Property Advice

REA Secret Sellers Tips  16 April 2015

1. Before you set your price,check out the competition!
The first step towards selling your home is to price it right. Price it too high and it won’t sell. Price it
too low and although you may get a quick sale, you’ll always wonder whether you could have got more. The secret to pricing your home correctly lies in checking out the competition. See what
similar houses in your area are selling for. And with more and more estate agents now online, you
can even do it discreetly from the comfort of your home.
2. Know your buyer and tailor your home accordingly
Knowing your buyer isn’t about being psychic. It’s about stepping back and looking at your home, the area it’s in and the types of people who live around you and then making an educated decision about the type of buyer your home will appeal too. So, if you’re selling a two bedroom flat in the town centre then it’s less likely to appeal to a family and more likely to appeal to young professionals. Once you’ve worked it out you can tailor your home accordingly.
3. Don’t be precious! You’re selling a house not your idea of a home.
It can be hard when selling to keep emotions out of the equation. Invariably your
home will be full of treasured memories you won’t want to let
go. But remember this means nothing to your buyer. It’s important to make it as easy as possible for them to imagine life in your home. This means doing all you can to create a blank canvass for potential buyers.
4. Before spending any money on your house, be sure you’ll earn it back.
Remember you’re selling your home, so when it comes to improvements keep it simple! Simple improvements like a fresh coat of paint and tidying up the garden can make a difference.
5. First impressions count, so make a good one.
As with everything in life, first impressions are very important. So start at the front gate. Mow the
lawn and tidy your garden. Clean the front porch and if your front door needs it, give it a fresh coat
of paint. Give the letterbox and doorknob a good polish. And if there are lights in your porch or
garden make sure they work. You don’t want to intimidate buyers with a dark and unwelcoming
approach. However small, these things won’t cost an arm and a leg and all help to create a good first
6. If it looks out of place, get it out of the place.
Once inside its important to create a feeling of space, so clear away the clutter. Make sure your home is clean and tidy and clear of obstacles like discarded toys, bicycles and overflowing
laundry baskets. Clear out your bookshelves to create a minimal look and make sure the coat rack isn’t weighed down. And if you have furniture that gets in the way or has become
tired and dated, consider putting it into storage. It’ll all help to give your place, a lot more space!
7. When it comes to colour, stay neutral.
If you do decide some rooms do need to be painted then this isn’t the time to experiment.
Stay neutral with a palette of creams and off whites! Neutral colours help to brighten a home
and give it a fresh look. They’re also really passive and so allow the buyer to imagine your home in
their chosen palette.
8. Every room should have a reason, not two or three or…
While it might make sense for you to push over the bed in the spare room and use the space as
your office, to a potential buyer it looks like the room has a split personality. Make it easy for the
buyer and give each room its own identity. Take the exercise bike out of the dining room and put
the kids toys into their bedrooms or playroom.
9. Your kitchen is the heart of your home, so make sure it has a pulse!
Kitchen fashions are always changing but selling isn’t the time to fork out for a refit. Getting a new kitchen plan can be a good idea. But there are lots of other ways to give your kitchen a
facelift that won’t cost the earth. Try painting tired and worn units or replacing just the doors. Even fitting new handles can give an old-fashioned unit a new lease of life. Hide the rubbish
bin, clean the work surfaces and then dress them with a few well-chosen items - a bowl of fresh fruit, a bottle of extra virgin olive oil and a nice bottle of vino to finish it off.
10. Every place needs a dining space.
We all like to entertain from time to time which is why every home needs a proper dining area. In smaller homes a table in the corner of the kitchen will do just fine. You can add a
folding screen to section it off and then give it a relaxing feel with soft lighting. In larger homes the dining table tends to become a dumping ground for children’s homework, the
computer and unpaid bills. Keep it clear and if you must put something on it, make it a vase of beautiful fresh flowers. Finally introduce soft light with a dimmer switch, a table lamp
or a simple candle.
11. Make your lounge a place to really lounge in.
The sitting room is where the buyer of your home will spend most of their time so it should shout comfort and relaxation. Clear away any old furniture that gets in the way and keep
the mantelpiece looking minimal. If your chairs and sofa are looking a bit tatty, try some throws or cushions to brighten them up. You could even consider hiring furniture to give the
room a more modern look. If your sitting room is small make sure it isn’t being taken over by a TV that’s too big for it. And finally introduce soft light with a dimmer switch, a table lamp
or a simple candle.
12. Before a bathroom is seen, make it bright and clean.
If there is one room in the house that needs to be spotless it’s your bathroom. No potential buyer wants to wonder what that nasty whiff was or about the staining on the bathroom carpet.
So give everything a good scrub, polish the mirror and clean the routing between the tiles. If the flooring is worn, replace it cheaply with vinyl. Brighten up a well-used shower simply with
a new curtain. Make sure the shelves aren’t coming down with lotions and potions. And finish the room with a fragrant potpourri and some bright white fluffy towels.
13. Your bed is comfortable but make sure your bedroom is too.
A homes main bedroom will be the new owners private retreat. Here’s how to make yours into a
place anyone would enjoy retreating to. Firstly clear out your cupboards leaving only your finest,
neatly hung and folded. That’ll take care of any nosy buyers and create a feeling of space within
them. Go for a sophisticated look with clean white bed linen. Add bedside tables and reading lamps.
Then scatter a few coloured cushions in different fabrics at the head of your bed.
14. Make your children’s bedrooms attractive to all children.
Children’s bedrooms should be made as neutral as possible so that they appeal to kids of all ages.
Start with a good clear out and then put what’s left into neat storage boxes. If needed give the
walls a fresh coat of paint and lastly the carpets a good shampoo. Hey presto, you’re done!
15. Give the garden a going over.
Your garden can make or break a sale, so give it a good going over. A tidy front garden is vital and if the back garden has become a bit of a jungle then it needs to be tamed. You
don’t need to spend much money, you just need to spend a bit of time. Mow the lawns, cut back trees and prune bushes to create more space. Sweep up the leaves and arrange any
garden furniture so it looks like it is used. Add a few potted plants to any paved areas. And if you’re lucky enough to have a well-kept garden, then sell your home when it’s in full bloom.
16. Put away your pets.
No one wants to say goodbye to the family pet, but you also don’t want a potential buyer put off because they are allergic to cats or because your home reeks of ‘Pooch Perfume’. So
while selling consider putting them in kennels, sending them on holidays with friends or at least restricting them to an area of the house or garden. Then clean the carpets and furniture
carefully to remove any animal hair. And if someone is coming to view the house, then it’s a good time to send the dog for a walk and the cat for a play outside.
17. When all is done, give it another once over.
You’ve cleaned the house from top to bottom, the hallway has been painted, the lights are on and the dog is on his holidays. But, even after you’ve done all this and you think your house
is ready for sale, stop! Grab your agent and walk through your home from top to bottom and see if anything stands out. It might be a dirty window, a room in need of air or a piece of
furniture your heart hasn’t let go. Often a fresh eye is all it takes!
18. It’s your estate agents job to sell your home, so let them!
You know your home inside and out but estate agents know buyers. And Real Estate Alliance members know them better than most. With decades of experience in both buying and
selling homes you can count on them to know what to say and when to say it. You’re paying for their expertise, so when a potential buyer wants to talk price or terms, defer to experience
and let your agent deal with it. Your job is to get your home ready for sale, it’s your agents job to sell it.

Has the economy paused your Redecorating plans?  02 March 2015

Has the economy paused your Redecorating plans? Fear not, 10 Top "R" Tips to transform your home from the doom and gloom during this Recession.
In today's economic downturn, cost cutting and drastic budgeting, all plans to redecorate our homes are put on the back burner for the time being. Just The thought of redecorating our home sounds crazy! In reality, redecorating our homes doesn’t need to cost a lot. All you need to do is plan wisely.
Make a plan today, pick a paint colour or throw out those old pictures tha­t are fading. Piece by piece, you'll get into the groove of t­urning the house into your designer home!

Remove: Change the impression of a room by taking out that extra piece of furniture that has been sitting there for years with no purpose. Now is the perfect time to go through those closets, shelves, garages and cabinets for "stuff" that is beginning to own you, rather than the other way around. Using some coloured Post-It notes, designate an area for your "absolutely must keep pieces". Using another colour of Post-It notes to mark those items that you use occasionally and will consider getting rid of. The third group is where the fun begins, "the donate or sell items". You don't have to mark these...just start a pile or throw them into a large box. Old clothes, CDs or cassettes you no longer listen to, appliances, sporting goods, bedding, ruthless.
Now, go back to pile number two and take out at least 25% of those items and add them to pile number three.

Repaint: It is amazing what a coat of paint can do for a boring table or chair. There are many tips out there both online and in paint shops showing you how to redo an old or run down piece of furniture. Country cream or French cream is all the trend at the moment in all the furniture stores, why not try updating your existing furniture pieces yourself. Try repainting that old pine coffee table or pine headboard for that up to date look.
Re Painting your interior walls is a relatively low cost solution to updating your interior look, especially if you paint them yourself. There's no need to go overboard with bright colours to achieve impact, thoughtful use of complimentary colour tones can result in a room that feels completely new without having to change your existing furnishings.
Repaint those old wooden picture frames to update their look.
Repainting solid wood kitchen cabinet doors that are looking a bit tired, will give them an instant facelift. Country Creams and Orchid White are current favourites and instantly change the style of your kitchen, while also creating a bright and fresh room.
Remember to always use a theme before you start your decorating - it may be a favourite colour scheme or a design theme that you found in a magazine.When you see something you like in your chosen magazine, cut it out and attach it to a mood board to create the style you would like to achieve, making notes as you go along. Make a list of what is needed to create this style.

Rearrange: Don’t be afraid to move furniture from one room to another to give it new life. Its amazing how one learns how to optimize space once we've removed everything out of the room and set out to restart with a blank canvas.
Change your seating arrangements to either open up a room or to make it cozier.
Move things around until you find a pleasing arrangement that works for you. Get rid of anything that does not fit properly and is rarely used.

Reuse: re use what you already have - there are so many items around the home that can be ‘recycled'. Have a good look as you may already have the items suited for that chosen style hidden away or simply just being used in the wrong environment.
Reuse old magazine covers. Try old or used bookstores for vintage magazine covers. Frame them and create a wall of fashion vintage elegance for that creative and stylish look.
Reuse fabric from sheets and quilts even old clothes to make cushions and curtain tie backs. A fresh group of cushions or a throw can update an old sofa instantly!

Reupholster: New upholstery can completely update a seating arrangement. Always price the job completely first as sometimes it can cost more than a new sofa suite. Remember to price the amount of fabric needed and how much the reupholster will charge to recover the suite. Always shop around!
A great couch is the centrepiece of your living room. Make it classic and make it comfortable. Your couch can be updated as home trends change.
Re upholster an old headboard to give it an up to date look and watch you bedroom style change dramatically.

Replace: Adding new drawer pulls or handles to a tired bedside table or bureau can totally change the impression it makes. Replace the handles to kitchen presses for that updated look!
Replace lampshades, this will give your lamp or light fitting an instant face lift. There are loads of home décor stores nationwide selling very stylish lampshades at very affordable prices.
There are plenty of shops out there selling great, trendy bedclothes at pocket saving prices. Remember to keep busy patterns at bay, go for plain duvet sets and dress up your bedroom with accessories like cushions and throws, which again might already be lying around the house or stored away in a closet.
Ready made curtains can also be purchased at very affordable prices and transform any room instantly.
Charity shops are also a great place to find bargains.
There are an amount of stores and department chains throughout the country catering for Interiors at such bargain prices. Even the good old “euro saver” style stores have fashionable accessories at very low prices. It’s all about keeping an eye out for the bargains and being smart with what you are spending your money on.

Retiling & Recarpeting: If its retiling and recarpeting that is needed to spruce up your home there are fantastic deals around nationwide at the moment and now is the time to hire tradesmen at cost effective prices! But remember always price around for the best deals.

Redecorate & Revive: The most important lesson is that, just as our bodies and our minds are temples, so is our home. It is meant to be a place of tranquility, peace and serenity. Our home should be our retreat from the daily grind and pressures of life. However, before undergoing any redecorating transformation, you have to put your mind in a peaceful state first!

Simple steps when selling your property   05 February 2015

1. What Information do we need? To give you the best possible advice we will need to visit the property and gather the following details:
  • Photographs of property
  • Title – Freehold – Leasehold (Tenancy if relevant)
  • Site plan
  • Confirm title, planning documents, certified maps.
  • Review inventory,
  • Discuss Energy Rating (BER Cert) Requirements. A BER Cert is simply an energy label for your home similar to that on electrical appliances. The label has a scale of A-G. A-rated homes are the most energy efficient and G the least efficient. Since 1st of January 2009 a BER Certificate is compulsory for all homes being offered for sale or lease/rent. We cannot advertise the property for sale without a BER Cert.
2. Agree asking price & value. After our inspection we will advise you of the approximate value & possible asking price of your property.

3. Methods of sale: There are 3 main methods of sale used when offering a property for sale. The options include Private Treaty, Public Auction and Tender and whilst each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. We will discuss what is suitable for your property & we will advise you of our recommended option.

4. Contract Once we have agreed on the most appropriate method of sale based on the attributes of the property and taking due cognisance of your requirements and circumstances we will then discuss this with your Legal Representative to ensure everything is in order.

5. Professional Fee: We will agree and confirm our sale fee plus V.A.T. The aforesaid fee is payable in the event of a successful sale. There will also be an additional listing/outlay cost for marketing.

6. Marketing Campaign We will provide a marketing campaign specifically tailored to your property that is effective and efficient and will include For Sale Sign, within the boundary of your property & uploads on the various websites and a colour brochure. We will also advise of discretionary optional extras for marketing your property.

7. Reporting: We will keep you updated on interest shown in your property. We will also keep in contact with your Solicitor during the campaign. Any queries/potential difficulties pertaining to Title/Boundaries/Planning will be brought to your attention.

8. Completion On securing an agreement on price we will then seek a Booking Deposit from the purchaser (subject to contract).
  • Your Solicitor and the purchasers Solicitor will be informed accordingly.
  • Contracts are then sent by your Solicitor to the purchasers Solicitor.
  • Contracts are then signed and a full deposit of 10% is paid.
  • A completion date is agreed and the transaction is finalised.
  • Our fee plus V.A.T. is payable on completion

5 Steps to buying your home  02 January 2015

STEP 1: Get agreement in Principle
  • Know your price range & limit.
STEP 2: Research Properties
  • Check out maps & different locations
  • Know the particular area you want to buy a property.
  • We advise all purchasers to do a checklist of what they expect when buying a home.
  • Ask yourself:
    • House or Apartment? New or Second Hand?
    • Location close to work / family & friends?
    • Importance of Local amenities
    • shops, schools / other facilities
    • Features in a property that are important to you
    • number of bedroom / garden space / heating type /garage etc.

STEP 3: Contact your local REA Agent
  • Register your requirements with local agents.
  • Pop into their office – just because a property isn't listed for sale they may have something coming available that will suit your requirements.
  • Check out Websites: main property websites: / &
  • Drive By the property - It's very important that before you view a property you take a drive by the property know exactly where its located & know the general area ask yourself: Do I see myself living here?
STEP 4: Viewings / Inspections
  • From you research view a number of properties.
  • Never let minor negative defects turn you off viewing a property.
  • Remember a lick of paint & some imagination can make all the difference!!
  • From your viewings determine: YES / No or MAYBE properties.
  • We would always recommend that you revisit the properties with family & friends determine which property is top of your list.
  • Ask as many questions as possible take your time & don't be rushed
STEP 5: Make an Offer
  • The agent will always advise you on a current offer on a property.
  • It's also useful to find out other information prior to making an offer: Find out how long the property is on the market, what’s the vendors expectations, what is included in the sale, is there a management company (cost / house rules etc.) BER rating Etc.
  • Place your offer on the property.
  • Once your offer has been accepted you can contact your lender to move from "Approval in Principle" to "Full Loan Approval".
  • It would be common practice in today's market an agent would obtain a copy of your approval upon paying a booking deposit. ]
  • SALE AGREED & the sale is instructed (onto the legal side of things

Message from Winner of REA person of the year. 

Eoin Dillon 
REA Eoin Dillon

Under the REA banner, our clients have access to a national network with an international dimension, and we have recently linked up with the UK’s largest property website, who now list our properties directly to overseas buyers.