Published on March 13th, 2017 | by Martin Clancy
How to sell your property in 11 easy steps
There is no doubt that selling your home is stressful with lots of possible outcomes before your home is sold. You can lessen the stress and be prepared with our 11 steps guide to selling your house.
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1. PROPERTY VALUATION
To find out the market value for your property, you can book a free valuation with an estate agent. Checking the Irish property price register online is a good reference and don’t be afraid to attend open viewings of similar properties in your area to gauge the market.
2. CHOOSE AN AGENT
Meet with a number of estate agents before you choose one, to ensure that you are getting value. Don’t be swayed by estate agents offering you the world in terms of property valuations. If an agent says they can get you a price that sounds incredibly high, then it’s probably too good to be true.
3. PREPARE YOUR PROPERTY
When preparing your property for sale, be aware that most buyers would like a blank canvas and will have limited imagination when it comes to looking at the ‘potential’ of a property!
View it as an opportunity to undertake a decluttering exercise, also removing any excess furniture. First impressions count so make sure your home has ‘kerb appeal’. This means sprucing up the outside as well as the inside. If you have a garden, make sure it’s neat and tidy and that your entrance hall is welcoming. It’s also a good idea to ask a friend to give their honest feedback of how your property presents itself from a buyer’s perspective.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to prepare your home for a sale, but do try to give the impression of space and light throughout your home as much as possible.
4. MARKETING YOUR PROPERTY
Traditional estate agents will charge marketing fees on top of their commission and they are likely to charge additional fees for newspaper advertising. Everyone likes to see their property in the paper but you should be certain that it really makes sense for your property before incurring the additional expense. Over 90% of prospective buyers in Ireland look for property online.
Photography is extremely important when selling your property so make sure your estate agent provides you with high quality photos.
5. CHOOSE A SOLICITOR
The legal formalities around selling your property are called ‘conveyancing’ and it’s important to choose your solicitor early in the process.
Be aware that many solicitors charge a percentage of the asking price of the home.
6. ENERGY RATING CERT (BER)
It is a legal requirement to have a Buildings Energy Rating (BER) certificate for your property when you put it up for sale.
The BER is designed to make the energy performance of a property transparent to potential buyers. This process will involve a BER assessor completing an appraisal of the property. The assessor then submits the results to the Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) who then issue a certificate.
As previously mentioned, make sure to prepare your property for viewings so that it’s presented in the best light. With regards to viewing times, be as flexible and accommodating as possible for your potential buyers.
8. RECEIVE OFFERS & NEGOTIATE
Know your bottom line and don’t ever go below it if you can help it. How you handle this will depend on how close to the asking price the offer is, your timeline to sell and your appetite for a longer negotiation. When buyers start making offers you can either accept one, or stand firm and wait for higher offers.
9. AGREE TO SELL
When you agree to accept a buyer’s offer, the buyer will pay a deposit as a sign of intent. This deposit is refundable if they decide to pull out of the sale before the contract signing.
It’s normal at this point for the buyer to arrange a structural survey of the property. If the buyer is borrowing to fund the purchase then their lending institution will also arrange their own valuation.
10. EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS
Once everything is in place, your solicitor will ask you to sign unconditional contracts. This is first signed by the buyer and then sent back to your solicitor for counter-signing by you.
The buyer then pays the balance of the 10% deposit.
11. SALE COMPLETION
The sale is formally completed when all the legal documents between buyer and seller have been signed and full ownership has been legally transferred to the buyer.
A suitable completion date will be agreed and arranged by your solicitor and the remainder of the money from the sale will be transferred into your solicitor’s account.
Well done – your property has been sold!
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