How to prepare a country property for a sale?

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As a rule of thumb, “the better your Andalusian country property looks, the easier it sells”. Preparing your country home in Southern Spain for a sale is the most important thing you can do as a homeowner. Initially you might not see the importance, or you might only regard it as an unnecessary investment. Nevertheless, from experience we know for a fact that this makes all the difference. 

You never get a second chance to make a first impression

In this guide we have outlined 10 things you should take into consideration when preparing your home for a sale. 

  • Emotion vs. Reason

You need to think of your house as a marketable commodity. Your goal is to get others to see it as their potential home, not yours. If you do not consciously make this decision, you can inadvertently create a situation where it takes longer to sell your property.

  • “De-personalize” your property

You want to “de-personalize” your home so that buyers can view it as their potential home. When a homebuyer sees your family photos hanging on the wall, it could momentarily shatter their illusions about owning the house since it puts your brand on the walls rather than theirs. Hence, minimize personal items.

  • Remove clutter 

Although you may not think of it as clutter, do it anyhow. This is the hardest part, and we understand: you are emotionally attached to your personal items. After years of living in the same home, clutter collects in a way that may not be evident to the homeowner anymore. Here is our advice. Take a step back, pretend you are the buyer and think about what you would not want to see when investing in a new property.

Let a friend help point out areas of clutter. Finally, let us, your agent, help you too! Particular areas to look at are the kitchen and cupboards. The more clutter you remove, the easier it is for the homebuyer to understand what space there is in the house. 

  • Plumbing and Fixtures

All your bathroom and kitchen fittings should look shiny and new. If this cannot be accomplished by cleaning, buy new ones where needed. This can be accomplished inexpensively, and they are fairly easy to install. Make sure all the hot and cold water knobs are easy to turn and the faucets do not leak. Check to make sure you have good water pressure and that there are no stains on the fixtures.

  • Ceilings, Walls and Painting 

Check all of the ceilings for water stains. Sometimes old leaks leave strains, even after you have repaired the leak. Of course, if you do have a leak, you will have to get it repaired; whether it is a plumbing problem or if the roof leaks. 

Do the same for walls; look not only for stains but also areas where dirt has accumulated, and you just may not have noticed. Plus, you may have an outdated colour scheme. Painting can be your best investment when selling your home. It is not a very expensive operation and often you can do it yourself but choose neutral colours. Off-white is normally best and makes rooms look more spacious.

  • Carpet and Flooring

Unless your carpet appears old and worn, or it is definitely an outdated style or colour, you probably should do nothing more than hiring a good carpet cleaner. If you do choose to replace it, do so with something inexpensive in a fairly neutral colour.

Repair or replace broken floor tiles, but do not spend a lot of money on anything. Remember, you are not fixing the place up for yourself. You want to move. Your goal is simply to have as little negative impressions upon those who may want to purchase your property.

  • Windows and Doors 

Check all of your windows to make sure they open and close easily. Make sure there are no cracked or broken window panes. If there are, replace them before you begin showing your home. Do the same things with the doors – make sure they open and close properly, without creaking. Be sure the doorknobs turn easily, you want to do everything necessary to create a positive impression.

  • Odour control

If you smoke, you will want to minimize or refrain from smoking indoors while you are selling your home. You can also purchase an odour-removing spray.

Pets of all kinds also release odours. For those with cats, be sure to empty the litter boxes daily. There are products that you can sprinkle in a layer below the cat litter, this helps control the odour. For those with dogs, keep the dog outdoors as much as possible. You might also try sprinkling carpet freshener on the carpet/beds/sofas on a periodic basis.

  • Landscaping

Is your landscaping at least average? If it is not, buy a few bushes and plant them. Do not put in trees. Mature trees are expensive, and you will not get back your investment. Also, saplings do not really add much to the appearance value of the home. If you have an area for flowers, buy mature, colourful flowers and plant them. They add vibrancy, colour and life to your home! This creates a favourable first impression. 

We do not advise you to buy bulbs or seeds, as they will not grow fast enough to create the desired effect. Always rake up loose leaves and grass cuttings and your terraces and pool bright and clean.

  • House Exterior

The big decision is whether to paint or not to paint. When you look at your house from a distance, does it look tired and faded? If so, a paint job may be in order. It is often a very good investment and really spruces up the appearance of a house, adding euros to offers from potential homebuyers. When choosing a colour, it should not be something garish and unusual, but a colour that fits well in your neighbourhood.

Of course, the colour also depends on the style of your house, too. In Andalusia is the colour white an obvious one of course!

Danielle Ernstsen | 14th March 2023