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A Sellers’ Market: Top Tips on Selling your Home

Posted by TL Inga on November 15, 2022
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Strong demand and poor supply in the housing market right now means it’s a sellers’ market out there! This, combined with the fact that house prices are rising again, makes it generally a good time to go to market with your residential property.

Whether looking to cash in on a rental property owned or an inheritance, or down-sizing or trading up, it is important to make sure that you don’t undersell your prized property. 

Doing your homework beforehand, and finding the right advisors will ensure property owners get the best return from a sale at this opportune time.

Working from home, or moving home to be with family, saw many people rediscover the charm and affordability of life outside of the major urban centres last year.  This is boosting housing market activity countrywide.

The market for new builds and existing homes in commuter areas is always strong, fuelled by newly funded buyers and Covid savings.  So, prices are rising practically everywhere, as growing numbers chase a scarce supply of suitable housing.

This is the time to capitalise on a property asset, but those selling also need to make sure they’re getting the best possible deal.

DON’T SELL IT SHORT!

When it comes to homework for home vendors, (Agency RE/MAX) advise the following approach.  Ask the following questions and talk to a number of different estate agents, ideally getting recommendations from other people who have sold in the local area;

How much will you charge?  Larger estate agents traditionally charged between 1% – 2% of the sale value, plus VAT.  There are now a lot more estate agents in Ireland offering fixed prices for house sales though.  So, be a savvy seller, do the calculations to see what makes sense for you. Agents may be open to your suggestion of a preferable fee calculation, so always ask.

Are there any other costs?  There may be extra charges on top of the sale commission or fee which would include advertising fees for websites, brochures, the “For Sale” board and newspaper profiles. Other charges to factor in when selling or letting a property is a BER (Building Energy Rating) report. Legal fees to process the sale will be extra again.

How will you market my home?  Your property should have the maximum advertising support; after all it may well be one of the most-high value transactions in your life.  Give it the best marketing support to get the best price, including the property websites (myhome.ie, daft.ie etc), good professional photos and video, and local or even national newspapers.  Facebook, Twitter and other social media should also be used to give your property an edge.

What is the current market like for sales?  Due to the lack of properties, there is always strong demand in Dublin, on the East coast, and in commuter areas of the major cities.  As noted, the shortage of housing stock in general is pushing up prices, so rural areas also have appeal. 

It is generally an excellent time to sell, with high buyer demand.  But get the local picture, as with a local agent’s insight you can understand the development plans for new housing, or job market issues that will be impacting local demand now and into the future.

What timeframe will it take to sell my property?  With the current supply and demand crisis, good properties are selling fast, due to shortages of mid-priced properties, in particular, in city and commuter areas.  

Can I withdraw my property at any time, or am I tied into a contract?  Most estate agents will require a Property Service Agreement to be signed, which will highlight service and fees.  Estate agents’ contracts normally state ‘Sole Agency’ with no timeframe, so you can move on to sell with another agent if you want to.  But check for a timeframe, and also terms like ‘Sole Selling Rights’, meaning no one else can sell your home during the period stipulated.   You may have to pay that estate agent, even if you find your own buyer, so an agent’s contract needs careful review.  A solicitor can help and there is online advice too.

Am I made aware of all offers throughout the sale?  Yes, should be the answer here!  Estate agents must keep you informed, and every name, number and bid is logged.

Will I get feedback from every viewing?  Estate agents should give you feedback after each viewing, whether it’s positive or negative.  A good estate agent, such as a local independent RE/MAX professional, will keep you updated throughout the process, and advise on opportunities to best present your home for sale.

Are you a member of a regulated body?  Make sure your estate agent is regulated and a member of a professional body such as IPAV or Chartered Surveyors Ireland.  They are obliged under the terms of their membership to hold a current licence and must abide by a code of practice.

As with any transaction, the more research you do and questions you ask, the better the likely outcome of your house sale.

Sometimes it is helpful to drive around an area and check out who is selling homes close to where you live, or to the property you are selling.  Be nosy and ask sellers how they find their estate agent; most will happily tell you.  Importantly, always compare estate agent commission and charges, and set expectations as to what value you want to achieve for your property.

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