'How do I price my property?’ is one of the first
questions asked by people selling property privately.
Assessing the value of a property can seem like a
daunting and difficult task. In reality, the process is
quite straightforward. Sellityourself.ie has tips to
ensure you value your property realistically and
competitively. Setting a realistic and competitive
price will increase the chances of your property
selling faster, and may also generate competing
SELLING IT YOURSELF
In a property market where prices continue
to decline, many property owners are
choosing to cut out the estate agent and go
the SIY (Sell It Yourself) route. By selling
property yourself, you stand to make
substantial cost savings by eliminating the
estate agents commission.
Estate agents charge an average
commission of 1.5% plus VAT. On a
house valued at €550,000, a property
owner can save almost €10,000 by selling
privately. This compares with a once-off fee
of €150 charged by property direct
websites such as Sellityourself.ie. This
substantial cost saving can then be used by
the property owner to get a better, fairer
deal for both themselves and the property
Sellityourself.ie offers the same
promotional services as estate agents (an
online listing, signboards, discounted
newspaper advertising and sales advice).
However, the property owner conducts
property viewings and deals directly with
potential buyers with regard to queries and
Do a comparison of similar properties in your area. Use property websites
and local estate agents to draw up a list of relevant properties and their
asking/selling prices. Compare your property to similar properties that
have recently sold and properties that are currently for sale. When
comparing against properties recently sold, be sure to compare against
their actual selling price rather than the asking price, particularly in the
current environment. Also, the prices received for new developments
shouldn’t be taken into consideration for your market comparison: the idea
of living in a brand-new house appeals to many people, so property buyers
may be paying a premium.
Try and find comparable properties that are almost identical to yours in
your area. How do they compare to your property? Do you have any extra
features? Valuing your property by comparing it to a property that’s very
similar to yours is relatively easy. On the other hand, if you are selling a
more individual property, you will need to take other things into
consideration –the adjustment factors.
Generally, the full cost of improvements and extensions will not be
recovered. The proportion of the original cost that is recovered will depend
upon the improvements you have made.
If you have extended your property in keeping with the original style, for
example, or if you have redecorated your property in a neutral style that
will appeal to most buyers then you may recover the full cost of these
improvements, or something close to it.
If you have added a fi tted kitchen or converted your attic then you can
expect to recover 50 per cent of the renovation costs. However, for
improvements such as landscaping or adding double glazing you can
expect to recover substantially less than the actual cost of improving.
You will also need to take into account the location of your property. A
house on a busy road will usually be worth less than an identical house in a
quiet street nearby. Proximity to schools, shops and main transport routes
may allow for a higher asking price.
Setting the price
The market comparison should prove a good indicator of what level to
price your property. Bear in mind that, if you’re going down the SIY (sell it
yourself) route, you can afford to price your property a little lower than
similar properties in your area and still net more than people who have
chosen to use an estate agent.
“Try and find
that are almost identical
to yours in your area.
How do they compare
to your property? Do
you have any extra
Still can’t decide?
If, after carrying out your property comparison, you still can’t decide on a price, then employ an independent valuer. An independent and experienced valuer will be able to give you a valuation for your property. Having your property formally valued by an independent valuer can also give you peace of mind that your property is accurately priced and confidence when dealing with property buyers.
Pricing your property slightly lower than similar properties
will ensure that your property attracts more attention and
therefore may sell quicker. Having several interested buyers
may even encourage competing offers and result in a higher
“Many property owners make the mistake of starting off with
a high asking price in order to test the market, believing that
they can then reduce the price if little interest is shown,”
according to Anne-Marie Doyle, director of Sellityourself.ie.
“However many buyers can lose interest in such a property,
believing that it was overpriced and may still be.”
Q My house has been on the market for over a year.
The asking price was originally €450,000. My estate
agent has dropped the price by €40,000 over the last
two months. It is still not selling. I can’t afford the
price to be lowered again – so what can I do?!
Unfortunately, the value of a property is not related to how much the asking price was one year ago, or how much an outstanding mortgage you have on the property. The
value of the property is what buyers are willing to pay for
the property in current market conditions. Sadly, all too
many property owners are facing a similar scenario.
You should carry out a comparative analysis of properties
in the area that have recently sold and are currently for sale,
taking any ‘adjustment factors’ into account. This will give
you a good indication of the realistic price that you should
ask for your property.
You should then consider selling your house privately,
enlisting the services of websites such as Sellityourself.ie.
Selling your house SIY-style gives you a competitive
advantage – you can use the savings on estate agents fees
to set a lower asking price for your property. Even by
setting a lower asking price, you may still net more equity
than selling via an estate agent.
The cost savings of SIY sales can somewhat offset the
current nationwide fall in property prices.
Q I am about to put my property on the market. I have
asked some estate agents to appraise the property.
Each of them have provided different valuations.
Should I go with the highest one?
The highest valuation is not necessarily the most realistic or
accurate. If your house is overpriced, it will sit on the market
for a long time before you eventually have to lower the price.
Overpriced houses attract little interest. On the other hand,
under priced houses may sell quickly but may leave you out
Some people believe that a confl ict of interest arises when
an estate agent who is selling your property is also the person
who values your property. Estate agents, after all, can have an
interest in undervaluing or overvaluing property in order to
earn a fast commission or a high commission. You must bear
in mind that the valuation given by an estate agent is not an
‘offi cial’ valuation of your property, but an opinion about its
If you are selling your property with an estate agent, ask
each agent to justify the valuation they have provided. The
answers they give may help you decide which estate agent to
go with.Sellityourself.ie, which assists property owners in
selling without an estate agent, advises that you carry out a
price comparison of properties for sale or recently sold in
your area. Depending on your property, you may have to
apply a number of adjustment factors. Even if you are selling
with an agent, it is still advisable to carry out this comparison
yourself in order to appraise which agent has provided the
most realistic valuation.
If you want to have peace of mind that the value of your
house has been realistically set, you can employ the services
of a professional independent valuer. Sellityourself.ie provides
details of independent valuers throughout Ireland.
Q A house two doors down is for sale. This house is
practically identical to mine. Should I match the
asking price in order to ensure my house sells?
Whether selling your home SIY style or through an estate
agent, it is vital to price your property correctly from the start.
Set the asking price too high and you risk having your
property ‘go stale’ as it sits on the market with little or no
interest in it. Set the price too low, and you may lose out
Sellityourself.ie advises that, all things being equal, you
should pitch the selling price of your property slightly lower
than those for sale in the same neighbourhood. This will
ensure that you attract a large pool of buyers which can
encourage competing offers and help to sell your property
quickly. SIY property sellers can use the huge cost savings of
not paying estate agents fees to set their price lower than the
competition, and still net more at the end of the property sale.
It is a good idea to carry out a quick comparison to ensure
both properties are on a par. If your property has additional
features that set it apart from the other property for sale (an
attractive extension or extensive decking, for example) then
you should price your property at the same level as the other
property. Buyers are savvy and will know that your property
represents better value. However, if you price your property
higher than your neighbours, you risk your property sitting on
the market without attracting any buyers. By pricing at the
same level or lower, you will attract a larger pool of buyers
who may bid up the price.
Q I am selling my property myself – can I still ask
estate agents to value my property?
A Estate Agents will give a free ‘market opinion’ or ‘appraisal’
of the value of your property on the understanding that you
may choose them to sell your property. It would be unethical
to ask an estate agent to take the time to value your property if
you have no intention of using their services.
Many property owners who choose to sell their property
direct will have fi rst approached estate agents with the
genuine intention of selling via an agent. They may then have
changed their mind for any number of reasons. In these
instances the property owner can continue to value their
property at the price guideline given by the agent.
It is important to remember that estate agents will not give
an offi cial valuation, but a price guideline. There is mixed
opinion about the accuracy of the price guideline given by
estate agents. Sellityourself.ie would advise carrying out a
market comparison yourself, or employing a professional
independent valuer, in order to have complete confidence in
the price at which you are selling your property.
How much can you save?
Total Fee with