Online Auctions

Madden Law – The legal experts in buying property

Why choose Madden Law when buying your home?

We have over ten years experience in buying houses and apartments. We provide transparent costs. We  give straight forwards forms, to ensure  that the process is as stress free and  straight forward as possible.  We take care of the drawdown of the mortgage. We offer a range of flexible appointment options. We offer video consultations to discuss your contracts and mortgage documents. These can be booked online at a time that suits you.  There is ample free parking outside our office at the Bryanstown Centre, Drogheda.

How long does the legal process take to buy a house or apartment?

If you are getting a mortgage to buy a property, you can expect to get keys approximately 8 weeks after your booking deposit is paid to the estate agent. If there is no mortgage involved, then the process can be done usually in 6 weeks. These time frames are based on the property being vacant or ready to be vacated on the agreed completion date. If the seller is buying on, this will have a big impact on when the purchase can be completed. 

Tips about buying Property at an Online Auction


Download the Full Legal Pack

There may be a large amount of legal documents for the lot. Make sure that they are all fully reviewed before you purchase a property.

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Keep an eye on the website to see when the open viewing is. There may only be one open viewing before the auction. Get a full structural survey and planning search of the property, by a suitable professional.

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Make sure the Contracts are checked to see if the property was previously rented, as this may impact the amount of rent that you be charged by the new owner when renting out the property.

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Property Charges

Check the Contract to examine whether VAT is payable on the Contract price. Check to see that the Contract obliges the seller to pay all outstanding property liabilities, e.g. Local Property Tax arrears, service charge arrears.

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Check with the auction site, where the keys will be collected on completion. Often the keys are in the head office in Dublin for proprieties located elsewhere in the country. Plans should be made for keys delivered as soon as possible after completion.

Frequently Asked Questions about Buying a Second-Hand Property:

The booking deposit and name of solicitors acting for the purchasers is given to the estate agent. Then the estate agent prepares a sales advice note, detailing the agreement reached. That is then given to all parties, the sellers and their solicitor and the buyers and their solicitor.  When the seller’s solicitor receive it, they will then prepare the Contracts for Sale. It will then be sent to the purchaser’s solicitor. It usually take 2-3 weeks for the contracts to be sent to the purchaser’s solicitor This is because often the title deeds are with the seller’s bank.

It usually takes 2-3 weeks for the full loan offer to arrive also. It is not advisable to sign the purchase contracts, before the loan offer arrives. The loan offer needs to be reviewed, to ensure that all conditions can be complied with. The bank will send the full loan legal pack to the solicitor. It is advisable to book a surveyor to conduct a full structural report, boundary check and planning search. It is often advisable to  have the survey done after the contracts are received, as planning documents and  a map will be given with the contracts. These can then be given to the surveyor to review also.

This document has the details of the agreement, the price, buyer and seller’s details, the property address, the completion date, special conditions about this transaction and general conditions that apply to all property transactions. 

The general conditions are a mix of rights and obligations of both the seller and the buyer. For example, in the general conditions, there is a right for the buyer to have reasonable inspection of the property before completion. This means the buyer can go in to take measurements and do further inspection, before completion. There is also a right for the buyer to have vacant possession of the property on completion. This means that all rubbish and contents should be removed unless there is an agreement to include contents. 

Often there is not a completion date in the Contract. This may occur if the sellers are in a chain and are buying another property . In this case, there will be a special condition in the Contract saying that the closing date (completion date) shall coincide with the seller’s purchase. Then the solicitors will liaise with each other and communicate the completion date, as there will be no actual date in the Contract itself. 

The seller does warrant that the original construction and any subsequent development were  in compliance with planning permission and Building Regulations, in force at the time of construction. One general conditions states  that the  buyers buy the property with knowledge of the condition that it is in. That is why it is important for the survey to be done before the signed contract is sent to the seller’s solicitor. The seller does not give any warranty about the condition of the property in the Contract. 

The following documents are reviewed and discussed with the purchaser: Contract, map, Folio, Planning documents for the original construction and any extension, Local Property tax history of the property, BER certificate and advisory report, management company documents. 

The balance of the 10% deposit is given to the buyer’s solicitor. It will be transferred to the seller’s solicitor and two signed Contracts will be posted also. The seller will sign both Contracts, keep one and return one signed Contract to the buyer’s solicitor. At this point there is a binding Contract in place. 

The mortgage funds will be drawn down from the bank a few working days before the completion date. In order for mortgage funds to be released, the life policy/ Mortgage property policy, update to date valuation, direct debit mandate and home insurance must be submitted to the bank. 

Buyers are advised to do a final inspection of the property, to ensure only contents that have been agreed are left. It is advisable to liaise with estate agent to confirm what keys will be given on the completion date. Download our pre completion checklist here

The buyer’s solicitor transfer 90% of the purchase price to the seller’s solicitor by EFT. The buyer’s solicitor order judgment and property searches. The seller’s solicitor sends the original title documents and closing documents to the buyer’s solicitor. These are reviewed by the buyer’s solicitor.

When the seller’s solicitor receives the funds and the documents and searches are checked by the buyer’s solicitor, both parties confirm they are happy complete the transaction. The seller’s solicitor will call the estate agent and confirm the sale has closed. The estate agent will then be authorised to release the keys to the buyers. The buyer’s solicitor will content them to tell them the keys are available to be collected from the office of the estate agent. 

The stamp duty will be paid by the solicitor. The current rate for residential property  is 1% of the purchase price. Purchasers have to give their PPS numbers to their solicitor, in order for the stamp duty return to be done through ROS. 

The change of ownership and mortgage documents are then sent to the Property Registration Authority. This usually takes 6 weeks to complete. Then a new folio (deed) will be available showing the new registered owners of the property. If the buyers got a mortgage, then the bank’s charge will be registered on the deed also. All original title documents are then given to the bank as security for the mortgage. 

Do you have a question related to Online Auctions? Send us a message

"Contact me with the lot number and I’ll provide you with a fixed cost for report on the legal documents in advance of the auction."
Shona Madden - Practicing Solicitor
Shona Madden
Madden Law

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I used the pre-auction legal service from Madden Law and was very happy with it. With only 24hrs notice from the auction, Shona went through the legal pack for me and checked if there was anything to be worrying about, which can often happen with auction properties. Great service.

Get a full breakdown of the legal costs involved in buying a property at an online auction with Madden Law.


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