Preparing your property for selling on the market
Whether you want or need to sell your home, it is going to be a big step. Your choice of property auctioneer (or real-estate agent) will use the best of their local knowledge and professional expertise to guide you on the steps along the way. And while your auctioneer partner will work for you on this journey, there are some things that you, the home owner, can do to prepare and offer a greater chance of getting the best possible price in the quickest time.
With regards to a residential property that may or may not your primary residence, here are some of our tips to help either way…
Remove the clutter
One of the first things a potential buyer is going to see about your property are the photographs. Photos put them into the imaginary world of whether they can see themselves living their life in your property. It might sound a little off-putting, but didn’t you do that when you wanted to buy that house?
A small cheat is the ability to showcase as much floor space and counter surfaces as possible. This would mean removing photographs, trophies, floral displays, candles, laundry baskets, pet accessories… you get the idea! Get the things you don’t really use on a daily basis and put them in the attic or in storage. If possible, larger pieces of furniture should go into storage. All of this will combine to make rooms feel more spacious. This will be important in smaller spaces like utility rooms, closets, hallways, staircases and landings. And don’t forget the bathroom – remove personal and private items, even the shampoo bottles and toothbrushes. And in the kitchen, remove appliances from counter surfaces. Don’t let tea towels hang on cupboard handles, and leave tables clear of clutter.
Make minor repairs
This can encompass a multitude of items, for both the photography and the open showings. It is amazing the small quirks inside our homes that we live with every day that can become little annoyances for a potential buyer, such as:
- Squeaky doors? Oil the hinges and handles.
- Broken lampshade? Remove and/or replace.
- Loose handles on wardrobes? Tighten the screws or use glue.
- Lightbulbs broken or not bright enough? Replace as necessary.
- Loose saddle boards? Try to fix them.
- Dripping taps? Fix them or replace them.
Offer someone to visit and walk-through your property with you to find the kinks – but don’t get mad at their list! After all, these ‘faults’ are what your auctioneer AND potential buyers are going to notice, too. And don’t forget to clean the gutters, remove mold, descale sinks and toilets, and tidy the garden as much as possible.
Clean Clean Clean!
“Nothing inspires cleanliness more than an unexpected guest.” And when your property is going to be opened up to viewings, you will need to have your home presented at its best. Hire a cleaner who will help with the oven & hob, windows (inside and out), glass shower doors and screens, carpets, tiles, walls, and even chimneys and fireplaces. You will be surprised what potential buyers notice – they will look for any chance at lowering your asking price.
And don’t forget the garden. Powerwashing walls, paths and fences will freshen them up in no time. Pluck weeds from paths and gravel walkways too.
Neutral colours are good for the imagination
Sometimes a ‘lick of paint’ is needed, but which colours should you chose?
Neutral-coloured paints, and neutral-coloured tiles and flooring (rugs and linoleum) can do wonders to smarten up a tired-looking kitchen, utility room, bathroom or storage space. In tiled areas, it might not be the case that you need to re-tile. Maybe the grout between the tiles can be cleaned, or even redone.
Remember to address water stains before covering them up with paint. While the proper paint will hide a water stain on a ceiling, it won’t fix the problem that caused it above it.
Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificate
Check our BER Certificates page for more in-depth information on this topic. Having a valid BER Certificate is a legal requirement in Ireland that all properties offered for sale must have. If your property was purchased within the last 10 years then this document may be with the deeds. If not, then you need to get one. Talk to us about organising a BER assessment.
Paperwork and Legal Documents
This step is often overlooked by the vendor when getting ready to put their property on the market. So, by starting this process early, you can cut back on delays. It will be essential to liaise with your solicitor on this. They will need to prepare a contract for the sale of your property, and will request paperwork including the title deeds, evidence of compliance with planning obligations, an up-to-date site map, relevant evidence of registration of services such as a septic tank, an exemption certificate for the NPPR if the property is not your principle residence, and from this will be confirmation that you have paid the NPPR if it is an investment property. Proof that your Local Property Tax is paid to date and for the coming year is also required. If this is not the case, you will be liable for back-dated taxes and the sale cannot close until this is completed.
The above is a small guide to getting prepared for selling your property. At Leahy Midland Auctioneers& BER Assessors, we have a wealth of experience and knowledge to offer in order to help you. If you would like more information, please email John Leahy at email@example.com and we will be happy to help.