Published on: 02/02/2022

Meet the Estate Agent – Sam Dowds

Meet the Agent...

Sam Dowds is one of our estate agents in Dublin. Get to know more about Sam and his advice for selling in the North Dublin area…

What is your top tip for anyone considering selling their property?

Do your homework. There is a bit of work involved in selling your property and it is a big decision, so make sure that you do your research before deciding on selling and which agent to choose. The market is incredibly competitive at the minute despite what many predicted as the pandemic arrived. Huge effort will be made over the coming months and years to solve the housing shortage in the country and in its capital, but in the meantime the market remains incredibly strong meaning there is no better time than the present to get yourself the best price possible for your property.

Robert Gardiner

To get a good price you’ll also need a well-priced, high quality agency to sell your property. With a fixed fee agent, you know exactly what the cost will be to you; this is in comparison to high fee estate agents where they will look for a percentage of the sales price which will almost always mean higher fees paid, and this will chip away the sales price you achieve. Be sure to ask any of these agents what the total cost will be (from marketing, agency fee and VAT) should you achieve your desired price. If you weigh up the total cost, likely sales price, reviews and commitment level for you, then I genuinely feel Auctioneera is best placed to sell your property. With Auctioneera, your commitment level is totally de-risked given you can sign up with a “no sale no fee” option, have a clause in the letter of engagement guaranteeing immediate termination should you need it, do not have to accept any offer on your property and can relist on the market at no extra cost should you not get your desired price.

What do you like about working in property?

Initially, the excitement of getting to see a variety of homes, learn about their features and get to travel around the place seeing new places. Over time however it has developed more into meeting interesting people looking to buy/sell a home. Hearing the reasons for selling and anecdotes of memories of vendors as well as those of potential purchasers who love a particular house for a specific reason, really gives you a respect of the decisions people want or have to make. It is also quite satisfying to offer people an incredibly transparent and well-priced model. Purchasers often comment on how refreshing it is to be able to place offers online, see what the current bid is and have the potential of setting a clear defined deadline for offers on a property as trust in estate agents can vary!

Another aspect is problem solving. It is something that can cause quite a lot of stress at times but when compromise is found and a problem is resolved it can be quite a humbling experience. If an issue arises that was unforeseen and you can be the one to solve it then it’s great to be able to help a vendor or purchaser out. If a vendor needs a certain price to sell and you can achieve it for them it really makes it all worthwhile. I sold a property on the Malahide Road in Artane that had a few problems along the way from solicitors’ queries, to the mortgage broker and more. In the end, the vendor sold the house at the price they needed in the nick of time to get set up in their new home as their new-born baby arrived which was very rewarding to oversee

What do you think hinders a smooth sale?

I think early on in the process it is important to get a solicitor you know and trust or who has good reviews and can close things in a timely manner. Also it is important that they are instructed to take up deeds early on in the process. There’s nothing more stressful than getting a fantastic offer on your property from someone keen to move quick and you have to helplessly wait for the deeds before things can progress. Outside of that it is important to have a BER completed and also to set a realistic guide price as the longer something sits on the market, the less interest you will have. With private treaty sales you are not obliged to accept any offer on your property so there is really no point in setting an overly high and ambitious guide price. Once at the sale agreed stage, all you can do is keep on top of what your solicitor needs and being ready to move out when the time comes.

Tips about how to stage a property for photographs

Do you have tips about how to stage a property for photographs and also for viewings?

In a strong market like we are seeing now, there is no need really to be doing major works to prepare the house for sale. That being said, you will obviously want to give it every chance you can of getting the best price. I think a good clean and declutter is 90% of the work. Beyond that a paint job can freshen up a place if it is needed, a doormat at the entrance can save muddy footprints of viewing attendees dirtying the floors and dressing beds can certainly freshen up the bedroom in photos and at viewings. Regarding whether to have furniture or not, it is one that splits opinions. Without furniture, rooms can look bigger but with it people can really get a feel for how it will be laid out and can make things look more homely. Personally I think if it is nice furniture (only a few things) and taking care not to cram small rooms, then you get the best of both worlds. Above all else ask the photographer for tips before they come out and when there so you can have the place ready for him/her to make the place look as nice as possible!

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