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How Long Does it take to Sell a Property in Ireland

Contents

How Long Does it take to Sell a Property in Ireland

This is perhaps one of the most commonly asked questions that we receive. Unfortunately, providing a clear answer isn’t as straight-forward as you might expect. The time it takes depends on a whole series of variables and in this article, we will analyse these variables and their impact on the time it ultimately takes to complete the sale of a property.

The Guide Price / Asking Price / Advised Market Value / Reserve Price

When estate agents list a property for sale, they will usually list it with a price. Various terms are used such as Asking Price, guide price and advised market value but all essentially mean the same thing i.e the approximate price that the vendor is expecting to receive for the property based on their estate agent’s advice. If the property is overpriced i.e. is listed for a price that the market is not likely to be willing to bear, then viewings will be scarce and the property can wither on the vine so to speak. A property that is listed with a price below what buyers are likely to be willing to pay will of course attract a lot of interest, viewings will be thick and fast as will the bidding. So all else being equal, listing the property with a keen guide price generates more interest, momentum and bidding.

While a guide price in a private treaty sale has no legal basis, a reserve price in an auction does. This is the price which, if offered, puts the property “on the market” i.e. the vendor is obliged to sell for any bid of this price or more. In both private treaty and auction sales, agents will often list with conservative prices to get things moving, keep momentum strong and ultimately ensure the best price in the quickest period of time for the vendor.

Photography & Marketing

High quality professional photography will ensure that a listing stands out and attracts attention on Daft and MyHome which are the two major property listing websites in Ireland. It is important both for speed and value maximisation that photography standards are high.

Online 247 Bidding

In order to achieve the maximum value for the property but also to ensure the smoothest, quickest sale, ideally engage an estate agency that has online bidding functionality that is available 247. We find that bids are often placed out of business hours and these bids in turn prompt counterbids, all while the estate agency is closed. An agency that can’t facilitate after hours bidding and is still relying on calling bidders back to apprise them of new offers will unnecessarily delay the sale.

Private Treaty or Auction

These are the two means of selling a property in Ireland. Private treaty is characterised by nothing being binding on either buyer or seller until contracts are signed and the sale is closed. In auctions on the other hand, once the reserve price is met, the bidder is bound to close the sale and the vendor is obliged to sell. In an auction, the legal documents are made available ahead of the bidding and the contract specifies a closing date typically 14-21 days after the close of the bidding. This gives everyone clarity. However, the non negotiable, rigid nature does deter some less experienced buyers and as such it is generally thought that the clarity comes at a cost for the vendor i.e a lower price than what might have been achievable with a private treaty process.

Conveyancing

This is the legal part of the process and as mentioned, it is done upfront in auction sales meaning these sales close promptly after the bidding ends. For private treaty sales however, the conveyance is fraught with countless, seemingly endless delays resulting in the process regularly taking well over three months and in extreme cases over a year! There are things that a vendor can do to mitigate against these delays and maximise the chances of a speedy sale, such as engaging a competent conveyancing solicitor the moment the property goes on the market and not waiting until the property moves to sale-agreed. To browse reviews and pricing from fixed fee conveyancing solicitors, check out the Auctioneera Conveyancing Solicitor Marketplace

Conclusion

With so many moving parts and each sale being slightly different, it is difficult to give a straight answer to the question: how long does it take to sell a house in Ireland. With that said, based on our experience, the below guidance should be of some help in terms of what to expect.

  Sales Process Sale Agreed to Sold Total Time to Sell
  Best Case Expected Case Worst Case Best Case Expected Case Worst Case Best Case Expected Case Worst Case
Auction 14 days 28 days >90 days 14 days 21 days 28 days 28 days 49 days >90 days
Private Treaty 14 days 28 days >90 days  28 days 60 days >90 days 42 days 88 days >180 days

The worst case scenario in an auction is when bidders aren’t willing to offer the reserve price and so the property is relisted, typically with lower reserves, in future auctions.

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