Selling tips and recommendations
By Diana Morales, Principal of DM Properties, Marbella.
It is important to examine your property critically and to be objective about its weak points. Here is where your real estate agent must advise you in the cold light of facts. Walk around the property with your agent. If he is a good professional, he will point out the negative features and make suggestions on how to improve them. He will tell you to fix those faulty things, maybe giving a coat of paint or redecorating some of the rooms or even undertaking some renovation if this is advisable.
It may be very good for your self-esteem when your agent tells you how fabulous your home is, but it will be far more useful if he points out its defects and makes suggestions to correct them. Repair those ugly damp patches or cracks on the walls. If the walls or ceilings are in need of paint, paint them! Remember that the first impression counts.
A possible buyer will be disappointed if he walks into a house that is not in perfect condition. He will be tempted to give you a low offer because of that. If the property looks outdated and it is necessary to make renovations, which will be costly and time consuming, bear this in mind when fixing its price or discussing an offer.
Consider some renovation or making a few changes if you think that most buyers will like them. Remember that some buyers will not have the time or do not want to get involved with builders. This can be a reason for not purchasing your home.
If you think that your changes may not be to everyone’s taste, ask your agent to advise you. For example, if your house needs a new kitchen and you are afraid that a buyer may not like it, then, do not buy one. However, you must then take into consideration the money and time the new owner will have to spend on a new kitchen. Do not hide defects or faults. Try to repair them.
Make your property look attractive and cosy. Most people like light and well-lit houses. Change those old light fittings in the bathrooms, which give very little light and make them look dark and gloomy. Sometimes a few spotlights can do wonders. Replace the stained old taps for new ones. You will be surprised to see how little money this will cost and how much better your bathroom will look. Prepare your house for viewings.
Open shutters and blinds and turn on the lights in those dark corners, stairs or basement. If it is cold, turn on the heating. In summer, turn on the air conditioning or fans. Put flowers in vases, avoid food smells. If you have a dog, keep it away from the visitors. Remember that some people are afraid or do not like animals.
Make the visitors feel comfortable and at home. Do not bore them with long technical descriptions but be prepared to answer their questions clearly and straight forwardly.
Get ready for the sale. Have all the documents at hand, so when the moment comes, you can hand over copies of your “escritura”, receipts for payments of all taxes and running expenses, including community fees and your house staff. Do not wait until the last moment to get your paperwork in order and your bills paid.
Prepare a detailed list with names and telephone numbers of your house suppliers and service people, with an indication of the type of contract or arrangement you have with them, and give it to your agent. You have experience in handling and maintaining your home and the new owners will certainly appreciate any information or advice you may give them. It will make their life easier when they move in and help them to settle down smoothly in their new home.