We at John C. O’Donnell Solicitors Galway have been helping people buy and sell property since 1932.

We offer a full range of services when it comes to property whether you are a first time buyer an owner occupier, an investor or wish to change your current mortgage provider we will be there to guide you through the process.

Buying a Property

Buying a property is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your life. A bad buy could have consequences for you and your family for many years to come.

You should always contact a solicitor first. Always remember the auctioneer works for the person selling the property while your solicitor works for you and is there to look out for your interests.

Properties are normally sold by private treaty or auction.

If you are considering purchasing a property and are unsure how the process works or what the payment of a booking deposit means please contact our office and we will explain the process to you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions the only stupid questions are unasked questions.

We can explain all the government taxes and charges you will have to pay such as Land Registry fees, Stamp Duty and search fees.

If you are buying a property it is important that you have it checked by an engineer before signing contracts however you don’t need to have it surveyed before you pay the booking deposit. It is not until you have signed contracts that you have to complete the sale. Until contracts are signed both parties are free to walk away from the sale.

You should never sign contracts until such time as your solicitor has had a chance to review the contracts and the title of the person selling the property to make sure they have good marketable title.

What is sale by private treaty?

Most properties in Ireland are sold by private treaty in Ireland. It operates as follows.

  • You see a property you like. You contact the auctioneer and put in a bid(how much you are willing to pay).
  • If other people are interested in the property the auctioneer will check to see if they can beat your bid. This process can go on for a days or weeks depending on how many people are interested in the property.
  • If your offer is accepted then you will be asked to pay a booking deposit normally around €5,000 to €7,000 and to confirm the who your solicitor is.
  • Contracts and title documents are then sent by the solicitor for the person selling to us at this stage various queries may be raised by us on the title produced. If you are getting a loan we would be insisting that the contract be made subject to loan. Until such time as contracts are signed you are free to walk away from the property. The person selling however is also free to walk away.
  • Once we have confirmed title is in order you should have your engineer carry out a full planning search and also carry out a structural survey. All second property is sold on the basis of buyer beware it is therefore vital to have the property checked by an engineer.

 Buying a Property at Auction

I want to buy a property coming up at auction what should I do?

  • We would always recommend if you have never been to an auction before (and most people haven’t, so you are not alone) to attend an auction you have no interest in buying a property at just to see how the process works. Then when you are attending an auction where you want to buy a property the whole progress won’t seem so strange. After attending the auction you may have some questions and if you do please contact us.
  • If you are considering buying at auction it is vital that you contact us as soon as possible before the auction to allow us to contact the solicitor for the person selling the property so we can examine the title and contracts. It is too late to contact us after you have signed contracts.
  • Have your finances in place and be ready to close the sale. If you are considering buying a property at auction and you are relying on a loan to purchase it if for some reason the bank withdraws its loan offer you will lose your deposit and may be pursued through the courts for the balance of monies. Ideally you should be a cash buyer when buying at auction otherwise there is always a risk you will lose your deposit if you cannot complete the purchase of the property.
  • If you are attending an auction you will have to pay 10% of the purchase price on the day if your bid is the highest and the reserve has been reached(only the auctioneer and the person selling know what the reserve price is). The auctioneer will announce once the reserve price has been reached.
  • Please telephone our offices and we will answer any other queries you may have.

We also offer advice on the following:-

  • Co-ownership agreements
  • Commercial Property/Leases
  • Residential Lettings

If you would like a quote please complete our contact form and we will get back to you within one working day.

Out of office hours appointments available.