Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty Residential is a trusted leader in providing property solutions to buyers, sellers and landlords, and this service begins with having the right answers. Our door is always open to offer advice and guidance on the Irish residential market.
We also believe in offering clients as much information as possible even before they meet our agents. Here we share many of the most popular questions we have been asked over the years, along with comprehensive answers from the experienced Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty Residential team. And if you’d like us to follow up on any of these topics, we would be happy to carry on the conversation.
The first step is finding a reputable agent you can trust from the first meeting. If Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty is active in your area, we can arrange a free detailed inspection and walk-through, at any time that suits you. After this thorough preliminary work, we’ll sit down with you and discuss the valuation of your home, market trends, the cost of selling, and answer any of your questions. After this meeting we will give you a realistic estimate of your home’s selling price, and discuss your options.
For a simple breakdown of this process, you can download our Ultimate Home seller’s Checklist.
Selling a home can be stressful, as it’s an important life decision. For most people, it’s their most valuable asset, and it’s natural to feel protective of it. After decades of experience we’ve learned that people really value the advice and guidance of a third party.
Viewers are often reluctant to give their honest opinions to the homeowner, for fear of being too direct or personal. A neutral estate agent can answer any of their tricky questions, backed up by extensive industry knowledge.
This knowledge can also be called on selling off-market. Agents will have a current list of buyers in the area, which may help sellers who are under pressure to make a quick sale. Agents can also advise on the type of sale, the marketing campaign and the optimum time to sell your home.
Most importantly, estate agents will have valuable information on buyers in the market, as the highest bidder is not necessarily the best option. And once you have finally agreed on a seller, agents can start taking care of the paperwork, such as organising booking deposits and chasing contracts.
Everyone’s circumstances are different. Maybe you have a growing family and you need more space, so a sale may seem urgent. Or maybe you just want to downsize, so you’re in no rush to move.
I always tell sellers to have a look around the neighbourhood. If you can see lots of For Sale signs it might not be the best time to sell. If a buyer can choose between four similar homes on the same road they have more bargaining power.
As a general rule, a higher number of properties for sale in an area is good news for the buyer, and fewer properties on sale is better for the vendor.
If you choose Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty and we do the initial valuation, we immediately start our marketing campaign for your home. We then arrange a professional photographer to capture shots of your home when it suits you. Once we start marketing your home through all of our channels, we arrange an open viewing, usually held on a Saturday.
The open viewing lasts between one and two hours and you don’t need to be there. We can also arrange private appointments for viewers who can’t make Saturday viewings, to ensure all buyers are considered.
First impressions count — buyers are influenced by what they see as soon as they arrive at a home. They’ll be swayed by a nicely painted front door and a well-maintained entrance.
The second, and most important rule is to make sure your home is clean. It may sound simple, but well-made beds with crisp new linen will make a great first impression. And if you have any clutter, get rid of it! This will remove distraction, and make the space look bigger and more inviting.
That’s why hiring an agent with the right experience is crucial. We will calculate a suitable asking price based on your desired amount, balanced with the price you can actually realise on the market.
We can generally gauge the level of interest in your property within four weeks of it going on the market. There are many factors that may affect demand — for example, you may need to update your decor, or there may be a lot of properties for sale in your area. If the market suggests your asking price is too high, we can reassess the price and guide you at every stage.
There is a wide variety of new homes types currently on the market. You can secure anything from a city centre one-bed apartment to a future-proof five-bed in leafy suburbia, and almost anything in between!
The benefits of buying a new home over secondhand are many. To reference a few, I would point to the energy efficiencies currently available these days by buying new. Older homes can haemorrhage heat by way of dated insulation, which amounts to heavy power and electricity bills. Building Energy Ratings (BER) of new homes tend to be A2/A3 rated, which means there are significant energy savings for you.
Modern layouts are also appealing. An open-plan layout has become very popular and is now frequently seen in new starter and family homes. Parking spaces, attractive landscaping and communal spaces are all incorporated within new home schemes as well. New homes are ready for move-in and any work will likely be cosmetic, which is a benefit if you need to think about refurbishment and building costs for a secondhand home.
Getting on the property ladder by buying new is particularly beneficial as a first-time buyer in Ireland. The Irish Government has incentivised purchasing new homes with the Help-to-Buy Scheme. This assistance programme essentially allows a first-time buyer to secure a €20,000/5% rebate on a brand new property, up to a purchase price of €500,000. It has been invaluable as assistance to get on the ladder to Irish first-time buyers.
There are no additional significant costs that need to be considered when buying a new home. Legal fees to your solicitor will be the same, if not less given the clean book of title attached to a new home. Surveyors’ fees are much the same and are likely to generate a smaller list of snags given the “brand newness” of the house. Stamp duty is applicable on houses old and new. Items to be aware of and clear on are the BER rating of the home, whether the house is in a scheme that is to be privately run (in which case a management fee is applicable) or whether the local council are to take it in charge.
Generally, you’ll find a development that you’d like to call home and buy from plans or a show house, usually from 3 to 6 months before completion. Once you reserve a property with the sales agent, be it apartment or house, you’ll pay a nominal refundable deposit. Contracts are then issued from the developers’ solicitors to your solicitor.
Once you sign your contracts, you’ll put down a payment of the balance up to 10% of the price (minus the deposit). Your purchase is now non-refundable, which is something to be aware of as a purchaser. Upon completion of the property, you can inspect and send in a surveyor to take a look over your new home, ensuring there aren’t any finishing defects. After the balance is paid off, the keys are yours and you can move into your new home!
The areas you look for to buy a new home are essentially up to you. Keep an eye on the property portals and keep in touch with Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty New Homes for an up-to-date list on what is currently on and coming to market. Consider things like local amenities, including schools and shops, and good transport links when looking into new neighbourhoods. As sales agents, we will provide as much info about the area as we can, but you need to consider what is important to you.
People often aspire to live close to where they grew up. We are seeing this a lot at our development at Kinsealy Woods. Kinsealy is located right beside Malahide and Portmarnock, locations extremely popular with the existing locals. Quite a few young adults from these neighbourhoods, who possibly lived abroad or rented elsewhere, are choosing to buy in Kinsealy given its close proximity to family.
The house-warming is extremely important. I suggest having two! One to invite your neighbours to in an effort to make friends and suss out who is who, and the other one for your friends, family and of, course your Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty New Homes sales agents who will have guided you through the buying process and will be only too happy to share in the celebration of your New Home. PS — we can recommend caterers, party planners and bubbly providers also – all part of the service!
Before anything, your first step should be to establish your budget. Get in touch with your bank and schedule an appointment with a mortgage broker. They will be able to figure out how much you can borrow and at what rates, so you can be better prepared in terms of saving for a deposit.
Once you know how your finances stand, you should begin to look at websites and property portals to get an idea of the homes and the neighbourhoods within your budget. Start thinking about what you’d like in your home, as well as non-negotiables. These are different for every buyer – you might think outdoor space is essential, while another buyer might be more interested in location.
Generally, as a first-time buyer you will need to have a deposit of 10% of the purchase price from your savings. The maximum mortgage you can get for a property is 90%. You will also have to budget for legal fees, surveys, and other outlays.
Either bank mortgage brokers or independent mortgage brokers can arrange for you to apply for a mortgage. You will need to provide details of your income and other relevant information, such as other loans you might have.
There are various schemes home buyers can take advantage of to help offset the cost of buying. For example, if you’re purchasing a new home, you can apply for the Help-to-Buy Scheme. Visit our New Homes FAQs to learn more!
Initially, you will receive Approval in Principle (AIP), which means it's time to start house hunting. Set up alerts on property portal websites, so you know when new homes within your budget come to the market first. Have your list of negotiables and essentials ready, so you can be discerning about homes you want to view.
Be ready to set aside a few Saturdays to attend open viewings. At an open viewing, an agent will take you through the home and answer any questions you may have. They will also be your point-of-contact if you’ve found ‘the one’ and want to place a bid.
Get in touch with the selling agent. You can submit your offer either verbally or in writing. Bear in mind the name of the game is negotiation – you might end up in a bidding situation with multiple bids. As discussed earlier, you will still have to pay legal fees and surveys.
Offers submitted are on the basis that they are subject to contract, survey and formal loan approval.
If you do find yourself in a bidding situation, or one in which your bid has not been accepted, you should have an opportunity to make a counter or higher offer.
A good estate agent will be key here. Ask them to let you know of any offers received from other bidders, and if the final offer comes from another buyer, remind the agent that you are ready to buy and ask them to include you on their database for any other similar properties that come to the market. They might even know of a home you haven’t seen or thought about, one that could be perfect for your and your family!
There are a few steps left before you can call the moving van! You’ll first send a booking deposit to the estate agent. This is refundable until contracts are signed. From there, your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor will get in touch to hammer out contract details.
You’ll want to arrange a survey of the property before signing contracts, to ensure that the home you want to move into doesn’t have any hidden concerns. Once you have the OK from your surveyor, it’s time to exchange contracts, get the keys and pop open a bottle of bubbly – you’re ready to move in!
Your first step will be to consider your budget. Get an understanding of how much per month you can spend on rent, and don’t forget to include figures for utilities and internet.
From there, set up alerts on property portal sites, so you’ll be the first in the know when rental properties come on the market that fit your requirements. Once you find a property you like, contact the letting agent or landlord to discuss your property needs, and they will arrange a virtual or in-person viewing at a time that suits you.
Being prepared is your best bet to landing your dream rental. Have all of your references and paperwork ready to send to the letting agent when you have found a property you’d like to view. This will help speed up the process for getting your application approved, as well as show the agent you’re serious and ready to rent!
In order to secure a rental property, you’ll likely need:
- Confirmation of employment
- Rental references
- Photo ID
If you find there’s a maintenance issue in your house, contact your agent or landlord via phone or email to report the issue. They will then arrange for a member of the maintenance team to visit the property, investigate and fix the issue.
Keep a list of all of the items that were included in the rental when you first moved in – this could be furniture, cutlery, plates – and make sure they are in good nick and in their rightful place. Clean the property from top to bottom. The letting agent or landlord will send you a vacating checklist and will arrange a check out inspection before you move out. From this appointment, they will advise you of any works or cleaning that may be required to ensure your deposit is returned in full with no delay prior to moving out.
The RTB has a one-stop-shop on its website for all questions and queries relating to your tenancy rights and obligations. We are also happy to discuss any concerns that tenants may have in relation to their tenancy, and support tenants where we can!
If you’re thinking of letting your property, your first step should be to get in touch with an experienced letting agent. Book a free, no-obligation valuation of your property with an agent, who will arrange a suitable time to meet with you and inspect the property. They will be able to answer any questions or concerns you might have, and can discuss the next steps, including getting your property ready to launch on the market.
While you can let your property yourself, opting for a lettings agent and property manager can take a lot of stress out of the process. A good letting agent will act as a neutral third-party, one who can negotiate on your behalf and find the ideal tenant for your home.
We have over 50 years’ experience in the letting market, so you can rest assured that our experienced team will give you the most up-to-date market, legal and practical advice to best place your property on the market.
We have long standing relationships with the international relocation and corporate letting market and an extensive tenant database, and our detailed tenant referencing process ensures the right tenant is chosen for your property.
Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty offers a full management service that ensures your property is maintained throughout the duration of the tenancy. We can help with everything from tenancy management, rental payments and ongoing maintenance, to carrying out regular inspections and ensuring all housing standards and regulations are up to date.
This means you can sit back, relax and make the most out of your residential lettings property.
You can be as involved as you want to be! This is your home and we’re happy to let you take the lead. If you’d rather enjoy the benefits of letting a property without the hassle, we can look after everything day-to-day and keep you informed with quarterly reports and regular communication on any relevant information in relation to your property or tenancy. Your property is in safe and experienced hands.
The residential letting market is evolving and changing rapidly. Our team is fully trained, licenced, and we are constantly seeking training and educational opportunities to stay up-to-date in any changes to the regulations of the Residential Tenancies Act. We have experience in tenant and landlord mediation which has proved very successful in maintaining relationships with your tenants and reducing disputes before the RTB.
The Private Rented Sector (PRS) is now well established in the Irish market, having emerged as a sector in 2012. Generally, PRS refers to a block or blocks of apartments that are in single ownership and management, and where there are dedicated amenities and facilities for residents.
Demand for PRS stems from changing demographics. These include a growing population that is both young and ageing; people getting married later and renting for longer; the fact that Ireland is more international and more urbanised. The evolution of demographics means the way people live is changing. This has implications for the type, size, tenure and location of future housing. While many will always choose more traditional forms of accommodation, others want choice. Being more international, a greater variety of housing options are being demanded, particularly in city areas. FDI companies bring with them highly skilled international workers (jobs tourism) who are accustomed to a different way of living – apartment, city living, close to place of work.
Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty have a dedicated PRS team offering a 360-degree service within this sector. Our services include:
- Sales & Acquisitions
- Strategic Advice
- Design & Specification
- Property Management