Planning on selling a house in Ireland? It’s not easy, even if you’ve done it before. The housing market is tricky, buyers can be picky, and the paperwork? It’s a lot for anyone. But fret not; we’ve put together an easy ‘selling a house in Ireland’ checklist for beginners. We discuss everything you need to know about selling your home, from the nitty gritty legal stuff to getting potential buyers interested.
What You Need To Know Before Selling a House in Ireland
Before selling a house in Ireland, there are some things you need to know to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Housing Market in Ireland
Whether you’re a pro or selling for the first time, getting to know the Irish housing game is key to a successful sale. It’ll help you snag the best price for your place.
While demand from first-time home buyers has been strong, as the year goes on, increased interest rates might price some buyers out of the market. The average asking price in the second quarter of the year was just under €310,000 in Ireland. Of course, this price varies from county to county, with some places far more pricey than others. Dublin’s still the most expensive county in Ireland for home-buyers, who can expect to pay upwards of €400,000 for a house on average.
When selling your place, you’ll need a solicitor to take care of the legal side of things. While you (legally) could do it yourself, it can be a complicated and time-eating process that could cause potential delays in selling your house. So, we suggest putting aside around €2,000 for those solicitor fees. It’s just one of those costs of selling a house!
Keep reading to dive into all the legal ins and outs of selling a house in Ireland.
Average Time To Sell a House
Just how long does it take to sell a house in Ireland? According to experts, you should expect your house to be on the market for an average of seven months. You can also expect to arrange around 10 viewings before you find your buyer. Of course, these numbers can change a bit depending on your place and the local market. If you have a hot property in a prime location, your home could draw attention fast, but even then, selling a house is a long game with several hoops to jump through before the sale goes through.
Our checklist for selling a house gives you the rundown on selling your house:
- Property valuation
- Choosing the right estate agent
- Home Improvement and Repairs
- Negotiating and Accepting an Offer
- Preparation of Legal Documents
- Title Deeds
- Evidence that Local Property Tax and Non-Principal Private Residence Charge Tax have been paid
- A Valid BER certificate
- State Marriage or Civil Partnership Certificate
- Certificate of Compliance
- Transfer Forms
- Closing the Sale
- Sign the Contract
- Pay Outstanding Balance
- Transfer Ownership
- Pay Off Outstanding Liens
- Transfer the Title Deed
- Pay Stamp Duty
- Arrange Final Inspection
- Hand Over Keys
- Provide Copies of Documentation
- Provide the Closing Statement
- Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your House in Ireland
- Overpricing Your Property
- Neglecting Necessary Repairs
- Poorly Staging Your Home
If your home has been on the market for significantly longer than average with few enquiries and little interest, remove your listing and put it back up after a few weeks. Here’s a tip: online listings show how long a house has been up for sale. If it’s too long, buyers might think something’s off. Refresh that listing, and you’ll catch more interest without those nagging doubts.
Selling a House in Ireland: The Complete Checklist
We’ve created a comprehensive checklist for selling a house! Read on to make sure you’re properly prepared before putting your house on the market.
Pricing your property right is like trying to hit the bulls-eye. Too high? No buyers. Too low? You lose money. Understanding current market trends and looking at comparable properties in your area will help you set a competitive and realistic price. Your best bet is to bring in a pro appraiser or a local real estate agent to get this right.
Choosing the Right Estate Agent
Your real estate agent will become a massive part of your life during the chaotic and stressful journey of selling your home. They’ll be your guide, expert, and cheerleader throughout the weeks and months before the sale, so it’s important to choose carefully.
Ideally, your agent will be qualified, experienced, and highly recommended. They should also work for a reputable agency that is popular in your neighbourhood or area. Check out what each real estate agent (and agency) offers — will they produce high-quality, professional photographs of your property to share online? Will they list your house on popular sites like Daft.ie and MyHome.ie? Do they leverage their social media channels to promote listings? Will they show off your place on popular sites? Tweet about it? Can they create detailed floor plans for potential buyers? Your real estate agent should provide competitive services in order to attract buyers and get you the value you deserve from your property.
Home Improvement and Repairs
While some people love a fixer-upper, most buyers want a ready-to-use home. Keep your property fully functional, even down to the small details. Nobody wants to wrestle with a door just to get it open!
Bigger renovations can be chaotic, but they can boost your home’s appeal and price. Whether you’re planning to sell your house furnished or take all your décor along to your new place, you’ll need to ensure your furniture and personal items remain safe during your home improvement project. A self storage unit gives you extra space to store your furniture and other items during the renovation process, keeping them safe from debris, paint splatters, and heavy-duty tools.
Negotiating and Accepting an Offer
Before you reach the negotiation stage, be as prepared as possible. Know the value of your home, and decide on an absolute minimum price you’re willing to settle on — your buyer will want to get the best deal possible, so you need to be firm on your bottom line, especially if you’re selling and buying a house at the same time in Ireland, and you’re relying on the cash to finance your next home.
That said, it’s important to keep things cool and communication open — no ultimatums. Not happy with the first offer? Counter it and show off your property’s strengths. Negotiating takes time, so be patient — and whatever you do, keep any urgency or desperation to sell to yourself and your therapist. Be strong — you don’t want to weaken your negotiating position.
Once you receive an offer you’re happy with, strike while the iron is hot because finalising the sale can be a long process.
The Legal Process of Selling a House in Ireland
Selling a house comes with a ton of paperwork and several mandatory steps to comply with national regulations. Your solicitor will be your guide, but here’s a quick peek at what’s ahead.
Preparation of Legal Documents
The following official documents are essential for the sale of your home:
- Title Deeds: This document confirms that you are the owner of the house you are selling. If you have a mortgage on the house, your bank will have the title deed. Your solicitor can request this document on your behalf, but bear in mind that the bank can take two or more weeks to release it.
- Evidence that Local Property Tax and Non-Principal Private Residence Charge Tax have been paid (if this is applicable)
- A Valid BER certificate: A Building Energy Rating certificate provides the energy rating for your house (from A to G) based on home energy consumption. You’ll need an up-to-date certificate (no older than 10 years) in order to buy or sell a home. If you don’t have a valid BER certificate, you can hire an engineer or assessor to provide one.
- State Marriage or Civil Partnership Certificate: If you are married, or have been previously married, then your solicitor will need a copy of this document. Even if the house is only in one partner’s name, both partners need to consent to the sale. If you’ve been divorced, your solicitor will need a copy of your separation agreement.
- Certificate of Compliance: If there have been significant alterations or extensions to the property, you’ll probably need a compliance certificate from a registered architect or engineer to show everything is up to code. Planning permission documents are also a must to show that the changes were approved by the local planning authority.
- Transfer Forms: The official baton pass from you to the buyer — these documents are used to transfer the property’s ownership from the seller to the buyer officially.
Closing the Sale
Closing the sale on the house is the final step to selling your pad.
- Sign the Contract: Both the seller and the buyer sign identical copies of the contract. The solicitors then exchange these contracts, and at this point, the sale becomes legally binding. The buyer will typically also pay a deposit.
- Pay Outstanding Balance: The buyer pays the outstanding amount on an agreed-upon date.
- Transfer Ownership: Once the full payment has been received, the seller’s solicitor will transfer ownership of the property to the buyer.
- Pay Off Outstanding Liens: Before the property can be transferred to the buyer, any liens must be paid off by the seller. This ensures that the property is free of any debts or claims.
- Transfer the Title Deed: The buyer’s solicitor will verify that the title to the property is clear and that there are no legal issues or disputes regarding ownership.
- Pay Stamp Duty: The buyer is responsible for paying stamp duty on the property purchase. The solicitor will handle this payment on behalf of the buyer to the Revenue Commissioners.
- Arrange Final Inspection: Before the completion date, the buyer may conduct a final inspection of the property to ensure it is in the agreed-upon condition and that any repairs or maintenance work requested have been completed.
- Hand Over Keys: The keys are handed over to the new homeowner, signifying the change of ownership.
- Provide Copies of Documentation: Both the buyer and the seller will receive copies of all relevant legal documents, including the new title deed.
- Provide the Closing Statement: After the sale is completed, the seller’s solicitor provides a closing statement to the seller detailing the total amount received from the sale after deducting any expenses, fees, or outstanding mortgage balances.
Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your House in Ireland
When your house is on the market, you can begin to become restless as you’re waiting for it to pique the right buyer’s interest. To ensure you get great, timely offers, make sure to avoid these mistakes:
Overpricing Your Property
When you’re selling your house, aiming high with the price might seem like a smart move. After all, buyers often negotiate, right? But be careful – that strategy could backfire, leading to a lower sale price in the end.
Setting the price too high can scare off potential buyers before they even take a look. Many buyers use online filters to match their budget, and an overpriced home might miss the cut. And if it lingers on the market too long, it might get labelled as a ‘stale listing.’ That’s like a clearance sticker in a shop window, inviting buyers to haggle down the price.
To dodge this pitfall, team up with a savvy real estate agent who knows the ropes. They’ll help you nail down a price that’s just right, based on what’s happening in the market and what similar properties are going for. Get the price right from the start, and you’ll be shaking hands with your buyer before you know it.
Neglecting Necessary Repairs
Homes in tip-top condition are likely to sell faster. Got a leaky faucet or a squeaky door? Don’t let these little things linger! Buyers want a house that’s ready to live in, not a weekend project. Fixing up your house is worth the trouble and can add a lot of value to the property ahead of the sale.
Poorly Staging Your Home
One of the things owners struggle with in the selling process is viewing the house as their home. Think of your home as a blank canvas for potential buyers. They’ll have their own taste and style, so you’ll want to make sure they can easily see themselves living in your space. Try to view the space objectively when you’re preparing it for staging — how can you make the property most appealing to potential buyers? This process may mean stashing away your family photos and toning down any wild colour schemes. A clean, neutral backdrop lets buyers imagine their own dream home, not yours. If you need to clear some space, consider renting a storage unit for your extra stuff.
Clear personal items and extra furniture to make your home appear more spacious and allow potential buyers to envision themselves living in the home. You can store your extra furniture and clutter in a self storage unit while preparing your house to sell.
Need a helping hand while you sell your house and move on to your new home? Nesta offers premium moving and self storage solutions. We’ve got a range of storage units in various sizes, which can help with:
- Decluttering your home for staging
- Giving you extra space short term while you transition from one home to another
- Providing a permanent storage solution if you need to downsize
- Storing your furniture and other items while you renovate your new home
Call us on 1800 77 22 33, or request a quote today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you during your move.