Bill To Speed-Up Property Sales Passes Second Stage

Friday 6th October, 2023               



A Bill passed at second stage in Dáil Éireann Thursday evening is expected to cut by at least half, the conveyancing process, the legal transfer of property title from seller to buyer, that currently takes four months on average.

By doing so it will also seriously reduce the incidents of gazumping and save prospective buyers from making offers and incurring the expense of engaging the services of engineers and surveyors for properties that end up being withdrawn from sale because of issues around title, rights of way and other such issues that often emerge late in the process, according to IPAV, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers.

An Ireland Thinks poll this week found that almost seven in ten consumers (73%) for whom conveyancing is applicable, have experienced problems with the process.

Independent Deputy Marc MacSharry TD who brought forward the Bill said it would modernise the conveyancing system.

“The passing of the Seller’s Legal Pack Bill is of benefit to consumers across Ireland; it will shorten what is currently a lengthy conveyancing process, putting people in their homes in a reasonable timeframe.”

"Frontloading the property sales process with the adoption of the Seller's Legal Pack is critical to making property purchases more efficient and transparent for all parties.  

“Nearly seven in ten property buyers face avoidable delays, highlighting the urgent need for reforms like the Sellers Legal Pack to expedite the conveyancing process and ensure only truly saleable properties enter the property market. I am delighted to have proposed this legislation and the adoption of it by government and some opposition parties demonstrates the need for fresh thinking on how our conveyancing process works,” he said.

Pat Davitt, IPAV’s Chief Executive said it will align the practice with the demands of citizens and it will make market wide a procedure that already applies in online public auctions and public auction sales.

“The issue of mortgage approvals lapsing because of conveyancing delays is a particularly egregious one currently because consumers are potentially facing higher interest rates on reapplying,” he said.

A recent survey of IPAV members found that 78% had seen the purchasers’ loan offer expire or be withdrawn because of conveyancing delays.

The Sellers Legal Pack for Property Buyers’ Bill 2021 sets out a requirement that a legal pack would be prepared in advance of a property going on the market and contain documents such as contracts for sale, planning documents and architect’s certificate of compliance with planning and building regulations. 

Mr Davitt said such documents can be made available to view in the solicitor’s data room for purchasers and their solicitors to view.

“This would be a far more efficient system and duplication would be avoided, the documents would be readily available digitally and it would make any future sales of the same property seamless,” he said.

84% of IPAV members said that when their clients experienced conveyancing delays, the property sale fell through.