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Holidaymakers = potential property buyers

By Stephen Anderson [email protected]

Stephen Anderson is the Managing Director of Infinito Real Lda and has a broad knowledge of the real estate industry in Portugal. Having held senior positions in a number of companies around the world, he now lives in Portugal with his family.

August is always a mixed bag when it comes to real estate. The global economic situation has not altered this in any way in 2011.

One of the biggest problems is actually gaining access to properties that are on the market for sale, as this year’s high rental occupancy of apartments and villas has proven a real dilemma in this respect.

Other than the change over days, we are often left without any possibility of access, and driving past the property exterior is seldom enough to convince any potential buyer to part with their funds!

However, what is positive is the number of holidaymakers who have expressed an interest in viewing property. Many expressing their wish to be with the agent for just a few hours to get a “feel” for the area and decide if buying here is something they would a) consider and b) be able to afford.

In most cases a) is almost always yes, b) however, is sometimes just not possible, but that is not such a surprise as the same can be said of anywhere in the world.

For a lot of estate agents, the next few months will see a large number of “serious buyers” coming over with a single goal in mind – to find and buy a property.

To that extent it’s a good time to start looking at the key factors that make a property enticing enough to get buyers through the door, and also attractive enough that they ultimately wish to purchase it.

The main elements involved with this are quite simple. The biggest factor is unsurprisingly the price, and it is a difficult one to get exactly right.

First, when you’re selling your property, you need to have your bottom line price in mind and discuss this with your estate agent. If you don’t feel confident the agent will keep this confidential from prospective buyers, then change estate agents.

You must also then have an “advertised price”, which can be the minimum price you want. This method will most likely get you more marketing exposure and also more prospective buyers through the door and will eliminate any need to enter into negotiations, as there are none to be had.

This can sometimes be detrimental to your cause however, as most buyers, unless they get some discount, won’t buy it, even though it is already discounted – it’s a psychological thing and, in these times, a very common one.

The other way to go about pricing is to have your marketed price higher than the bottom line price you can accept, not so much that it lowers your marketing, but enough to have some room to negotiate with a potential buyer.

This method is typical of the UK and Ireland and is also why the first method can sometimes fail when looking for a buyer from aforementioned countries.

Most sellers who have been busy renting over the summer will spend a few weeks repainting and touching up areas that have been worn, replacing a few items here and there to make the property look new again.

The majority of construction in the Algarve is of tremendous quality so normally there is not much major works to be done, just cosmetics, but buyers will look at this instantly and can be put off with signs of shabbiness.  

Purchases made over the next few months will still see a lot of investment buyers snapping up repossessions and distressed sales.

However, they will be matched now by both and retirement home buyers. This has been changing over the last six months, and now that there is less of a fear of the bailout affecting second home purchases in the Algarve, and with the summer’s bumper holiday season, the Algarve is firmly on the map for a safe and secure holiday home purchase.

In summary – probably the best location in Europe for a medium to long term investment with little risk of losing your hard-earned money.

Stephen Anderson is the Managing Director of Infinito Real Lda and has a broad knowledge of the real estate industry in Portugal. He can be contacted on telephone/fax + 351 289 313 325.