Under the counter payment sought by EA


#1

So we final attempted to join the ranks of notionally adult society and put our first ever bid on an Irish property, a mediocre three-bed semi-D whose main virtues were being in the same estate we’ve been renting in for more than a decade, and a seemingly reasonable price. We were expecting our opening offer to be most likely rejected, but what we weren’t expecting as for the EA to ring and solicit a little under the table wheel greaser on behalf of the vendor: 10 grand in cold hard cash. I’ve never thought we were particularly naive about what Ireland was like - we do read the Pin after all - but I guess since we were both pretty shocked we must be. How widespread is this craic? Does Ireland not just want my money now but my morals too? How do the mechanics of these things even work: furtive transfer of envelope in an underground car park?


#2

Go for it. Payable when contracts are exchanged and countersigned etc.
Then say “Oh I thought that was a joke…”
:angry: :smiley: :angry:
(keep recordings, of course)


#3

Is it a bank sale, divorce or probate sale? They are looking to keep 10 grand for them selves! From somebody. It must be tempting if you really want the house.


#4

My guess is that it’s quite common, if not widespread.

The exact same thing happened to my both my brothers.
One was buying a house a few years ago and he was asked for €10K cash by the estate agent.
It turned out that the EA owned the house as well, but failed to disclose this to my brother.
My brother and his partner were expecting their first child at the time, and put pressure on themselves to have their own home before the child came, so they gave in and paid the €10K in cash under the counter. The price showing on the PPR is exactly €10K less than they paid.
I suggested to my brother that he report the EA to the PSRA and/or Revenue, but he didn’t want to cause any trouble, (which is the standard response in Ireland to wrong-doing or illegal behaviour).
My brother just walked into the EAs office with cash, (50s in an envelope - very typical Irish business practice imho)

Another brother was buying a site and again was asked for about 25% of the price in cash. So he agreed and negotiated a reduction in the price as well. Again, 50s stuffed into an envelope.
He was delighted with the deal. But again, he refuses to acknowledge the link between tax-dodging by some and the higher income taxes he has to pay.

Morals is a very loose term in Ireland. Most Irish people think it’s great to get one over on the taxman, even though they ultimately end up paying for it themselves in other/higher taxes. They think they are being a cute hoor and getting a great deal.

It’s up to yourself what you do, but if you’re going to pay €10K cash, you should at least look for a €5K reduction in the price. (You don’t know who’s benefitting from the cash prize)

Nobody will judge you for it, and most will give you a pat on the back and say well done, you stuck it to the man.

Good luck either way.


#5

Just report them and move on.


#6

I come across this a lot.
Usually the scenario is as follows:
Vendor in arrears (e.g. total mortgage now €300,000).
Vendor agrees with bank to pay back €250,000 and the bank will forgive the remaining €50,000.
Vendor then tries to sell property for €260,000, keeping the remaining €10,000 for themselves.

Not only does the bribe pi$$ me off, but they have wasted my time as I don’t play those games.

edited for spelling


#7

It seems the vendor - and ostensible benficiary - is the original purchaser of the house from back in the day. It has been rented for some period so we don’t know him. The motivation seems to be straight up CGT evasion. My wife is self-employed and reluctant to be drawn into any Revenue-related shenanigans, however unlikely that might be in reality (although ironically enough she should have little to fear as she declares everything even though her business is largely cash in hand).

How badly we want the house is hard to say. It’s certainly nothing amazing though we like the estate. Supply is so constrained now in Galway in our price bracket that we’d have no certainty if we let it go that something better will materialise down the line. I’ve always hated the prevailing attitude in Ireland that it’s your civic duty to get away with as much as humanly possible. I guess I’m now being asked to put my, ahem, money where my mouth is.


#8

I wonder how the revenue treat this?

What that EA needs is an audit.


#9

You’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.


#10

They wouldn’t find anything relating to these cash payments though - they’ll undoubtedly have no paper trail and the ultimate beneficiary will be the owner (presumably) so not income for the agent.


#11

Five options,
Contact your current LL and see if they want to sell.
Bid on the house and see if you get it, go along with the 10,000, or offer less than 10,000
Bid on the house and see if you get it, but be up front that you won’t go along with the 10,000
Look for something else.


#12

If you tell your Solicitor that you are doing this the sale will likely fall through.
A concealed payment may tinge the contract/deed with illegality putting the title at risk.


#13

No income for the agent (unless they’re taking a cut on this dodgy deal), but it would amount to effective stamp duty evasion by the buyer.


#14

CGT at 33% is a 3300 euro incentive to ask for 10k under the table even before you start looking at avoiding mortgage obligations or cutting someone out or paying stamp duty.


#15

If you do go ahead please tip off your local armed robber. It’d be like Martin Cahill in “The General”. I’m only half joking


#16

How does one pay cash under the table? You give the cash up front and hope you don’t get ripped. Or you hold off on the cash until contract signed and the vendor hopes you’ll cough up?


#17

Walk away. There will be another house. There won’t be another chance to absolve yourself of being a sleazeball and (hopefully) feeling dirty for the rest of your life.

For optional bonus anti-sleaze points, report the EA to whoever will listen, tell him you’re doing it, and badmouth his business to anyone who asks you about it.

Just in case the EA reads these pages – STOP BEING A CNUT, YOU CNUT.


#18

It’s been mentioned on here somewhere before that the standard arrangement is that the vendor’s solicitor is in on the act. Exchange of contracts takes place in his/her office and he/she finds an excuse to leave the vendor and buyer alone in the room for a minute at a convenient point of the proceedings.

Could just as easily happen directly though, I think. As a buyer are you really going to feel safe promising someone ten grand and then reneging, knowing that the seller knows the house and the neighbourhood inside out and will be in a perfect position to come back and do some damage as a result.


#19

Just thinking off the top of my head here, but what if you offered €10k for the ‘contents’?
That might be more in line with your conscience, but would still give the €10k cash they are looking for.


#20

Ah yeah - during the early 00s there were a lot of people “buying” cookers/white goods off the sellers for 10-15k… to stay under stamp thresholds etc.
It’s like the Boom never left. No wonder Bertif#ck wants to make a return.

Edit: I’m not saying it was right, or lawful. Just that it was widespread.