The Guide: Sale Agreed to Getting Your Keys

Now that you are Sale Agreed on an Alder home, you’ll want to know how quickly you can get the keys! This is our ultimate step by step guide: from Sale Agreed to Getting Your Keys!

Step 1 - Going Sale Agreed

Going Sale Agreed is the first step toward buying an Alder home! At this stage, you will pay a deposit of €5000 to either Alder Homes’ solicitor or the real estate agent. The deposit is fully refundable until the exchange of contracts (when the contracts are signed and become legally binding).

You must also appoint a solicitor to manage the legal aspects of the house purchase (conveyancing) and correspond with Alder Homes’ solicitors. Ideally, you want to have a solicitor in mind before you go house hunting, so there are no delays in going Sale Agreed as soon as possible. 

If have yet to choose a list a solicitor you may find our list of independent solicitors to be  helpful. 

Tip: To speed up the conveyancing process, ask your solicitor to correspond with our solicitors by email, where possible, instead of by post.

When you go Sale Agreed, your agent or Alder Homes will provide you, your solicitor and the Alder Homes’ solicitor with a Sales Advice Note in the form of a letter via post or email attachment. The letter will state the agreed cost of the house, house address, solicitors’ contact details and other details of the proposed sale.

As soon as possible, notify your bank or lending institution of your decision to purchase the property. Even if you already have approval in principle, the bank will need to provide you with a formal letter of offer based on the price of the property.

If you intend to avail of the Help To Buy incentive but have not done so, now is the time to apply. For more information about qualifying and applying for the Help To Buy scheme, visit

Once you’ve received your letter of offer from your lending institution, you and your solicitor will each receive a loan offer pack in the post. You should review the loan offer letter with your solicitor, sign and return it to the bank along with any other supporting documentation required.
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Choosing Flooring & Extras

After the Sales Advice Note is issued, The Alder Homes Sales Manager will email you with a “welcome pack” – this contains detailed house plans, the kitchen design and plan, wardrobe design and plan and a range of flooring options. The Sales Manager is your dedicated contact between yourselves and the builders. We encourage you to contact them with any questions you have about the build, flooring options, or the sales process.

Step 2 - Contracts Exchange

About five days after the Sales Advice Notice is issued, your solicitor will receive the Draft Contract. Your solicitor will review the contract and engage with our solicitor with any pre-contract enquiries. There is a strict 21 day period for this phase, and contracts must be signed and returned before this has elapsed.

Most likely, you will have to make arrangements to travel to the office of your solicitor to sign the contracts in person. Once you have signed the contracts, your solicitor returns them to our solicitor and our Directors counter-sign. We are now at the “Contracts Exchanged” stage, and the sale of the property is legally binding. From this point, you may lose your deposit if you withdraw from the sale for any reason.

While you’re at the solicitors signing the contracts, you will be required to pay the balance to make up the total deposit required for the purchase. This will vary depending on your mortgage requirement and whether you’re availing of the Help to Buy Scheme.

If you have applied for the Help to Buy Scheme, it’s now time to make the claim via the website. You’ll need to upload evidence of your mortgage and a signed copy of the contract (which your solicitor should have provided) and confirm some further details of the sale. Once the claim is submitted, you’ll receive a claim reference number – called a C code. Please provide Alder Homes with this C-code and your access code so we can accept the claim and receive the funds. We will issue a letter confirming our receipt of the Help to Buy funds, and this should be provided to your bank to enable drawdown of funds (see below).

Before you can draw down your mortgage, you will need to have your home insurance and mortgage protection cover in place. Do this as far ahead as possible to avoid delays.

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Step 3 - Build Completion

The build completion date is when the builders will have your property fully complete, cleaned and ready for snagging. You will receive notice well in advance of this date so that you can arrange for the valuation and snagging to take place as soon as possible.

Before your bank releases the funds, they will send a valuer out to check the property. A couple of days before the Build Completion Data (see below), a valuer will arrive on-site and check, among other things, for running water, a kitchen sink, a functioning bathroom and a driveway. The valuer sends a report back to the bank. You will usually pay approximately €100 for this service. It is not the same as getting a snag which we cover next.

We recommend using a professional snagger to go through the house and pick up on items that the team of builders may have missed. A snagging service will cost anywhere from €200 to €500, and if you don’t have someone in mind, we can provide a list of recommended professionals. When your snagger has completed their inspection, they will issue you with a report. Our builders will complete the snags with five working days. You may wish to recheck the property at this stage.

Did you know? All Alder homes are protected by the Homebound 10 year structural guarantee.

A couple of days after the Build Completion Date, our solicitor will issue your solicitor with a 2 Week Completion Notice. It means that we expect to close the sale (give you your keys!) within two weeks. It’s now time to move quickly to ensure that everything is ready to facilitate the close of the sale. 


Step 4 - Closing

Stamp duty is the tax you pay when you buy a property. The rate is 1% of the purchase price for properties valued up to €1 million. Your solicitor will arrange to pay the stamp duty for you; however, you’ll need to pay the money to your solicitor when closing the sale.

You’re nearly there! Your solicitor will request the drawdown of funds from your mortgage provider. Alder Homes will provide the following required documents via their solicitor: 

  • BER Final Certificate
  • BER Advisory Report
  • Homebond Final Certificate
  • Letter from the developer of receipt of Help to Buy funds

It can take up to five days for bank funds to be released and another day before they land in your solicitor’s account. When you and your solicitor are ready, your solicitor will transfer the balance of funds to our solicitor. 

When the monies land in Alder Homes’ solicitor’s bank account (it can take 1 – 2 days), our solicitor will immediately send the closing documents to your solicitor. Your solicitor will perform necessary “closing searches”, which can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day. When your solicitor is satisfied, they will inform our solicitor that the “sale has closed”. This means the legal process is complete, and you are officially a proud owner of a beautiful new home! We’ll arrange a time to meet you on-site give you your keys!

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Step 5 - Moving In

To get your electricity switched over, you’ll need your MPRN number and a meter reading. You’ll find the MPRN number on your BER Advisory Statement, which you will have received during the closing process. 

If you can’t find it, send your Sales Manager a message, and they’ll get it to you along with a final meter reading. 

Check the Eircode website for your Eircode. Unfortunately, we can’t predict when your Eircode will be activated, but it should be between 2 and 3 weeks of when the electricity connected.

There will be some legal housekeeping in the coming weeks to complete the registration of the title with the Land Registry. Your solicitor will manage this process for you.

Further Reading and Resources