Selling Your Property

When selling a property, it is important to choose the method of sale that best suits you and your property. You want to choose the option that will deliver the best outcome – the best outcome is typically the highest sale price followed by sale timelines which suit your own circumstances. We have outlined the three main methods for residential house and apartment sales in Ireland.

Private Treaty | “For Sale by Private Treaty”

A Private Treaty Sale is a method that most property sellers will instruct their Estate Agent to handle on their behalf, however, some will go at it alone which is referred to as ‘For Sale by Owner’ (FSBO). 

The ‘For Sale by Private Treaty’ method is used by most Estate Agents. Initially, a marketing plan is prepared for the property which includes a guide price and a discussion around marketing material (photography, brochures and other marketing angles). A guide price is an indicator of what a seller is willing to sell the property for and is used to attract buyers and offers. If there is a lack of interest in a property an Agent will likely advise reducing the guide price in an effort to generate more interest. Different types of properties require different methods to choose the correct guide price – for example, a high-end luxury property that only a handful of people in Ireland may be interested in would typically be priced slightly above the valuation level as only one serious buyer may be interested in it. The higher guide price will give the Agent more leverage while negotiating with fewer interested parties. While a more affordable 3-bedroom home in Dublin or another popular location can be priced slightly below the valuation level as there can be plenty of buyers to bid on the property to achieve a much stronger price. A lower-than-expected guide price can help to stimulate interest and encourage active bidding to often exceed expectations. Properties which are priced too high can remain on the market for too long and become stagnant. 

The Estate Agent will create the property listing on their website and property portals, as well as circulating it to any potential buyers who have registered with them. The potential buyers may view the property and submit an offer. Once an offer is received the Agent will update other interested parties to see if they would like to place an offer. After the marketing period, the Agent will advise the property seller on bids received and generally aim to select the top bidder or the one that is most likely to close the sale. The Agent may also advise completing the bidding process by way of best & final bids thus ensuring the seller receives the optimum price and can make an informed decision as to the best candidate. Best and final bids would request all interested parties to submit their best and final offer by a certain date and time, as well as including any specific conditions and evidence of funding. 

Once the seller accepts an offer the Agent will request a booking deposit from the buyer (this is fully refundable until contracts are signed), and issue a Sales Advice Note to the buyer, seller and both of their solicitors outlining the terms of the sale. The solicitors then commence the conveyancing process of the sale. It is the Agents responsibility to ensure the buyer completes a survey and bank valuation (if required) as soon as possible. The property can then move to a status of ‘Sale Agreed’.

Method of property sale


A public sale in which the property is sold to the highest bidder.

This method is often preferred by receivers and bank sales or where there may be serious defects in the property or title issues that buyers purchasing by way of private treaty may keep withdrawing from the sale due to the higher risks. However, it can be used for any property and when there is likely to be strong competition between buyers it can be a very efficient way to close a property sale quickly.

The property is presented and advertised in the same way a private treaty sale would be. Buyers can ask questions to the Agent and will be presented with the legal documents, prior to bidding, for their solicitor to review and satisfy themselves with. 

If a buyer then decides to attend the auction they will register and place a bidding deposit. While some auctions will still take place at the Agents office or a local meeting room, most property auctions are now conducted online. All registered buyers will be in attendance or have someone attend on their behalf. The Agent will begin the auction and the process is completely transparent as all bids appear or are called out in real-time. Once bidding has concluded contracts for sale will be signed by the buyer and a 10% non refundable deposit is paid. 

Most sellers will set a reserve price – the lowest price that they are willing to accept for the property. If no bids are made at or over this reserve price, a buyer may have an opportunity to negotiate a sale with the seller.

Unlike private treaty sales, there is no cooling off period and all due diligence will have to be carried out prior to the sale.

Auction house sale

Off-Market Sale

Selling a property off market is a much more private approach whereby the Agent will use internal resources and networking abilities to find a buyer. The property won’t be listed publicly but will generally have all the standard marketing material available for qualified buyers, this method is often used by celebrities or those in the public eye. Agents may also try this method if they just sold a similar type of property nearby, bringing it to the underbidders to see if there is interest.

Next Steps | Talk To Us

Every property is unique and requires professional advice. Moovingo Estate Agent offers all of the above options when it comes to selling property. Arrange your free property valuation today, our property experts are flexible so they can visit your property at a time that suits you. Call 01 516 9999 or book in online now.