Top Tips to Sell Your Home From an Expert Estate Agent

Thinking of selling your home, but not sure where to start? Putting your house on the market can be a daunting task, which is why it’s important to do your research and have a plan in place before the ‘For Sale’ sign goes up in the front garden. We’ve asked one of our top residential negotiators, Cork’s Laura Pratt, for her best tips when it comes to selling. Read on, then make an appointment with Laura or any of our Lisney experts to talk about selling your home!

Choose the Right Time to Sell for You

Moving house is a big change. Before you go to market, take some time to consider why you want to sell your home. Do you need more space? Less space? Are you moving to be closer to a job, family, a certain school for the kids?

‘Be mentally prepared for the change or moving out of your home,’ says Laura. It’s key to have a plan in place for when your home sells. If buying isn’t possible until contracts are signed on the house you’re selling, have options, such as staying with family or renting for a short time after the sale has concluded.

Find the Right Agent

Once you’ve decided to sell, engaging a good estate agent is step one. However, finding an estate agent isn’t just a matter of calling the number on the first sign you see. You’ll want an agent with a good understanding of the local market, a record of sales for homes similar to yours, as well as someone who you feel, will be on your side.

‘Seek advice from an expert in your local area, so that they can provide you with the best advice when it comes to selling your home,’ Laura says. Communication is key. When meeting with agents, be clear about what you want from the sale and how often you expect to be updated.

‘It’s important for you to set price expectations and have full communication and updates from your agent,’ advises Laura. Your estate agent will be there with you every step of the way – make sure you’re employing someone you have full confidence in!

Have Your Documentation in Order

Save yourself hassle in the long run by making sure you have all of your home-related documents in order before you go to market.

‘You’ll need to request the Title Deeds from the lender. Have your solicitor review these documents to ensure a good, marketable title and boundaries are in order.’

If you’ve had any work done to the house, you’ll also need documentation for renovations. This could include extensions or planning permissions granted, and you will be able to confirm these with your architect.

Finally, ensure your property has a Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificate and Advisory Report. A good estate agent will be able to either recommend someone to organize a BER, or can sort one for you.

Agree on a Pricing Strategy & Cost-Effective Marketing Plan

An agent’s expertise will come through when it’s time to decide on a guide price and marketing plan for your home.

‘An agent’s valuation of the property and its pricing strategy is regulated under the national Property Services Regulatory Authority guidelines,’ Laura explains. ‘The guided sales price will be based on comparable evidence from the Property Price Register.’

Your estate agent will know how to value a home to ensure the best possible result. This means pricing effectively to drum up interest in your house, as well as marketing your home so buyers will see it. There are many places to market a home – portal sites, social media, editorial in newspapers – and a good estate agent will sit down and go through the various options with you.

‘In terms of a marketing budget, the agent should set out a list of items and pricing. You, as the client, can review and decide to use any or all of the marketing tools available to you.’

Take Care of Any Home Improvements

Like all expert agents, Laura knows that properties in turnkey condition typically sell faster and achieve stronger prices than those in need of renovations and repairs.

‘Most buyers have already done their research. They’ll have a list of items – things they will and won’t compromise on. Properties that require work typically take longer to sell than those that don’t.’

Life is busy, and with work and family commitments, many purchasers won’t want the added stress of renovations. ‘They’ll also be factoring in the cost of contractors, building works and materials. This can make it more difficult for potential buyers to secure the funding that they would require.’

If you have the scope and time to carry out any home improvements or renovations, the time to do it is before you head to the market. Even a fresh coat of paint could help your home sell faster, and at a better price.

Declutter Your House

‘First impressions are everything,’ Laura says. ‘Have your home clean and tidy for viewings so that proposed buyers can see themselves living there.’

Before photographs are taken of your home, declutter. This is a great opportunity to not only prep your home for sale, but prep yourself for the move. Donate old knick-knacks, clothing, toys or home furnishings. When you’ve finished your clear out, don’t forget to do a deep clean of the home (yes, even the skirting boards and behind the couch!).

‘Most buyers will have made a decision on your home within the first 15 seconds of entering, so it’s important to have your home in tip-top shape.’

With the right estate agent, and a little bit of prep work, you’ll be ready to go to market in no time. All that’s left? Put the ‘For Sale’ sign up and get ready to sell!

By Zoe Yohn
3rd February 2022
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