With the extension of the Covid-19 restrictions, O’Donnellan & Joyce auctioneers is offering advice to property owners who may have thought of selling their property before the pandemic unfolded. “Anyone who has been through the selling process previously, probably has a good idea of the usual jobs that should be done to increase the kerb appeal of their property,” notes auctioneer Colm O’Donnellan. For those who have not been through the experience before, he added, “some very simple tasks can be undertaken to spruce up a property prior to selling.”
There are eight key elements that should be examined by any home owner prior to selling. If all of these tasks are examined and the processes initiated, the sales process will run much more smoothly.
1. Finish any DIY jobs
Hardware shops are on the Government’s list of permitted retail outlets, so take the time to sort your house out. There had been confusion over the Covid-19 restrictions but hardware stores have been deemed essential retail outlets alongside newsagents and pharmacies. O’Donnellan & Joyce recommends ordering supplies online, over the phone, or availing of ‘click and collect’ services to minimise human contact and the risks.
Colm O'Donnellan said: “Replacing broken tiles, painting rooms, varnishing woodwork, washing windows, cleaning carpets, and replacing leaking taps all better your chances of getting top dollar for your property” and eliminate the chances of a prospective buyer walking away due to there being too much work to be done.
2. Declutter your home
Inside the home, rooms should be decluttered. Take the time to empty and throw away any unnecessary junk that fills the spare drawer in the kitchen, cupboard in the sitting room, or wardrobe in the spare bedroom. Reducing the amount of clutter will give the impression of an organised home owner and this goes a long way for prospective buyers who would like a quick sale. Thinking further down the road, having already sorted out and disposed of unwanted clutter will make the packing and moving out process much quicker and easier.
3. Take a look outside
If you have a garden, make it look good. Powerhose or wash down the patio, fill planters, hanging baskets, and flower beds. Take away any rubbish or broken garden furniture. Fix and paint the fence or boundary walls. Give your lawns a sprinkling of grass feed so it grows lush, and trim regularly so it looks its best (especially when viewings recommence ).
“First impressions count so make sure you paint your front door. If the exterior of your home could do with freshening up, get it painted. In some cases you can get away with just painting the front elevation but if you can afford painting the whole house, your purchasers will certainly appreciate it,” Colm O'Donnellan added.
Niall Browne of O’Donnellan & Joyce Auctioneers also suggests clearing gutters, cleaning windows, tidying the front driveway, and getting a bin store – “presentation is everything and although there may be some small hidden problems, a good first impression will leave any prospective buyer ready to tackle the smaller problems when they move in.”
4. Consider redecorating
Replacing tired flooring can be a relatively inexpensive way of giving a room a lift. Laminate flooring can be laid on top of existing solid wooden flooring and is quick to install. Tired carpets could be cleaned or replaced, or laying down a rug on worn spots can transform the look of a room. Lino has come a long way as a cheaper option and is very popular. Wooden or tiled effect lino looks great with freshly painted skirting boards and a fresh lampshade. Box up or bin the contents of the loft, garage, or garden shed. Convert this space into a cosy reading space, play area, or ‘man cave’. Take a look around your bedrooms and landing. Try to depersonalise as much as possible while still maintain a homely feel. Family photos can be boxed up ready for the big move while picture hooks can feature generic landscape paintings and other feature wall décor.
5. Get a BER
All homes marketed for sale require a BER certificate. You can improve yours with some simple upgrades; replacing an old boiler with a more efficient one; installing modern heating controls; insulating the hot water cylinder, pipework, attic, walls, and floor; and changing light bulbs to energy-efficient models. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland has a full list of measures on its website. Once these jobs are complete, contact a local BER assessor to have a survey conducted and a certificate issued. You will need this before the property can be marketed by any agency so save on the time delays and get this sorted soon.
6. Contact a solicitor and locate your property deeds
Assemble all the documents you need before bringing your home to market. The first thing you need is to locate the deeds. These will either be with a bank, a solicitor, or in your possession. It can take weeks for the bank to release them so request them immediately. Without them you can expect delays and it could even cause a sale to fall through. Engage your solicitor to prepare contracts.
7. Cast a critical eye over your home
Starting at the front door, walk through your home room by room. Take out your smart phone and take a photo of each room from whichever angle you think shows it off best. Once you have selected just one photo from each room, take a look and see if you can make any improvements to the layout of furniture or décor. Send these photos to friends or family and ask for their advice.
8. Contact a sales agent
O’Donnellan & Joyce auctioneers, located at 5 Mary Street, Galway, is the largest and most successful auction house on the west coast of Ireland. The company has a large private treaty sales team comprising Colm O’Donnellan, Tony Joyce, Niall Browne, Anne Harding, and Hugh O’Donnellan, along with the support of administrative staff and their marketing team. O’Donnellan & Joyce also has a very successful auction team with the well-known Colm O’Donnellan taking to the podium seven times a year at its nationwide property auctions which are held in the Harbour Hotel in Galway.
With more than 700 sales between the two departments in 2019, O’Donnellan & Joyce is regarded as the top sales agent in Galway and other parts of Connacht, according to property portal Daft.ie While the physical office is closed to the public during the current Covid-19 crisis, the company remains fully operational with staff working from home.
O’Donnellan & Joyce offers a free ‘thinking of selling’ valuation service so if you are thinking of selling your home, call the team at 091 564 212 or email [email protected]. Send the property Eircode, brief description, and your contact details and a member of the sales team will revert to you with an indicative valuation.
Traditionally, May has been the favoured month for selling a home. The evenings are long and the days are bright, and statistics show the sale prices are marginally higher during the month of May. While social distancing and travel restrictions remain in place, O’Donnellan & Joyce is confident that homes will continue to sell with a number of sales closing last week and a number of booking deposits received in the past few days. Due to the pandemic, no physical property viewings can take place at this time. The team at O’Donnellan & Joyce have completed virtual viewings of many of their currently listed sale properties with more properties coming on line over the coming days.
Agents can be contacted directly as follows:
Contact Colm O’Donnellan at [email protected] or call 087 288 7446.
Contact Tony Joyce at [email protected] or call 086 252 9110.
Contact Hugh O’Donnellan at [email protected] or call 087 768 7894.
Contact Niall Browne at [email protected] or call 086 600 9523.
Contact Shane McDonagh at [email protected] or call 087 607 8087.
Contact Mary Fahy at [email protected] or call 087 996 9831.
O’Donnellan & Joyce thanks all front line workers who have put their lives at risk to protect others during these troubling times. The O’Donnellan & Joyce team are thankful for all that has been done by healthcare workers, medics, contact tracing staff, and an Garda Síochána. While the company continues to operate remotely, they will not hold physical viewings and urge the public to observe the social distancing and travel restrictions that are in place for the safety of the general public.