

Step 10) Completing the Sale

When the closing date arrives, the balance of the purchase money is paid to your solicitor and the Title Deeds are passed to the purchaser’s solicitor. Final checks of the Title are carried out by the purchasers’ solicitors and if everything is in order, money and keys are released. Your solicitor will immediately redeem your mortgage and secure the release of it from your property title.

The property is sold.


If you are thinking about selling, talk to one of our agents today.

Important – Please also be aware that anyone who is not tax resident in the Republic of Ireland must now have an Irish PPS (tax) number. If you do not have an Irish tax number you should let your solicitor know and they can arrange this for you.

Note: This guide is for information purposes only.  You should always seek legal advice on any issues concerning sales or purchases of property and never execute any documents without having first having sought advice.