Hondon Villas would advise all property vendors to get their home ready to sell. All parties: you, the agent and the buyer are wanting your property to look its best if it is to have a better chance to sell in this competitive market. You need to do your bit and get motivated and ready to sell.
Here are lots of tips to get you going.
What does that mean? Well our property partner RightMove have written an article on this. Here we have adapted it more to our target market. Please read on…
As we write we are in midst of the Covid-19 crisis and the uncertainty that brings. So the property market is paused right now and may be for a while. And is likely to be both slow to recover and more competitive when we do start up again. But you can at least get your home ready.
First Impressions Count, Twice!
The main thing to remember is that, as a seller, you get two opportunities to make a first impression to potential buyers. Please we cannot emphasise this enough. After all, another property is literally a click or two away if yours is dismissed.
Question: How do you feel about untidy / poorly maintained homes when you are house hunting? Did you dismiss some? So try looking through the buyer’s eyes.
No. 1: Photographs / Videos. Potential house-hunters will mainly see your home online, which means that your property needs to look shipshape for the photographs (and video if applicable). Make sure you are happy with your photographs from the agent. However, YOU have to make sure your home is looking top-notch when the photographer comes around. So clean-up, clear the bathroom toiletries, empty the washing line, tidy away food from the kitchen top, polish mirrors, tidy the garden, clean the pool… yes there is work to be done.
No. 2 : Home Visits. When people eventually come to view your home in real life, they want ‘curb appeal’. That is, as they drive up to and enter your property they want to be impressed. They will judge immediately. You don’t want to give then cause for complaint. We know as we talk to prospective buyers for viewing feedback and sometimes they say that within a few seconds they knew the house was not for them.
In both cases, you’ll want to make sure that your home looks as good as it can. Follow the tips below to ensure that you are ready to go.
Start Getting Ready Now!
So if you’re planning to sell then you can use the in-between time to be get your property ready now. Plan a few minutes a day to get this important step on track. Certain “heavier” tasks may not be possible right now but there are still lots of jobs you could be doing.
(There is list below that will help).
Getting this done now will not only help to present you home better to buyers but save you lots of time when you need to sign over and move out.
Note down all your rooms and garden areas, walk around and LOOK, then look again. Be self-critical. What can you do realistically to make that room or place better? Make notes. You can then plan and prioritise, doing the worst areas first.
Speculate to Accumulate… So you may need to spend Money
As you survey your home, be prepared to do minor repairs: For example: e.g. fix cracked tiles, jet-wash the patio, fix a dripping tap, paint the gate or fence, clean the window frames or clear the rubbish away, etc. Consider getting trade or pro’ help if it needs it.
Fix and Finish Those D.I.Y. Jobs
Now could be the time to tick off all those annoying DIY jobs that you’ve been putting off. This will help make sure you’re not giving prospective buyers a reason to mark your house down because of something that doesn’t take too long to fix. Believe us, in a buyer’s market they will offer less if there are lots of things to fix.
Your garden can be the first thing that a potential buyer will see close up, so make sure that you give them a reason to smile straight away. Unruly gardens and pools can and do put people off.
Here are some smart moves that will make a big difference:
GARDEN / EXTERIOR
Cut the grass / clean the patios / terraces
Prune any overgrown hedges / palm trees
Give the fence panels a new lick of paint
Get rid of the weeds from your patio
Make sure that rickety gate isn’t about to fall off
Clean up any dog mess
Remove debris and rubbish
Clean the windows and doors
Clean the Pool (green water puts people off)
KITCHEN & BATHROOMS
Re-grouting the kitchen / bathroom tiles
Touching up the mastic in the bathroom
Refilling cracks and picture hooks
Taking limescale off the taps
Make it mould-free is a must
Store toiletries away where possible
Clean shower doors
Keep the toilet seat down
Keep worktops tidy
Keep utensils organised and food in cupboards
Put washing up away
Clean the windows
Tidy away any indication of pets being in the house
as your prospective buyer may not be a pet lover
Makeover, Declutter and Tidy-up your home
Think “Makeover”… That cluttered kitchen, purple walls or bedroom full of boxes & gym equipment will not help your cause: TO SELL! If house-hunters can visualise living in your property, they are more likely to walk around with keen interest. You want them to think they could live there.
Think neutral as by far, untidy clutter, bad decor or crowded rooms, puts people off as they cannot see “space” or potential.
It’s important to take some of your personality away from your property. So, as nice as you like it now, it may not be your prospective buyer’s ideal. So it is better to think the house has to go and right now attracting a new buyer is more important that your collection of ceramic frogs, crystal glass or garden gnomes.
So please, take the advice, to minimise and re-organise each room so it looks light, airy and spacious… and inviting. Make a room that can be used and enjoyed. If you don’t use that room. Why? Fix it for your potential buyers.
According to Changing Rooms star Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, this job is hugely important and should not be underestimated. Decluttering your home creates the illusion of roomier spaces and also means that you will be showing buyers around a clean and tidy home.
Also, try upcycling tired or worn-out furniture if you have some free time during lockdown. You could add new cushions, “throw-overs” or paint wood furniture (Shabby-Chic is still a quick and cheap way to go)
Show each room as a purpose
To be honest you will not fool a vendor to part with €100Ks if they don’t see what you claim. So, if you’ve marketed your home as having three-bedrooms, do your best to make sure there are three bedrooms, rather than two bedrooms and a study, gym or playroom.
Again, it comes back to visualisation and making it as easy as possible for buyers to imagine living in your home.
Darker rooms generally look smaller than lighter ones, and this can be a big turn off for potential buyers. So we’d suggest making sure that blinds are open, and curtains are apart, to flood your home with light.
Pay a lot of attention to Kitchens and Bathrooms. These two rooms are the most expensive for a buyer to upgrade. So show them at their best. They should at least look & smell clean, be bright and de-cluttered. Turn on lights (make sure bulbs work) to brighten up the room if needs be. Use candles or scents to make the house smell nice.
If you’ve made an effort to clean and declutter them, you’ll be giving potential buyers another reason to be positive about your home.
Having the Right Documents
It is very important in Spain to have all your property and personal documents up-to-date. It can cost you if not.
Your estate agent and solicitor will ask for various bits of paperwork throughout the selling process, so if you can gather together all the relevant documents ahead of time, you should avoid delays further down the line. Ask the agent what you need in advance, don’t wait until an offer comes in. At Hondon Villas a few house sales have been severly delayed or even fell through because the vendor’s paperwork was not up-to-date or incorrect.
A quick check for documentation / paperwork to consider rounding up:
Make a fixtures and fittings inventory
Passports, ID, Birth Certs, Marriage Certs
NIE, Suma (Community tax) Bills, Utility Contracts
Currency Exchange / Bank Details
Land Registry Title Deeds
Gas/Electric/Water checks completed by a registered engineer
Energy Efficiency Certification
Planning permissions / plans, like pools or annex buildings
Building regulation completion certificates
New build guarantee certificates for alterations or additions
Party wall agreements / Land (if relevant)
*Note: Some of the above may not be applicable and is not an exhaustive list. Ask your Lawyer.
OK, so what are you waiting for?
As you can see there is plenty to be getting on with. Alas we know many people leave it all to chance. This could affect your saleability, time on the market, the selling process and undue stress as time passes.
So try to do some of the tips on a regular basis so you keep on top of it all. You’ll be thankful you did.
If you need help or have any questions on the above article please contact Hondon Villas. Here are the contact points: email, phone and social media)
OFFICE +34 622 314 244
property @ hondonvillas.net