The secrets of successful property selling

news: The secrets of successful property selling

Selling a house in Portugal can be a strange experience. Some houses are snapped up straight away, others languish on estate agent’s books for months, or even years. If you want a speedy sale it’s worth taking a good long look at your home and ensuring that it is as appealing as possible to potential purchasers. Here are some tips for making your home a hot property.

Disconnect your emotions

When you talk to estate agents, you will often find that if you are buying real estate, they will refer to your purchase as a ‘home’. Yet if you are selling property, they will often refer to it as a house. There is a reason for this. Buying real estate is often an emotional decision, but when selling real estate you need to remove emotion from the equation.

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.

So the first step in getting your home ready to sell is to ‘de-personalise’ it. If there is a new development with a show house near your home, make sure you visit it. You’re almost guaranteed to find some wonderfully, but sparsely, furnished homes that anyone could live in – with the emphasis on anyone. There may be personality – but no person.

The reason you want to make your home “anonymous” is because you want buyers to view it as their potential home. When a potential homebuyer sees your family photos hanging on the wall, it puts your own brand on the home and momentarily shatters their illusions about living in the house themselves. Put away family photos, sports trophies, collectible items, knick-knacks, and souvenirs and consider throwing some stuff away.

This is a hard thing for most people to do because they are emotionally attached to everything in the house. After years of living in the same home, clutter collects in such a way that may not be evident to the homeowner. However, it does affect the way buyers see your home, even if you don’t realise it.

Clutter collects on shelves, counter tops, drawers, closets, garages, attics and basements. You want as much open, clear space as possible, so every extra little thing needs to be cleared away.

Take a step back and pretend you are a buyer. Let a friend help point out areas of clutter, as long as you can accept their views without getting defensive.

Kitchen clutter

The kitchen is a good place to start removing clutter. First, take everything off the counters – even the toaster. Put it in a cupboard and take it out when you use it. Find a place where you can store everything in cupboards and drawers. Of course, you may notice that you do not have cupboard space to put everything. Clean them out and give all those dishes, pots and pans that you never use to charity. You see, homebuyers will open all your cupboards and drawers, especially in the kitchen. They want to be sure there is enough room for their ‘stuff’. If your kitchen looks jammed full, it sends a negative message to the buyer and does not promote an image of plentiful storage space.

It’s even worthwhile considering your food. If you have a large amount of food crammed onto the shelves or in the pantry, begin using them – especially canned goods. These are heavy, so you don’t want to be lugging them to a new house, anyway – or paying a mover to do so. Let what you have on the shelves determine your menus and use up as much as you can. Beneath the sink is very critical, too. Make sure the area beneath the sink is as empty as possible, removing all extra cleaning supplies. You should scrub the area down as well, and determine if there are any tell-tale signs of water leaks that may cause a homebuyer to hesitate about buying your home.

Cupboard clutter

Cupboards are great for accumulating clutter, though you may not think of it as such – we are talking about extra clothes and shoes – things you rarely wear but cannot bear to be without. Do without these items for a couple of months by putting them in a box, because these items can make your closets look crammed full.

Furniture clutter

Many people have too much furniture in certain rooms – not too much for your own personal living needs – but too much to give the illusion of space that a homebuyer would like to see.

Storage area clutter

Basements, garages, attics, and sheds accumulate not only clutter, but junk. These areas should be as empty as possible so that buyers can imagine what they would do with the space. Remove anything that is not essential and get rid of your clutter!

• Next month – easy decorating tips sell your house