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A 'faster, more efficient' way to buy and sell property takes effect from today

This will ensure any questions about the property’s title are raised and resolved before the contracts are signed, the Law Society said.

Image: Shutterstock/Raquel Mathias

A NEW SYSTEM which changes the legal practice and procedures when it comes to buying and selling property takes effect from today. 

The Law Society of Ireland has said the more “streamlined and efficient” process will introduce a new conveyancing system that requires title investigation before contracts are signed.

This will ensure any questions about the property’s title are raised and resolved before the contracts are signed.

Partner and head of property at ByrneWallace Michael Walsh said that this while this will be more cost-effective for everyone involved in a property sale, it may also see a “reduction in the time frame between signing the contract and handing the keys over to the buyer”. 

“Every property sale involves a process called ‘investigation of title’,” he said. “It requires the buyer’s solicitor to carry out certain checks on the property’s title. Historically, copying and exchanging the documents needed to investigate title was a difficult task, and took place after the buyers and sellers had signed contracts.”

Walsh said that this system had been structured in such a way that problems may arise at a very late stage in the transaction, and it wouldn’t be unusual for such issues to severely delay or a cancel a property deal.

He added that this system of “pre-contract investigation of title” was already common in the new homes market, and on higher-value transactions.

“The PCIT structure is a familiar, tried-and-tested approach in certain parts of the property sales market, and we know that buyers are willing to undertake the work of title investigation in advance,” he said.

Expanding this system to all property transactions takes advantage of evolving technology for document sharing and paves the way for more secure property sales contracts.

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Sean Murray

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