Estate Agent Diary: Busy despite the summer, looking forward to selling season

NEW FEATURE: Our property expert Ben Thompson from Churches Estate Agents gives us his inside track on life in the real estate market. This Week: Out and about looking for new sales for Autumn, a popular 7-bed house in Wicklow and returning to an old flame in Dublin 4.

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ben thompson churches estate agents SQHello and welcome to our newest feature: The Estate Agent Diary! Every week Ben Thompson from Churches Estate Agents in Dublin will be discussing what’s happening in the world of estate agency. This week…


Monday

You really have to get your property on the market in early September if you want to be into a new home by Christmas.

Fresh starts the week and the good weather is back. First half of our week is always out looking for new business. We getting to the end of August now so all minds are turning to the kids going back to school and often about moving house. You really have to get your property on the market in early September if you want to be into a new home by Christmas.

We are out and about in Sandymount this morning dropping some letters in doors of certain streets and areas where we have client interest. We recently sold a couple of big properties in the Blackrock, Stillorgan and Booterstown areas and we have families looking to downsize into two or three bed houses near the centre of town and the beautiful coastline.

A Neapolitan Terrace on Strand Road, Sandymount
A Neapolitan Terrace on Strand Road, Sandymount
Monday afternoon we’re back in the office and this is the time to follow up and report on ours viewings at the weekend and getting set up for the rest the week. I’m currently writing articles for Churches.ie FAQ section – where we are answering common questions about buying or selling a house. So that’s me for this afternoon through to 5:30pm when I’m heading down to view a lovely house in Wicklow. It’s a glorious evening to show a house with stunning views of the mountains.

Tuesday

martello wood sandymountWe’re back in Dublin 4 again today. Although the red-brick period terraces are the main attraction to this area, there are a lovely collection of mews and small estates tucked away behind the main roads. There are two or three along Strand Road such as Ailesbury Mews, Merrion Strand and Adelaide which are fantastic buys for either first time buyers or downsizers who want to stay in the area.
The coast road here is fantastic. You are just minutes from the beach, brilliant for dog walkers, joggers and families – or just enjoy the scenery.
We’d love to get a couple of these mews properties for our clients – but we wouldn’t say no to a grand period house too.

Wednesday

I think I spoke too soon on the weather. Heavens have opened today so it’s a day for working through phone calls in the office and reconnecting with old clients.

That house in Newtownmountkennedy is not getting a ton of calls but remarkably the few that have called are all very keen for it.  And I can see why.

Thistledown, Newtownmountkennedy
Thistledown, Newtownmountkennedy

It’s a seven bed house on quarter of an acre of land but it has been done up to the nines by the previous owners. Top of the range energy-efficiency including solar panels and a really smart set of heating systems inside means that this property is an incredible B3 BER rating – unheard-of for a large 3000 ft² house in the countryside.

Our client there had been on the market with a small local agent but after nine months they were just fed up with the results are getting and the service they received. We are always on the look out to help home owners in this situation – it’s sadly too often we hear about vendors having terrible experiences with other agents, large and small.

Having a Dublin office does help, we have a lot of contacts here moving down to the country as they get great prices for their property in the city.

We do appreciate it’s not always the agent’s fault. Especially in the countryside, unlike Dublin, there sometimes just isn’t the buyers out there immediately – you have to wait for the right one of two to come along. Having a Dublin office does help, we have a lot of contacts here moving down to the country as they get great prices for their property in the city.

But we promised to do a better job here and we’ve hit a spot of luck. The new professional photos of the house presented it much better, it’s a tough one because it doesn’t look like much from the outside but once inside it’s a whole different story. The trick was to get people interested enough to pick up the phone and then come and see it for themselves.

However I’m delighted to say within four weeks of having it on the market we now have four very serious potential buyers and I hope this week is the week to start getting offers on the house.

I know our clients he will be delighted and so will we!

Thursday

daft property for saleWe have plenty of property sale agreed at the moment so we are working through valuations and surveys. I have two to show in Dun Laoghaire. Each valuer we meet says they are flat off their feet with work. So that seems promising. But there’s still not enough property on the market right now, numbers on Daft.ie have dropped to about 35,000 houses nationwide when they have been sitting at around 40,000 consistently for the past two years.

We need more product on the market – hopefully we will see a surge in September.

Friday

Friday is all about the preparation for Saturday’s viewings. Despite being mid-August we are booked up tomorrow. House hunting never stops!

We’re excited to be first showing a new sale in the iconic Gasworks development. It only came on Wednesday night and we already have a busy viewing. At €369,950 it’s a good price for a two bed but with the offices of Google on your doorstep and the rest of Dublin city close at hand, this is a high demand development for first time buyers and investors alike.

I’ve sold more in the Gasworks than any other agent

I’m proud to say I’ve sold more in the Gasworks than any other agent in the last 3 years.

210 apartments in fact. In one transaction. For €40 million.

The Alliance Building, The Gasworks - 210 apartments sold in 2012 for €40 million
The Alliance Building, The Gasworks – 210 apartments sold in 2012 for €40 million

It was my first ever deal in Ireland, back in early 2012. Working for Savills investment and residential asset management teams we sold the entire block of 210 apartments in the old gasometer building. A stunning looking building and totally unique.

American residential mega-landlord Kennedy Wilson bought the entire block for €40 million, one of the first of many residential blocks they acquired in the last few years. The price was just under €200,000 per apartment. If we sell this two bed for the asking, Kennedy Wilson are looking at a nice return on their investment!

It’s nice to be back selling in the area… Looking forward to tomorrow.


irish home magazine churches estate agents dalkeyYou can find out more about Churches over at Churches.ie.
If you want to ask Ben a question about your own property, buying or selling, you can email him on ben@churches.ie or call Churches Blackrock office on 01 559 5000