Ireland’s conveyancing system ‘unfit for the digital age’, says Limerick IPAV president

IPAV president Lisa Kearney with Pat Davitt (CEO) and Keith Anderson.

THE PROCESS for selling property is “antiquated and unfit for the digital age”, according to the president of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV), Limerick auctioneer Lisa Kearney.

The IPAV president made the remarks at the Dáil’s Justice Committee supporting the Seller’s Legal Pack for the Property Buyers’ Bill, saying that the need up update the conveyancing system is urgent and if legislators don’t fix the issues, aspiring buyers will continue to see sales fall through, gazumping, and mortgage approvals lapsing, among other issues.

If the new Property Buyers’ Bill becomes law, the IPAV said, that the conveyancing system will become more efficient, secure and cost effective for consumers, whilst addressing long delays.

If passed, the Bill would provide full transparency to consumers up front, offer early confirmation of property saleability, and remove from the market those that can’t be sold, reducing failed transactions and associated costs, cutting conveyancing times ( currently averaging four months) by up to 50 per cent, and drive efficiencies similar to those in public auctions and online sales, where documentation is provided upfront and sales close within weeks.

The Bill would also create a statutory obligation for a seller’s pack to be prepared in advance of a property going to market. This seller’s pack would include documents such as contracts for sale, property deeds, planning documents, and architect’s certificate of compliance with planning and building regulations.

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Ireland’s current conveyancing system dates largely from 1881, and is “unfit for the digital age”, the IPAV said.