EA disclosed sales under the table!


Hi, I have been looking at a lot of property in co Louth recently to move to with our family. Not investment prop but home owners. Several EA have said that 80% of sales are cash and a lot of these are under the counter. Eg house price 300k. Conveyancing done by sol and ea for 200k and 100k cash u pay the counter in cash! I can’t believe this is happening as sol would loose their licence if caught at this messing ! Do you think this is usual ea sh1t talk or really happening? Who dies it benefit also?
Cheers for all the advice as usual!


In other words the EA is trying to convince you that the PPR is undervaluing local houses and you should ignore it and listen to them instead. They are also confessing to being a party to the crime of tax evasion at the very least and probably fraud. You should help them report it by offering to call the Guards.


In view if the fact that stamp duty is now so low (3k for an owner occupier buying a 300k property) I personally find it very hard to believe that a purchaser would risk revenue penalties and the associated solicitor would risk being struck off to save 1,000 euro. But hey maybe people in Louth are particularly tight fisted!


As mantissa says, i’d say in order to cover the discrepancy between what they are trying to sell houses for and what people are really paying for them, they come up with some cock and bull story about “the difference” being paid under the table.

Total rubbish i would think…


It’s not that simple. If the house is being sold at the behest of a bank the seller would have a much more substantial incentive to construct such a deal. Especially if the buyer is a cash buyer or one with a substantial cash component and relatively small mortgage. They could have agreed a price of €325k with the seller and then the seller says "I’ll give it to you for €300k if you only put €200k on the contract and pay me €100k in cash. There is now a possibility for the buyer to save €26,250 rather than just €1,000 and you might find more buyers ready to go for that. The solicitor doesn’t even have to know or, if he does know, doesn’t have to be directly involved in that part of the transaction and could plausibly deny knowledge. I doubt this is widespread but I’m sure it happens.


In that senario , there is nothing to stop the buyer denying all knowledge of this “extra” payment after all the contracts are signed.


Neither is the bank going to ok a deal, where their valuer does any kind of check and see’s that the property is being sold for below market value.


I think it was on here (but it may have been on boards.ie or somewhere else) where someone outlined the practice of contracts being exchanged in the solicitor’s office and the solicitor conveniently finding an excuse to have to leave the room for a moment when the contracts have been signed but before they have been handed over…

There are plenty ways to cover that particular aspect and there are countries where parallel payments are the norm and the procedures for enforcing are well understood. Italy, Greece and most of the former Soviet Union are three examples I’ve heard about.


True. The numbers in the example the EA gave to OP are not credible. But if it were to happen in the 10-20% range, or maybe a bit more if it is was a one off house rather than an easily comparable property in a large estate, then it would not be so easy to detect.


I have bought a few houses and never have i met the sellers at contract stage, you go to your solicitors office and they go to their’s, i wouldn’t pay to much attention to what you see on message boards.

My experience with solicitors i have just used for conveyancing is they were as honest as they come and there was no messing about, even with things you might want to overlook yourself…they are being paid to protect you, even if sometimes this can cause delays and in extremes sales to fall through !.


I haven’t either, when I bought in Ireland. But I have when I bought in another country and the system was set up to work just like that with the exchange taking place in private room in a bank that had safety deposit boxes available. And I do know it is not unheard of for both parties to sign in the presence of a solicitor in Ireland. I know of one case locally where that happened to a friend of mine and the buyer tried to pull a fast one (renegotiate the price) during the process. I also know of a prominent poster on here, who I have met in person, who recounted being told by a local EA that a house she was viewing could only be sold if a cash payment was made to the bust developer who was selling it as all the official price would go straight to the bank.

I agree with Mantissa that this is most likely not widespread. I was just pointing out that the motivation could be a lot more than the saving a grand or less in stamp duty.


I have recently heard of a house selling for 120k with 10k of that in cash. The vendor was a complete moron and it was the only way to get the deal across the line. I’m not sure what involvement the EA had, if any. The vendor had fallen out with every EA within 20 miles.


Like most who hear of widespread “under the table” deals, I suspect it’s a complete fabrication.

Call the EA’s bluff … this is a high value business transaction, so ask them to provide proof to support their allegation, otherwise, point out that in the absense of any evidence to the contrary, you are going to aussume the claim is nothing more than at best an ‘untruth’ and the EA is the calibre of individual/organisation who engauges in deception.

The documented facts of the property market in Ireland are that for decades Estate Agents have worked in a murky realm where they invent bids either by way of ‘taking them off the wall’ in auctions or through the fictional participation of the phantom bidder in private treaty sales. In particular during private sales, once the sale closed the EA could then potentially increase the published sales price with little or no risk for being ‘caught in the lie’ in order to entice new vendors to the market and extract even higher prices from new buyers. Now that sale prices are officially recorded and published they have lost that particular ‘tool’ in their box and based on a number of theads on this board would appear to be suggesting that the official figures are incorrect as they alledge there is a widespread collusion with the aim of defrauding the State being carried out involving buyers, sellers, estate agenets and solicitors (pretty much all of the stakeholders in the property market).

Personally, I find the claims hardly credible.

Blue Horseshoe


Hadn’t thought of the need to hide the sale price from the bank. That is a good point and no doubt some of it does go on.

But realistically how common can it be? Remember the solicitor has to register the sale price how with the property price register and it is his or her responsibility to forward the stamp duty to revenue. Unless the solicitor is receiving a generous bribe why would s/ he risk being struck off to facilitate a crooked client? And are many people facing a bank repossession really in a position to pass wads of cash under the table to their solicitor? No doubt some are but many?

Also now that all sale prices are public information, surely the banks would query a sale price which is 100k below the local norm?


There would be a gift tax implication as well if there are actually people stupid enough to do what is being suggested by the o.p


I’m new here and I would like some advice. I have house for sale in Ireland, a one off, no comparable one nearby. I have recently been offered SIX FIGURE SUM for the house and was asked by EA if I would accept FIVE FIGURE SUM in cash. The offer is tempting but I am reluctant to accept as terrified of the consequences should it be picked up by Revenue. Also my mortgage is small less than 100,000 and my next house is going to be in UK. I don’t relish carrying FIVE FIGURE SUM cash in my wallet and I have no idea why the buyer wants to do it this way, obviously hiding money I presume. Advice welcome!


Just to clarify your question: you say that you have a 6 figure offer and have been asked if you would accept a 5 figure offer in cash?

What would be the advantage of accepting a lower offer in cash, as selling a house, if it is your main residence, is not subject to (capital gains) tax anyway? You will also have to disclose the selling price via The Property Price Register and doesn’t that have to be done via a solicitor? The only advantage might be to a buyer trying to hide money as you say.

Also when someone says “cash” I would assume that they would actually give you or your solicitor a bank draft and not hand over a big bag of cash! If someone is actually handing over a bag of cash I would not get involved and I don’t think that a solicitor would be keen to be involved in such a transaction either. I don’t see any advantage to you as a seller of this scenario (a lower offer in cash) and the EA you are using seems dodgy.

Perhaps I am missing something and the good people of the PIN understand better what advantage to the seller is being offered here.


Hi, I was asked to accept a 5 figure sum under the table and the rest to go through the normal way with the solicitor. It’s my principal residence for ten years and I am returning to live in UK.


If the buyer doesn’t pay you the cash you have zero legal recourse, none. I wouldn’t do it unless I was bringing a gun to the contract signing.


Yes, you right. I have got a better offer from another buyer so going with it. Thank you very much for your replies. :slight_smile: