Q I would like if you could advise me on the costs involved in selling my home, particularly the costs up-front to estate agents. I know that during the boom years, there were glossy catalogues for even the most ordinary house, but I hope that this has changed. I would like to keep the up-front costs to a minimum as we are talking about a two-bedroom house.
A The amount of up-front costs associated with selling a property can vary. Some costs are unavoidable, for example legislation requires that there is a BER (building energy rating) certificate. This should cost no more than €150 and your agent will recommend an assessor. Most agents will charge up-front for listing the property on websites such as MyHome.ie and for a sign if you are having one put up. Brochures are an additional cost but most agents can provide much cheaper alternatives to high gloss card.
The most important thing is that all outlays are agreed in advance and detailed in the letter of confirmation of instructions. The agent must issue this letter and you must sign and return it before marketing commences. It is reasonable for the agent to ask for an advance to cover all or part of the agreed outlay as carrying the cost of outlay on numerous properties is a huge strain on cash flow.
Sometimes people lose sight of the important factors when choosing an agent. A difference of a couple of hundred euro in outlay or a fraction of a percentage in sales fee is generally much less than one bid on your property so choose the best agent; not the “cheapest” one. Selling your house is probably the largest transaction of your life so choose wisely and don’t focus too much on small cost differences.You should also ensure the agent is licensed by the Property Service Regulatory Authority and ideally a member of a professional body.