How Long?

One of the first things a buyer will ask an estate agent when offered a property is: “How long has it been on the market?”

There’s a good reason for this. Buying a property is the biggest financial transaction most of us ever make. Ireland currently has a home ownership rate of 68.7%. Most Irish people aspire to owning their own home – but the overwhelming majority of us do it by taking out a mortgage.


It takes courage to commit to such a a huge financial undertaking. House hunters will research areas, check them for transport links, the availability of schools, shops, pubs and restaurants – but there is often very little supporting data other than the price of similar properties in an area and pure instinct about whether or not it is the right decision.


One of the most persuasive indications as to the suitability of a property is to find out whether other people have expressed an interest. There is great comfort in knowing that you are not the only one who would like to buy the property.   


Once a potential buyer learns that others have expressed an interest or made a bid, then everyone seems to want the property. This is the power of ‘social proof’. A sense of urgency kicks in among all genuinely interested parties as a fear of missing out stimulates competitive bidding.


Such competition can often result in a quick sale at a high price, particularly when a property is sensibly priced in relation to other properties available for sale and is new to market.


Of course, the opposite is also true. When the price of a property is overly ambitious, the excitement that should surround a property that is new on the market is reduced, and it can quickly go stale. This is when nobody has made an offer and the property is seen to be repeatedly advertised. When potential buyers find out that it is no longer new on the market, they think: “Well nobody else wanted it – perhaps we are making a mistake.”


So our advice would be to position your property as one of the best available in its price range from day one. A good estate agent will be able to generate buzz around your property, to prompt interest and encourage strong offers from qualified buyers. You should then have a choice of buyer, resulting in a fast, reliable, sale at the highest price the market will pay.


What is much harder to do is generate genuine interest and bids in a property that has been on the market for an extended period of time because it is incorrectly priced.

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