Choosing an Estate Agent to sell your home is part skill and part intuition. You have to believe the agent is going to do his or her best to sell your home for the best price as quickly as is possible.
Trust is critical and so is communication.
1. The agent him/herself and the company they work for MUST be registered with the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA). That’s a legal requirement. The PSRA also obliges the Agent and the Vendor to have a Letter of Engagement (contract) in place. www.psr.ie
2. Trust, as I say, is critical. If you believe in the agent, then it is likely that potential buyers will also. And it is remarkable how many agents don’t answer calls or don’t reply to emails and voice mails.
3. Local knowledge is good but remember an agent with a number of properties in your locality may have split loyalties.
4. What is the fee – you can expect to pay anything between 1 – 2% of the sale price, more than that is unnecessary. And get a clear picture of marketing charges – the sign board, brochures, advertising and photos. Online advertising has pretty much taken over from newspaper ads.
5. A good Estate Agent will gather details, not alone on the property itself, but also on the neighbourhood – transport, facilities such as schools, shops, sports grounds, new developments and so on – all of those things you will want to know when you are buying.
6. The Agent is obliged to tell a potential buyer about any issues (planning, structural, flooding etc) s/he knows of if asked.
7. Have your house as well presented as is possible for photos and for viewings. The old adage – “they can see past that” is not worth the risk. It lowers both the perception and therefore the bid value of your property.
Buying a home is tricky in this market – though some people actually enjoy the process. But for most it is time consuming and nerve wracking. Let’s assume you have your desired locations, your budgets and your finances in place.
Once those essentials are done, getting your thoughts in order is the best start for your weekend House Hunting Expedition.
1. Ask if the Agent if the house has been upgraded in recent years – knowing that the wiring, plumbing, heating, insulation are or aren’t up to scratch allows you assess the impact that will have on your budget. And don’t forget the Building Energy Regulation (BER) Certificate.
2. Find out what’s included in the sale and what may be bought. There may be some items of furniture that are ideally suited to the place, the integrated appliances may be available at a bargain price and might help your budget.
3. Is planning permission or architects exemption certificate in place for any extensions? If not that can really delay the sale.
4. What is the sellers’ status? Is their new house ready for them, are they sale agreed on it? Are they reliant on the proceeds of this sale to complete? The big question here is “when do they want to close”. Make sure that fits in with your plans.
5. Ask for a second viewing if you are interested. It is surprising what can be missed in one viewing. And drive around the neighbourhood, look at the condition of houses in the area. I always note the condition of the cars, it says a lot.
6. The agent is paid by the seller and is not your friend, that’s true. However – if s/he is a professional s/he will appreciate a buyer who knows what they are doing. Feel free to ask about the other bidders – are they mortgage approved first time buyers or are they in a chain. Knowing that helps you negotiate.
7. And don’t be afraid to put in an early bid, yes you can go low, but not so low as to be an insult. You don’t want the Agent or seller to think you are not a serious contender.
What happens when your bid is accepted? info@CGEstates.ie to request a copy of out First Time Buyers Sales Process Guide.
And our very best wishes to you, it’s a trying time and we wish you well.
Relocating to Ireland? Congratulations. Ireland is genuinely a great country not alone to do business in, but to live and socialise.
Having said that, relocating to another country is a challenge – logistically and emotionally it can be a roller coaster, so to help you on the way, here are
The Seven Deadly Sins of Relocating
1. You have to focus on your new role
No – be fair to yourself – You need to prioritise: – work, home, partner or family, hobbies and social life. All of these are different in another country and all of them are important.
2. You want to replicatewhat you had back home
Don’t start with a fixed idea – this is an opportunity for change. If you’ve never lived by the sea – here’s your chance to move out of the city. If you’ve always lived in the hills, here’s a chance to live in the city. If you have a relocation agent, take an orientation trip with him or her. Keep your commute and your must-haves in mind, but at least be open to change.
3. The company allows me two weeks in a hotel, that’s plenty of time to find a home
Not in Dublin it’s not – the market is oversubscribed and there’s heavy competition for every letting that comes up. Local knowledge and support is critical – use Linkedin and Facebook If you don’t have a relocation agent, lean on your colleagues for help and advice.
4. There are certain things I must have in my apartment
The size, style and décor of properties here will probably differ greatly from back home, you have to see a cross section of properties to know what suits you best.
In this market you also need to know what you want when you see it and go for it.
5. Get your documentation in order.
Make an appointment for your PPSN (social services card). For non EU citizens make an appointment with the GNIB for your re-entry visa – that can take up to 6 weeks.
And opening a bank account is critical, you’ll need fast access to cash and of course for your salary.
7. And finally, Ireland is generally an open and friendly society, so enjoy it.
And it offers cheap and frequent flights to all of the major European cities too, so get ready to explore.
- It is wrong to assume you can make décor changes to the property you rent.
Your lease probably states that “you may not, without the written consent of the landlord, make changes to the structure or the décor of the property”. Or something very similar.
To a landlord, magnolia makes perfect sense. It’s clean, bright and very serviceable. Pop in a blue vase or a red painting and – instant personality!
On top of that, you can’t give people carte blanche to
- It is wrong to assume that you cannot make changes to the property you rent
That clause says that you can at least talk to the landlord about making some changes.
- It is crazy to put your hard-earned money into someone else’s place
The place is fine right? It’s clean, it was painted before we moved in last year and the landlord’s really nice, we don’t want her to think there’s something wrong after all.
- It is crazy not to spend a little money on giving the place a little love
You’re here a year already, you’re probably going to be here for two, maybe three more years.
It’s really important to feel comfortable in your own home, right?
Of course it is, what could be more important?
- I’m afraid I won’t get my deposit back
A very good point, and a great reason to put together a plan. Map out what you want to do, then go to the landlord. Most landlords appreciate tenants who want to enhance their investment.
- I’m still afraid I won’t get my deposit back
Reinstatement is the key – the landlord wants to know if he can bring the place back to it’s original condition when you leave. So no strong colours, no big brackets on the walls and don’t assume you can throw anything out without getting the ok first.
And everything you do must be done professionally – paint the wall, not the carpet. Hanging curtain rails properly is not as simple as it looks.
- I don’t know where to start
In that case it’s best to decide how much you want to spend and where you want to spend it –
The Sitting Room –
Put matching table and floor lamps in.
Buy that painting that says something about you
And of course throws and cushions that blend with your new curtains/lampshades/painting
- And plants, real or faux, table top, floor standing bamboo or wall hanging add life and vibrancy to a home.
And it is your money, so spend on things you can bring with you.
Blend coloured and plain white bed linen, cushions and throws to elevate the appearance of the room and add texture. Bedside lamps (lampshades really) can add real character to a room.
BTW more and more of our tenants are asking about getting a larger bed – the standard 4’6” is
simply not big enough anymore. That is a problem for the landlord, he or she will probably consider the bed to be perfectly serviceable and in any case few landlords have room to store excess furniture.
Maybe you can do a deal for the second-hand value of the bed with her, or agree to leave your bed behind when you leave in 5 years’ time?
Lean a full length mirror against the wall.
Position a large photo or painting just under a light, make a statement with it too, interesting, quizzical, arty and grab your guests attention as they arrive.
Change the handles and knobs on the presses and drawers (ask first and keep the old ones).
That’ll work in the bedroom too.
Sites like www.tempaper.com offer wall decals and paper that goes up easily and comes down without leaving any residue