Getting your home ready for sale

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Here’s everything you need to know before putting your house on the market to get the best price

Many of us are daydreaming about a change of pace and moving onto our next home. While it is fun to scroll through Daft and My Home browsing beautiful, spacious homes, it can be a daunting prospect to prepare our own home for such scrutiny. Here, estate agent Clare Connolly, who managed the Dalkey property Matt Damon famously stayed in last year, has these tips for homeowners.

The legal side

  • First things first, request the title deeds from your lender at least three months in advance of putting your property on the market.
  • Be careful when choosing your solicitor. A good or bad solicitor will determine how smoothly your sale goes through (or not as in many cases). Make sure he or she has been referred to you and do your own research.
  • Draw up a short checklist of all the documents you need in advance. The main ones are proof of up to date local property tax, NPPR cert of discharge, and the BER cert.
  • For apartment sales make sure your service charges have been paid and there are no hidden issues.

Increase the value of your property

  • Virtual viewings are here to stay.  Organise a professional video with as much information as possible about the property and the area.
  • Ensure the front and back gardens are manicured, as it is almost considered another room in the house these days. It doesn’t hurt to offer to cut the neighbour’s grass too if it looks untidy.
  • A professional deep clean will be well worth it, and ensure your windows are sparkling. Introduce as much light as possible and keep all curtains open and blinds up.
  • Make the bedrooms look even more inviting with professionally made beds. Think crisp, fresh bed linen, the best quality, whiter than white. Go for valances, throws, cushions to a hotel standard.
  • Declutter so that buyers can see the available space.
  • Professional styling and staging makes a difference. They can bring in pieces of furniture and soft furnishings that will add thousands to the overall value.
  • Ensuring optimal energy efficiency is vitally important. Make sure the agent knows if the walls and attic are insulated, if you’ve bought a new boiler or made any other improvements. Remember all new builds are A rated, which is what you’re competing with.

Common mistakes to avoid

  • Don’t de-clutter to the extent that there are no furnishings in the property, as it looks lifeless.
  • Don’t freeze people out! If the property is cold when viewers arrive at the property it gets off to a very bad start. Feeling chilly is completely off-putting.
  • Candles and diffusers are lovely but don’t use very strongly scented, overpowering ones.
  • Don’t leave toilet seats up during a viewing, as most people dislike this. A small point, but a pet hate.
  • Don’t try to hide any issues if any with the house. These will come back to bite you at survey stage and you will lose the sale or suffer a hefty price reduction.
  • Don’t rely soley on natural lighting for your pictures. A professional presentation or light styling can transform a property, and make a huge difference to the final sale price of your home.

Main pic: Mark McCammon from Pexels