Residential:
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John Rohan’s advice for those who are wondering whether their property should be sold at public auction or by private treaty.

In the case of an executor’s sale by public auction, there can be no argument as to the value of the property as it has been established on the day of the sale. If a number of people are involved and it is necessary to establish beyond doubt what the market price is, the best procedure is to advertise the property for sale by public auction. Serious potential buyers will be there on the day and will bid for the property. It is a clear, clean cut, quick process.

The purchaser buying at auction has to have his finance in place, he has to have a survey completed and he has to be able to sign an unconditional contract at the auction so that, from a vendor’s point of view, the sale is completed and safe. Auctions concentrate minds and all involved are anxious to get the matter over with.

A disadvantage of the auction system is that if the property fails to sell on the day, it is very disheartening for the vendor as they feel they have somehow failed in their advertising campaign. There is no need for this reaction, the vendors have gone to the market, they have not been successful on that day, but the property is usually sold within a couple of weeks of the auction.

Prime residential properties are particularly suitable for the public auction process. In the case of a commercial property such as a pub or a centre city shop, public auction is the only prudent way to sell. At present, because of the Bacon Report recommendations, the residential market is not attractive to most investors, who are now forming consortia and buying commercial businesses.

10 top tips for selling your house:

1 Keep the front of your house tidy. Keep your driveway and gates open and leave room to park. 2 At night, keep a warm welcoming porch or hall light on. Make sure the house number or name can be seen and that the bell works. Have a fire lighting.
3 Pets should neither be seen nor heard. Keep them quiet or out of the house if possible. 4 Tidy up peeling wallpaper and damaged paintwork, but full redecoration is unnecessary. Clean windows, replace missing lightbulbs, fix that dripping tap.
5 Kitchens tip the scales more than any room. Present a well ordered kitchen with neat, clean cupboards. Have a coffee / baking aroma present. 6 A bright bathroom also helps sales, so keep it clean and tidy. No damp towels or discoloured baths.
7 Keep all bedrooms tidy. They'll look more spacious. Rumpled duvets and washing on the floor make rooms look smaller than they are. 8 Display the full value of storage space by keeping cupboards, basements and attics tidy. Throw out unwanted rubbish - you'll be doing that anyway when you move.
9 Music or TV is a turn-off when showing people around. 10 Don't forget conversation - be courteous, point out features of each room, but let the buyer view at their own pace. Don't have too many people present - buyers often feel like intruders and wish to respect your privacy.