How to increase the saleability of your property

By : Nick Marr

You’re thinking of selling your European property, and why not? Thanks to the recent results of the EU referendum, which heralded the fall of the pound sterling against other currencies, it has become a seller’s market, enabling homeowners to release equity back into the UK, exchange for something a little bigger, or to undertake a new project entirely. If you’re facing the task of putting your property up for sale, it’s important to remember that the buyer’s market isn’t so strong, and that it may take a little persuading for people to part with their cash. How can you make your property as attractive as it can possibly be to buyers?

Create the right first impression

First impressions are everything; you never get a second chance to make a first impression, after all. It’s essential that you cover all bases if you’d like to sell your property, including having a good tidy up and declutter, retouching paintwork and paying attention to threadbare rugs and carpets, and capturing your home in the best possible light – literally. Staging and photography are everything when it comes to property sales, and can attract interest before any buyers have had a chance to walk through your front door. Now is also a good time to have a friend or family member walk through your property, if possible, and give you their honest opinion of the space. Are there too many personal photographs and belongings cluttering sides? Have you used storage effectively to ensure that buyers can visualise their own belongings in each room? An objective opinion will help you to see your property in a new way that will appeal to buyers.

Light and bright

Light is essential when it comes to selling a property – particularly if that’s a home overseas. After all, making the most of the property’s best assets, including its sunny location, will give you an easier ride when it comes to selling up. Consider the ways you can accentuate the natural lighting that enters your property, including keeping windows free from dulling drapes, repainting walls in neutral shades, and using mirrors and cleverly placed light fittings to create the illusion of space and warmth. You may also wish to think about installing decorative wooden shutters in order to control the flow of light that enters your home, and to accentuate the theme of your home; not only are shutters beautifully vintage and rustic, but they can also let light in, and keep it out, in a manner that’s far more natural than curtains. Shutters can also help to maintain a property’s temperature, keeping it warm in the winter and aired during the summer – a bonus for prospective buyers.

Consider small upgrades

While it may not be worth completely renovating your property prior to selling, it does make sense to upgrade certain rooms, particularly the kitchen and bathroom, where value can be added and deals sealed. If your bathroom suite is perfectly adequate, consider sprucing the space with a new shower cubicle or curtain, new taps or cabinet fronts, and better storage solutions that make the most of the room. You may also wish to give the bathroom floor a little attention, or paint the walls in more neutral shades; your bathroom must be a room that prospective buyers can see themselves using straight away. Apply the same rules to your kitchen. Are the units and appliances functional and clean? Give your kitchen a deep clean if not, and replace anything that lets your kitchen down; would it benefit from a lick of paint, matching appliances, or a new floor? Consider all fixtures and fittings and what they say about your property. Again, this must be a room that the new owners can use straight away.

Pay attention to the exterior

The appearance of your property on the outside is just as important as the onus you place upon interior design; prospective buyers won’t consider setting foot inside if the exterior of your property is unappealing, after all. Before placing your house on the market, pay close attention to the land that surrounds it, creating a low-maintenance lawn area, tidying shrubs and borders, pressure-washing patios and replacing gravel, and adding flowers to borders and decorative pots in order to add a little colour and life to your garden. You will also need to examine your property’s external fixtures and fittings, including window and door frames, skylights, guttering and drains, brickwork, and roof tiles, as well as seemingly insignificant details such as doorknobs and metalwork. Replace what you can within budget, and place everything else under a strict routine of cleaning or painting; every detail counts when it comes to selling a property.

From painting external fixtures and replacing interior fittings, to tidying up and refreshing paint, attention to detail is everything if you have any hopes of selling your European property quickly and for the price you’re after; buyers may be put off if they don’t feel they could move into a property right away. Of course, there are other ways that you can increase the saleability of your property, including the time of year you choose to list it, the agent you select to represent your sale and handle prospective clients, and, of course, the price you set; any of these factors can vastly alter the outcome of a sale, so it’s important to take the matter of selling up seriously right from the start.