Those who swap homes have to pay the usual stamp duty with the person moving to the larger house paying duty at the market value of that house and vice versa.
For instance, when swapping a €200,000 home for a €400,000 home, the person swapping home would pay 1pc stamp duty or €4,000, while the person trading down would pay €2,000.
Remember you need to value both houses. Having an estate agent as match maker helps ensure that both parties are satisfied that the deal reflects fair and reasonable value.
The house price register has made it easier for swappers to get more accurate values for their properties in those urban areas where similar houses have sold recently.
However, the register does not give full details of the sizes and the nature of the deals.
For instance the register may show a much different price for house deals where a family member has bought from parents or siblings or where houses come with land.
Some agents, such as Carlow-based Harry Sothern of Sothern REA, may be willing to split their fees for brokering a swap. Both parties pay half the 2pc fee plus VAT that he charges vendors.
It may be tempting to also get one solicitor to handle the deal for both parties.
However, as legal issues are more complex than brokering, it is advisable that each person has their own solicitor.
The bank holding the mortgage for a person swapping down can be more willing to lend to the person trading up if both parties are better able to pay their mortgages.
But make sure the bank doesn't try to switch you off your existing tracker mortgage to a more costly variable.