Step 4: Pre-Contract Enquiries Sent
This page contains a detailed description of Step 4 of the 12-step property sale process
Now title review has been completed pre-contract enquiries will be raised. A critical element for any transaction is responding to enquiries raised by the buyer’s solicitor. At their core, enquiries are simply questions raised as to the nature of the property itself or on the title, rights and obligations that come with the land. The purpose of enquiries is to ensure that a buyer has a full picture of the property they intend to purchase and highlight any defects or issues that may arise either during ownership or on a future re-sale.
The pre-contract enquiry stage is a series of communications back and forth between the two sets of solicitors. Each conveyance is different and therefore it is impossible to estimate the length of time it can take to fully raise and answer all pre-contract enquiries.
Both sets of solicitors ask and answer pre-contract enquiries, but the nature of these enquires means that its common for the Land Registry, the Revenue Commissioners, the local authorities, lending institutions, and other parties may need to be contacted to provide information about the property.
Some of the pre-contract enquiries made can sometimes only be answered by the property owners themselves. It is therefore important that all information pertaining to the property has been answered as fully as possible as early in the process as possible or as soon as your solicitor requests it.
Raising pre-contract enquiries is an attempt to streamline the conveyancing process, but it is therefore important that buyers are made aware that there are limits to the remit and responsibility of the conveyancer for such matters. This places an onus on any buyer to ensure that they have properly inspected the property and obtained a professional survey. Solicitor firms will undoubtedly remind a buyer of the old adage of ‘caveat emptor’ (buyer beware).
At their core, enquiries are simply questions raised as to the nature of the property itself or on the title, rights and obligations that come with the land. The purpose of enquiries is to ensure that a buyer has a full picture of the property they intend to purchase and highlight any defects or issues that may arise either during ownership or on a future re-sale
This can be one of the longest and most complicated aspect of the sales process and as the buyer you have no control over what happens here. What we always suggest buyers organise to have the property surveyed at this time.
You should strongly consider hiring your own surveyor, engineer or architect to carry out a detailed structural survey, especially if you are buying an older property. This will help highlight any issues you may not have been aware of when you made your offer. For example, if your surveyor discovered that the roof needed to be completely replaced, you could change your offer to account for this, or decide not to buy.
Finding a good surveyor is much like choosing the right solicitor, it can be a very difficult task. Like solicitors, surveyors provide a crucial and valuable service, therefore, ensuring you have done your due diligence is very important.
Once your bank has formally approved your loan in writing on the basis of the price of the house and information furnished by you, a loan pack is issued to you and the Loan Pack comprising Mortgage Documentation is issued to your Solicitor.
If you are buying a property with loan finance this step of the process will involve your lending institution and your solicitor. You will be asked to ensure the terms and conditions of your loan are what was agreed but your solicitors will be the rest.
Please feel free to contact or see our FAQs for any questions you might have.