News: Top 10 tips: get the best price for your home in Spain
Written by Inmo Investments - 28 Jul 2016
There are many positive steps sellers can take in today´s market to ensure a successful and profitable sale. Being realistic is the first one, and possibly one of the most important and difficult for some sellers to accept. Our resident Costa Blanca property expert, Shelley Starkey, presents her top 10 tips for Spanish property sellers hoping to achieve a quick and profitable sale.
1. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
The same is true for your home in Spain. That instant "curb appeal" creates the strongest and most long-lasting impression in the minds of potential buyers, and if that first impression isn´t a good one, you have an uphill battle on your hands to change their minds before they have even come through the door.
The outside of your home is just as important as the inside, so take time to neatly trim plants and shrubbery, and make sure your garden, courtyard, and other outside areas are meticulously clean and weed-free. Spend some time applying a fresh coat of paint to reinvigorate your home, or consider hiring a pressure washer to really bring the life back into tiles and paved areas.
And what about the area immediately outside of the property? Weeds, wild tomato plants, and local fauna lining the kerbside along your road won´t look attractive. Remove them in front of your property and as far as you can manage either side too. You will increase the curb appeal of your property and your neighbours will thank you for it too.
Keep things neat and tidy and clutter-free. Put garden tools away and make sure you take rubbish to the communal bins - and not just when you´re preparing to market the property. You will want to keep things neat and tidy on the off chance that a prospective buyer might be scoping the neighbourhood or your home specifically.
2. Your home is worth what a buyer is prepared to pay for it.
It´s an old adage, but it is very true, especially in terms of the Spanish property market. Whether potential buyers are purchasing for investment or a holiday home in Spain, they expect great value from their real estate purchase and they have plenty of choice.
There is very little correlation between what you previously paid for your home in Spain and what your property is worth today. Instead, what a buyer is prepared to pay for your home will rely more upon the pricing of similar properties in your location, how flexible they are willing to be about their choices, and whether your property ticks more of their important boxes than others on the market.
3. Not all improvements will increase your homes´ value.
It is a commonly accepted myth that improvements and renovations will increase the value of your home. Spending perhaps upwards of €5,000 on a new kitchen or a new bathroom to suit your tastes will not dramatically increase the value of your property. There is no guarantee that these improvements will suit the tastes of a prospective buyer, and if the existing fittings are functional and clean your money may best be spent elsewhere - if at all.
While each of these renovations and home improvements has their merits, don´t be duped into believing that they will magically levitate your asking price skyward. Nonetheless, making suitable improvements to your home will help you sell your Costa Blanca property faster.
4. Cheap fixes won´t fool Spanish property buyers.
Trying to cover faults with cheap or clumsy repairs can only result in low offers - or no offers at all. If you cannot afford to renovate your Spanish home to a good standard you might be better off taking a reduction in your expected asking price, rather than spend time and money on a "botched job" that will only have to be redone properly later on.
5. Spend some time preparing your home for sale.
You will always get the best offers if you invest some time preparing your home to be sold. Clutter can make one of the most long-lasting negative impressions, and acts as a barrier toward buyers connecting with your property on a personal level. Pictures showing loved ones or family members and personal ornamental items will inhibit buyers from thinking about your home as their home, so remove them from display.
As you are planning to move out, pack up things you don´t need on an everyday basis. You can even ship them to your new home in advance saving you time in the future and giving your home a fresher, cleaner and more spacious look.
6. Neutral decor and the art of home staging.
Now your home is cleaner and leaner turn your attention to the finer details of your decor. Neutral colours are always in vogue, and in Spain, pure brilliant white is king of them all.
People that buy property in Spain are buying a perceived Mediterranean lifestyle, they expect to be learning Spanish with their partner, enjoying the beautiful weather, or perhaps taking a siesta every afternoon on a terrace in a comfortable chair. Nothing says "Mediterranean" quite like simple white walls, so consider repainting strong colours or brightly accented walls that might ruin their Mediterranean dreams.
Once you´ve covered decor that looks out of character, add some elements of home staging to improve your homes´ appeal. The goal of staging (sometimes referred to as "property styling"), is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and attracting better offers. Staging techniques focus on improving appeal by transforming a property into a welcoming, attractive home that anyone might want to buy.
That empty dining table will look more homely if tastefully dressed for dinner with friends, your sofa will look more inviting casually adorned with plump, comfortable looking cushions, and pretty indoor plants or freshly cut flowers are a classic but welcome styling choice.
7. Keep it clean!
Make sure your home is clean. It´s never going to be perfect, especially if you own a pet, but it is important to make an effort to keep your home as clean as possible during estate agents photography sessions and showings. You want potential buyers to remember what they love about your home after they leave, and a clean Spanish property always leaves a good impression.
If you do have a furry companion, dogs may be mans best friend, but they´re not necessarily your buyers. Most people love our feline and canine companions but pet odour can prove an unwelcome distraction. Try to keep pets safely out of the way during viewings where they will be minimally intrusive, and rid your home of odours and excessive pet hair before each and every viewing. Room odour neutralisers are cheap and widely available from local supermarkets, so make sure you have a fresh one open before potential buyers pay you a visit.
8. The importance of timing.
If you have been considering putting your home on the Spanish property market, now is the perfect time to sell. For every buyer put off by the recent political turmoil in the UK, there is another that wants to buy a place in the sun while they still have the chance to do so. And remember, the Spanish property market is a diverse community consisting of Dutch, German, French, Russian, Spanish buyers; and buyers of many other nationalities. The right home at the right price always sells.
Spanish property prices are stable, and in some cases rising slightly, so you won´t want to wait too long until your home is priced out of the reach of a majority of potential buyers, as this will only make your property harder to sell in the future. There´s no time like the present.
9. Be prepared to negotiate.
Like many other people with a home to sell in Spain, you may already have priced your property as low as you possibly can to attract a buyer. But everything in the sale of your home can be negotiable if you want it to be.
Even if you have already offered your home to the Spanish property market as fully furnished, that won´t usually include expensive video and audio equipment and might not include free-standing white goods such as the fridge freezer. Remember that if you are moving out of Spain entirely your video equipment might not work in other countries. Is it worth taking it anyway or is it better utilised as a lure to seal a deal?
You have the right to introduce exceptions before you have a buyer which can be used to negotiate a higher complete selling price, just so long as your Spanish Estate Agent knows exactly what´s on offer.
10. Get your pricing right.
Even if you´re not in a hurry to sell your home and price isn't your main concern, you still need a baseline to start marketing your Spanish property, and pricing is one of the biggest decisions in the selling process. Set too high a price and you run the risk of turning off potential buyers. It also means your house will not compare favorably with other similarly priced homes.
Even worse, buyers may not even see your listing when they search online since they might be using lower price points. Because everyone typically knows their budget before they start their home search, price is the most common feature to be initially selected - much more so than the type of property, number of bedrooms, or even location.
After all these points are considered, and your home is in the optimum condition for marketing, ensure you have a good Estate Agent to represent your property with quality photos, promotional material, an easy to use, vibrant website and a good eye for staging your home and photographing it in the best light. There is not much point in having the perfect home presented by terrible photos (odd angles, dark light, unwanted photos, etc). If you are thinking about selling your home in Spain, contact us today.
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