Friday, January 4, 2008

Step 8: Pay the booking deposit

When the offer is accepted you will be asked by the estate agent to pay a booking deposit. This is totally refundable (or should be, so make sure!) and acts as a sort of goodwill gesture to the seller. However, it does not guarantee the sale. This is the point where people are 'gazumped' - meaning the seller sells to another buyer for a higher price even though you have paid the booking deposit. I am not aware of a method of stopping or safeguarding against this, but I guess a speedy signing of contracts is the best bet.

The booking deposit can be anything from €2000 to 3% of the buying price. I am not sure what the rules or standards are here. We were asked for 3%. I have heard that it is good to do this through your solicitor - I guess for more formality.
We had not chosen our solicitor so just transferred directly to the estate agent. We have not signed contracts yet so I can't tell you much more yet...

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