Auctioneers welcome Bill they say will cut conveyancing period by at least half

Delays in conveyancing can lead to loan offers lapsing and property purchases falling through

05/10/2015 NEWS.
 For Sale  signs
 Park Avenue  Sandymount 
Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

estate agent for sale
house for sale sold sign property for sale sign

Auctioneers have welcomed the progression through the Dáil of a Bill they say will cut property conveyancing times by at least half and help to avoid loan offers being withdrawn when deals are not completed on time.

The Seller’s Legal Pack for Property Buyers’ Bill 2021, put forward by Independent TD Marc MacSharry, will require anybody selling a property to prepare a legal pack in advance of going to market, including contracts for sale, planning documents and architect’s certificate of compliance with planning and building regulations. The Bill passed at second stage in the Dáil on Thursday.

The Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (Ipav) said the Bill is expected to cut delays in conveyancing by at least half, with the process currently taking four months on average.

A recent survey of Ipav members found that 78 per cent had seen the purchasers’ loan offer expire or be withdrawn because of conveyancing delays, while 84 per cent said that when their clients experienced conveyancing problems the property sale fell through. A separate Ireland Thinks poll this week found that seven in 10 consumers who have encountered conveyancing have experienced difficulties with it.


Pat Davitt, chief executive of Ipav, said the issue of mortgage approvals lapsing due to conveyancing delays was “a particularly egregious one” at the moment as consumers potentially face higher interest rates on reapplying.

He said that the Bill would expand market wide a procedure that already applies to online public auctions and public auction sales. “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.”

The cost of climate change: ‘almost like driving another budget through public finances’

Listen | 38:51

In the Dáil on Thursday, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the Government welcomed the objectives behind the Bill of improving efficiency and reducing costs in the process of buying and selling property. However, she said that there were “challenges and difficulties” with the proposed legislation, such as a risk that it could lead to increased conveyancing costs and delays, and “even reduce the supply of properties coming on to the market”.

Ms McEntee said issues with the Bill would need to be considered further as it moved to the next legislative stage and was examined by an Oireachtas committee.

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is an Irish Times journalist.