What is a Seller’s Legal Pack and Why is it Important?

The group representing Irish Estate Agents (IPAV) have backed a bill that was put before the Dail in November 2021. This bill seeked to change the way residential conveyancing is conducted and aims to speed up and bring transparency to the outdated conveyancing process.

What is a Seller’s Legal Pack?

The Bill would mandate that the seller’s solicitor would need to have all legal documentation in place before the property is sale agreed. This collection of documents relating to your individual property and provides the buyers with key information relating to the purchase and is known as a Seller’s Legal Pack (SLP). At present, many sellers’ solicitors do not begin work until after the property is sale agreed – this leads to major delays in gathering documents such as the Title and can cause months of delays and transactions to fall through.

Does a Seller’s Legal Pack increase conveyancing costs?

According to the IPAV: “It is expected the SLP will add no further cost to the general expenses associated with the sales process. The fee will include all potential queries that might be raised by the vendor, purchaser and legal representatives throughout the conveyancing process. [They] believe, the Seller’s Legal Pack represents an important investment, given significant non-refundable costs such as surveys, legal bills and mortgage valuation should the deal fall through due to lack of important information up front.”

Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers, Briefing Document, www.ipav.ie (Dec 2021).

Thankfully here at Transact, we have had this process in operation for some time. All documents are uploaded immediately, and all parties have transparency of where the documents are throughout the process. We have already worked with many of the agents backing this change and would be delighted to see it put on a legislative footing.

Will adding another step delay the conveyancing process?

Given the current climate, the short answer is no. The IPAV’s recent Conveyancing Survey found “79% of auctioneers are experiencing conveyancing delays from the time a property is deemed ‘sale agreed’ to when the sale eventually closes”.

“We found the average time it takes from when a property is ‘sale agreed’ to when contracts are signed is ten weeks, and it takes a further six weeks from the signing of the sales contracts to the date on which the sale closes,” he says.

IPAV’s Chief Executive, Pat Davitt

Mr Davitt says IPAV has now begun the process of seeking the support of all stakeholders within the industry, including the legal profession and policymakers, to streamline the conveyancing process and make it more efficient.

“As the representative body responsible for driving standards for the property sales industry, we have no doubt, the Seller’s Legal Pack would satisfy these objectives while substantially reducing the delays incurred in the current sales process which is unaligned, rife with uncertainty and presents legal risks to the Vendor”.

IPAV’s Chief Executive, Pat Davitt (https://www.ipav.ie/)

We hope to see this enacted as quickly as possible as it will build on the great work we have started here at Transact.