Reviving a vacant property for market

Refurbishing for Maximum Return

With latest CSO figures reporting more than 180,000 vacant properties in Ireland, an upcoming government report is expected to propose new initiatives aimed at bringing vacant housing back into stock and encouraging owners to refurbish vacant properties for sale or rent.

It is particularly dismal when passing by a vacant property, especially in light of the current housing and homelessness crisis.  Most properties can be rejuvinated into perfectly functioning and safe homes with some t.l.c. and a budget!

In our experience, properties can lie idle for a whole variety of reasons, from legal or financial issues to emotional ties. In some cases, such as an executor property, it can be difficult for families to know where to start.

It is understandable that potential buyers or tenants are often put off by a property that has not been lived in for some time, especially if it feels damp and in need of basic repairs. There are a number of steps that owners can take, however, to help revive an empty property in preparation for sale or rent.

Top Tips to Maximise the Value of a Vacant Property:

  • Budget

Regardless of the condition of an empty property, the aim is to present it in such a way that buyers can clearly visualise its full potential. While some properties require a complete renovation, others can benefit from some simple repairs and TLC. Start with a concise to-do list and set yourself a budget for the project, including a contingency fund. A good guideline is 15 per cent of the estimated cost. It is also worth checking if your vacant property could qualify for a Government loan to help with repairs. 

  • First impressions

There is no better place to start than standing on the street and taking an objective look at your vacant property. Most prospective buyers or tenants will form their first impression within seconds. Make sure it is a positive one by painting the exterior, including the front door. Polish and shine the door accessories, clear and clean the gutters, fascia and soffit, and make your property look loved! 

  • Gardens

Tidy the gardens, front and rear, trimming hedges and shrubs. Introduce some seasonal colourful plants and garden furniture if feasible. Power wash all paths, patios and driveways. Decking, fencing and side gates can be revived by staining. 

  • Clearance

Less is more when it comes to furniture. Remove as much as you can from the entire property, ensuring that it is clutter-free. If you are planning to leave a certain amount of furniture in situ, go the extra mile to dress these areas. It will greatly enhance the marketing photographs and the overall viewing experience. 

  • Deep clean

Vacant properties can tend to smell damp and musty due to moisture and lack of air circulation. Air out the entire property and immediately tackle any damp or mould issues. Expect potential viewers to look everywhere! Clean inside wardrobes, kitchen cabinets, oven and fridge, along with all flooring.  Windows should sparkle inside and out!  Bathrooms and kitchens should be as pristine and inviting as possible. A professional cleaning company is the best option, budget permitting.  

  • Repairs

Complete a snag list for every room, looking for anything defective or in need of repair or replacement.  Pay attention to dripping taps, a cracked tile, discoloured grouting, stained ceilings, mildew, or broken door handles, as your potential buyer or tenant will be sure to spot these defects. Attention to the small details will make all the difference. 

  • A blank canvas

Painting the interior of your property is probably the most effective way of making a real difference to the overall aesthetics, without breaking the bank.  Choose inviting, warm neutral tones for the walls and crisp fresh whites for the ceilings and woodwork.

  • Focus

If you are trying to balance the budget, concentrating on some key areas can help focus both your to-do list and your bank balance. A new kitchen, bathroom, central heating, carpets and re-decoration can quickly transform a dark and decrepit no show house into a stunning turn-key home.

We were delighted when this article first appeared on page one and two of the Sunday Business Post Property Plus recently!

Sunday Business Post featuring Placelift

If and when the Government introduce this proposed new scheme, we will be sure to keep you fully informed and we will dedicate a follow up blog to this subject.

For expert advice on how to revive your property, get in touch with Placelift 01 2548070.


Clodagh Doyle