When I sell my house, why do deposits have to go through my estate agent?

Image of banknotes and house keys indicating deposit paid when buying a property

Selling a house can be a complex, time-consuming business with a lot of paperwork and transactions involved. Your estate agent is on hand to lessen this burden for you (the vendor) and ensure the process is smooth, timely, hassle-free and all above board, along with providing expert advice and help to guide you through the process.

The estate agent will act on your behalf with your best interests in mind and use their expertise to ensure they find the best price and best possible buyer for your property.

Allowing your estate agent to handle all deposits is the wisest option, as they are fully regulated to ensure everything runs smoothly, legally and that all procedures are carried out in a professional manner and in accordance with current legislation.

Why is a deposit required when selling property?

When you have accepted an offer on your property the buyer will need to pay a “booking deposit” to your estate agent a few weeks before purchase is completed. On receipt of this deposit, your estate agent will then mark your property as sale agreed.

Deposits can vary from a specific amount to a certain percentage of the overall offer that has been made and accepted. The deposit is refundable and secures the property for the buyer up until the time that contracts are signed. When a deposit is paid it is seen as a gesture of good faith on the part of the buyer and it is usually a very strong indication that the buyer intends to buy your property.

The deposit will be held by your estate agent until the sale closes and all transactions are complete and contracts have been signed. Once the contracts have been signed, the estate agent will ensure that all monies owed to you will be sent to your account.

Why do deposits go through the estate agent?

An estate agent is regulated and licensed by the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PRSA) and so they are licensed to ensure that all relevant documentation is completed and submitted accordingly. As part of this professional body, they also ensure that all transactions and any holding of funds is legal and above board, keeping all parties involved safe from any legal complications.

An estate agent will liaise with your solicitor throughout the process and send them on the sale details so that contracts can be sent out to the buyer. The estate agent works with all involved to ensure that every box is ticked and that everything stays on track for the smooth sale of your property.

What are the advantages of this process?

The estate agent can liaise with your solicitor on your behalf, ensure all relevant documentation is completed and that everything is done legally, covering all parties involved. They can deal directly with the buyer to assess whether they are in the position to be ready to buy or are waiting on further income, for example the sale of their own house.

Using their market knowledge and experience, estate agents can vet potential buyers according to your specifications, and can seek to find the right buyer for your property. They can ensure the buyer can provide the right documentation to prove they have mortgage approval, the funds available to buy your property and are ready to buy.

Your estate agent can communicate with all parties involved, drastically reducing the amount of time you might usually spend going between the buyer, their solicitor and your own.

Holding large amounts of money as deposits can often prove problematic when not done by a licensed professional and so allowing the estate agent to handle this part will eliminate any potential burdens to you, the vendor.

Estate agents deal with the sale of properties every day and have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the trends in the market and how to find the perfect buyers. It makes sense to allow them to handle all documentation and transactions involved in selling your house, so that you can relax and focus on more exciting things involved in the process, such as your next move or what you plan to do with the funds from your sale.



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