When you bought your first holiday home, the last thing on your mind was to sell. Whether you keep this home for a couple of years or a couple of decades, at some point you will decide it’s time to sell. There may be many different reasons why selling is necessary but exiting from ownership will come. When that day comes here below are a few tips on how to best go about it.
- Tip #1, Find the perfect Listing Agent
- Tip #2, Ensure you list your home at the right time
- Tip #3, Professional photography and 3D walkthroughs are key
- Tip #4, Make sure your home will pass a property survey inspection
- Tip #5, Boost your curb appeal
- Tip #6, Declutter… and then declutter some more
- Tip #7, Stage your home
- Tip #8, Always be ready for a showing
Tip #1 Find the perfect listing agent
Find a dedicated, responsive, and knowledgeable real estate agent – someone you can trust to guide you through every step of selling your home. A good agent will make informed recommendations about the listing price, possibly advise you on any repairs that will help you sell your home, and make recommendations about the presentation of your home such as decluttering and maximizing your curb appeal. A good agent will have well-developed experience in what the real estate market is doing in Sotogrande, and when it comes time to negotiate an offer will use this experience. Take your time and engage with several agents to find someone you can comfortably work well with and who will work hard for your interests. Remember the agent gets paid by the vendor, but only earns when a transaction materializes, so both vendor and buyer must be satisfied.
Tip #2 Ensure you list your home at the right time…
Sotogrande is principally second home urbanization. It is also seasonal, meaning that there is a high usage season and a high selling season. For example, buyers from northern Europe will typically research properties commencing January after the festive season and mostly online before touring and buying in person towards easter time. Summer holidaymakers in Sotogrande who fall in love with the area and all it has to offer will tour whilst on holiday, with the serious buyer returning in September and October to actually buy. Your Sotogrande property should be listed in time for the touring seasons, before Easter and during the summer.
Tip #3 Professional photography and 3D walkthroughs are key
In today’s online market buyers can “browse” any time of the day or night, and sellers can “show” their house 24/7. The presentation of your property online is of paramount importance. Professional high-quality photography, floor plans, 3D tours, and drone film footage is critical. Virtual walkthroughs are also a massive advantage for both buyers and sellers. It also cuts down on showings to only the serious buyers. If a buyer is genuinely interested, they will view the virtual walkthrough (probably several times) and then request a showing.
Tip #4 Make sure your home will pass a property survey inspection.
It might be tempting to put off repairs and let a new owner handle them. However, prospective buyers will scrutinize your property very closely. It is advisable therefore to set up your pre-listing home survey if only to understand the cost involved to make anything not right corrected. If you choose to fix everything a survey might find before you list your house, you gain valuable peace of mind during the closing process. Your buyer will most likely want their own survey as part of the sales contract, but when that surveyor finds everything is in perfect order, your buyer will have confidence in the sale.
Tip #5 Boost your curb appeal
We all know a clean car sells better than a dirty car. Equally the initial appearance of the property is important. Ensure the lawn is well maintained, pull weeds, fix the fence, power-wash the drive and terrace, and clean any weeds growing on the roof, your property will stand out and really “wow” prospective buyers. If the house looks like it’s in bad shape on the outside, most of the time, buyers will think it is in bad shape inside. If you want to help buyers fall in love with your house curb appeal will help you do that.
Tip #6 Declutter… and then declutter some more
When you live in a property for a while, naturally, you build up clutter. However, a potential buyer is looking at your home, not your personal effects. If you can have your home appear move-in ready it will be much easier for buyers to imagine themselves – and their belongings – in your space. To do this, you must be relentless about removing as many personal items as possible and commit to a minimalist lifestyle if at all possible. It’s all about perception. A house with minimal furniture, unstuffed wardrobes, neutral artwork, and a general lack of surface clutter will look clean, spacious, and appealing.
Tip #7 Stage your home
The purpose of staging is to show buyers the home’s potential. You want all the main rooms – kitchen, dining room, living room, bathrooms, and master bedroom – to be set as best as can be. Create the feeling that a potential buyer is already home. You can set a dining room or kitchen table and place a vase or two of fresh flowers around the home.
Tip #8 Always be ready for a showing
Once your home is listed, you could get calls from agents to view the property at short notice. It’s easier to field these calls if the property is “show ready.” This means keeping the home clean at a minimum. Furniture should be dusted, windows washed, and carpets vacuumed. An odor remover can be sprayed so any pet odors or lingering smells from cooking are eliminated. A positive impression can be left with an applicant if the only scent a buyer remembers is the smell of fresh flowers.
Here’s a list so you can easily clean up and be out of the house in 20 minutes.
- Place any dishes in the dishwasher.
- Wipe down the bathroom and kitchen countertops.
- Wipe down the toilet seats.
- Grab a bin and place any loose toys or books inside.
- Place any stray clothing in the laundry basket.
- Close all the wardrobe doors.
- Organized is better than scattered… put any paper clutter such as newspapers and magazines in an organized pile.
- Make the beds.
- Sweep the floors.
- Take out the rubbish as you leave and take your pets with you.
As I conclude this blog, I am reminded of a great story I heard whilst on Safari in Kenya. It is about two men camping in the bush close to their lodge. Once settled in their tent for the night they heard the roar of a lion obviously very close to where they were located. Very afraid they thought is a good idea to run from their tent to the safety of the safari lodge. One of the two men began putting on his trainers ready to sprint… to which his friend said “why are you wasting time, the lion will outrun us easily” …. In answer the man putting on his shoes replied….” I know…. But I do not have to outrun the lion, I only have to outrun you!!!”
So when that day comes to sell, if you follow my 8 tips above, it may not guarantee you sell your home, but you may well sell ahead of your competition, namely other properties for sale in your immediate vicinity.