Just how far should you go to sell your home in Spain? We all know it’s not a sellers’ market at the moment but the lengths that some people are going to is, quite extraordinary. Getting a good estate agent, making sure the house is in the best possible condition, and setting a realistic asking price all seem reasonable methods of moving your Spanish house off the market.
However, there seem to be a few more ruses that are currently being used to sell Spanish property that verge on the dishonest. One that came to our attention recently was that after you’ve put your house on the market in Spain, you take it off again.
Yes, you read that right. Even if you haven’t sold your property, you take it off the market. Of course, you don’t leave it there but after a reasonable time, you put it back on again. Why? It’s believed that for those who might have been considering buying your property as a possibility, the fact that it was ‘sold’ can be disappointing.
If it’s then back on the market again, the opportunity of a second chance can kick start a quick decision. Of course, they might also wonder why the sale fell through in the first place, and that’s where it could get a little difficult to explain, without telling fibs, of course.
If you don’t want to go quite as far as this, how can you improve the chances of selling your property in Spain?
We’ve put together our own top ten tips:
Remove clutter – you’re going to have to eventually anyway when you move. Spend time before putting your property up for sale on getting rid of all those odd items you’ve horded for ages. At the same time, be careful not to take it too far, you still want your house to feel like a home.
Don’t rush to make physical changes to your property before checking with an expert whether the ‘improvement’ will pay in terms of your property sale. You don’t want to spend thousands when you can’t expect any return.
Some little touches matter. Check that your house number is clearly visible and that soft furnishings like curtains, cushions and bed linen are tidy and clean.
Take an objective look at your rooms – too much furniture can make them look smaller, if you don’t want to get rid of some items, is there somewhere else you could store them during the sale?
Watch out for pet smells – they’re particularly off-putting and you may not notice them yourself. Invite someone else in who will tell you honestly if they spot any unusual or unpleasant aromas. It’s not just the smells, removing the pet and traces of its food is important too.
Keep it light – it makes a big difference if your potential buyer can actually see what’s on offer, a gloomy room does nothing for it. Clean the windows, change the light bulbs, make sure the shutters or curtains are fully open.
Consider differentiating from your neighbours – what can you do to make your property stand out from the crowd? For example, you might consider replacing your front door or adding some new plants to your patio. Remember how important those first impressions are.
Make sure that all the legal papers are in order. Buyers in Spain are particularly anxious about home legality. Make sure that any refurbishments you have carried out have the correct planning permission and there are no outstanding debts that will emerge as the sale goes ahead.
Help the buyer – put yourself in their shoes. Can you give them helpful information about the running costs of the house, the local area? Make sure you answer any questions they have as fully as possible.
Perhaps most important of all is to set your price right. Most purchasers can see through the changes that you make and in the end it’s most likely to be the price that puts them off. Compare the prices of property sold recently in the area and make sure yours looks just as good value.