According to the Central Statistics Office, homes placed on the market during the first three months of the year tend to sell twice as quickly as properties that are put up for sale at other times.
Luckily, the Christmas break gives sellers the time to get their home in tip-top shape.
So here are five quick and easy tweaks you can complete over the holidays to take advantage of the upswing.
1. Kerb your enthusiasm
The phrase “kerb appeal” is a common adage for estate agents for a reason: the initial impression of a house truly is a key factor in the decision to buy.And sure it’s cold and a little rainy, but now is a decent time to get the exterior of your house in order. Plants have stopped growing so any pruning you do will last for at least four or five months.
It’s not a great time to paint your house, but get out your hose and wash away any grime.
You can also sprinkle some bark mulch around your plants to give the garden a polished look. And at this time of year, nobody is doing much gardening so your local garden centre should have some good deals.
2. So fresh and so cleanAgain, this is a tip that costs very little but makes a huge difference. And if you have bored kids hanging around the house for the holiday, now’s the perfect chance to get them involved and lower your own workload.
With Santa watching, why not encourage the kids to get their toys in order? Decluttering is key – and why not suggest they donate their unwanted toys to those less fortunate than them?
At this time of year there are loads of charities taking donations of toys too. A cleaner house and brownie points with Santa – sounds like a win-win!
3. Get your paperwork in orderAll homes put up for sale need a BER certificate. The BER cert needs to be updated every 10 years and costs approximately €150. While you may wait weeks for an assessor during the summer months, at this time of year same-day appointments are the norm.
If your home has an extension, make sure you have all planning permissions and building certificates to hand.
It’s the same story if you have a separate septic tank – make sure that it’s registered too. Expect to pay about €50. Visit protectourwater.ie for more info.
Sorting your paperwork only takes a few phone calls or emails – and it’ll save untold hassle further down the line.
4. Hit the January salesSmall upgrades or changes can make a big difference to your house.
Adding mirrors to smaller rooms makes them seem bigger. It’s a simple trick of the eye but it’s much cheaper than getting the builders in.
Even something as simple as a welcome mat inside the front door is a little extra that will help your home stand out.
The post-Christmas sales are the perfect time to buy items like extra rugs, mirrors, mats, or paintings.
5. All the world’s a stageIf your house is looking really tired or your furniture is outdated or bulky, you could consider getting staging advice from your estate agent.
Dedicated companies exist who specialise in preparing homes for sale, even down to swapping your furniture with specially selected replacements.
You rent the replacement furniture for the time it takes to sell your house, so while it might be a stretch for the average family home, it can be well worth it for a higher-end property.
While Christmas may be a time for eating copious amounts of food and wearing embarrassing jumpers, it also represents an opportunity to get ahead of the curve.