Spring and sunshine are upon us on the white isle of Ibiza. If you are putting your house up for sale now is the time to take advantage of the sunny Ibiza weather and start getting your property ready to sell. In this series we will cover the exterior and interior. First up is the exterior.
Since first impressions set the tone how buyers will view the rest of your property start with some cleaning of the exterior. Water pressure washing away the dirt on the house and windows, and if needed give the house a new coat of fresh paint. The key is to make the exterior clean and well maintained so buyers won’t haggle on maintenance costs and are immediately getting a good impression of your home.
If your plants have grown out over the winter months tidy up unruly gardens and leaves. Pressure washing all your paving, decking, outdoor furniture, and re-coat your decking if needed. Remember since Ibiza is primarily a summer vacation home market great exteriors help sell houses. Make sure your pools is clean and everything is working well. Fixing any problems now before contractors get busy close to the summer season will save you a lot of hassle later on.
Make sure your doors and gates are well maintained and the door knobs are polished they are the first things people touch. Adding some pots with planting and a new property name or number close to the door also helps freshen up the look.
It sounds common sense, which it is, but many buyers fail to realise the real importance of this first impression or because of the emotional attachment to the property just don’t see what needs to be done. It is beneficial if you consult someone else who can comment objectively whether that be a very honest friend, a good quality realtor or a professional home stager. They will help you see what you are missing.
The answer to whether or not you should fix up your home or sell it as is depends on the house itself so as for ease of understanding we are addressing all scenarios.
Leave the house as is if…..
Your house is in complete disrepair. Think, holes in the wall, a VERY dated decor, possibly even okupas (squatters) have lived in this house. It could be major structural changes that need to be done. Basically a large cash injection would be needed to make this house LIVEABLE. And you don’t have the cash or you just want to get rid of it quickly. If this is the case your best selling tool is price. It will be contractors and house flippers who are interested in this one so price low and aim for multiple bidders.
Note: There is one exception to the rule in Ibiza. The Finca. It seems that the dream of many is to own an original finca here, and there are many companies set up for their renovation. If you happen to own one and want to sell you have more options and should start letting these companies know that you are thinking of selling.
The fixer upper house….
If your house has good bones but is dated there are options to renovate, do cosmetic updates or leave as is.
Generally the buyers who look for ‘fixer upers’ cannot afford their ideal house and are therefore searching for something which they can afford but can make cosmetic changes to. The thing is with this type of buyer is that if the house is worth 100K and needs 10K of changes, these buyers will most likely not offer 90K and spend the 10K to paint the house because otherwise they could buy a house at 100K already painted and avoid all the hassle. Instead they are more likely to want to pay 75K or even less!
Smart sellers invest in updates wisely. It can range from the small cosmetic updates to bring the house into style to some more intensive updates. The key is to make sure that investments will gain a return in terms of sales value. By constantly looking at what is on the market that is similar to your property you can start to see the best areas to invest in updates.
It could be that houses similar to yours but with a better looking pool area are listing for 100K more. Since pools are so important for holiday homes in Ibiza, the cost of adding a deck could dramatically increase your properties value. Or it doesn’t even need to be that complex, simply cleaning up the existing tiles and planting and adding some new deck chairs could be all that the space needed to look like new.
As home stagers any suggestions we make have already taken this, as well as buyers tastes, into consideration. Our goal is to suggest only the changes where you will get maximum return.
When you are preparing your holiday home for the new summer season there are some tweaks that will make all the difference in getting you bookingsA very important question that a lot of sellers ask is “why is my villa not selling?” It can be a number of different things that turn buyers off. Whether you own a villa in the centre of Ibiza Island, or an apartment in Botafoc or Den Bossa we have the top 5 ways that your property will be showing at its best.
1) Clean and Comfortable: One of the best ways to create consistent bookings year on year is by exceeding your visitors expectations with a very clean and well maintained property. A property with a slightly dirty pool, bathroom, sheets or kitchen immediately put people off, and leaves you with a bunch of complaints. Just as does appliances not working. Take care of your painting, and maintenance, and cleaning ahead of time. Your visitors may not always thank you for it in words, but later on your will see it in your bookings.
2) Decorate your holiday home for your tenants: One of the key things that visitors look for in their holiday rentals is a place where they feel comfortable. Contemporary colours and a space that is visually clean and comfortable are important to visitors, especially those with families. It doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. In fact rental staging specialises only doing what will really make a difference. Bathrooms have been transformed simply with new plush towels, some well chosen paint and some art.
3) Well presented photos: Your photos are one of the key selling tools of your vacation rental so it makes sense ensure they are good. Your holiday rental needs to look light, bright, and inviting in the photos, and the photos need to be of a high quality. When staging rentals for the photos we use a nice wide angle lens to capture the space, pulling back all the curtains for light and stage the spaces to show how dinner at sunset might look so that guests see your photos and are immediately living the holiday in their minds.
4) Add a good description: When describing your holiday home be it on your own website or that of a holiday rental company, be sure to include all the important factors. List the types of appliances your property has, does it include air conditioning, Is there a TV or internet access? Do you have extra pull out beds or provide cleaning throughout their stay? Even go so far as to describe the local area, the beaches, restaurants, is it a family type area, or is your property close to the clubs, and if so how far. A well written description will help build the feeling of what it is like to stay in your property, and the key to getting bookings is to get people imagining how wonderful that holiday will be if they choose your property.
5) Go above and beyond: Simple gestures like welcome baskets with local delicacies, or a personally written note with ideas on where they might love to go makes a big difference in peoples stay and will be something they never forget. In Ibiza, if you speak spanish it can also be great to help them with bookings for rental cars, and club tickets. Anything you can help them with will go a long way to making a lasting impression and speaking highly about staying in your vacation rental.
A very important question that a lot of sellers ask is “why is my villa not selling?” It can be a number of different things that turn buyers off, but one of the key things is Maintenance. Here’s why.
There are many houses out there that aren’t properly maintained and this seriously affects prospects wanting to buy. Even if it only needs a coat of paint your buyers will be seeing hassle and $$ reductions on the buying price.
Besides that, you are cutting down the number of potential buyers by 90% as studies show only 10% of buyers have the imagination to envision a properties potential.
Take this property for example in Cala Vadella: When I first visited, this property it looked like the walls were rotting and it had been sitting on the market for years not selling. I advised a coat of paint in a bright white for a clean fresh look, the addition of light fittings as the property had lots of light bulbs on wires hanging out of the walls, weeding of the gardens, and some strategic planting to make it feel less bare. Once the maintenance was completed the property the sold to the first buyer who viewed the property.
If you want buyers to fall in love with your property and just have to have it remove any distractions of maintenance by taking care of them first yourself. If the property looks well maintained it gives buyers the impression that all the things they can’t see like electrical and construction too are in good order putting them at ease.
The opposite is also true if you haven’t taken care of the painting, replacing non-working lights, or weeded the garden. Buyers then think everything in that house is badly maintained! This either turns them off with the idea it is a bad investment, or people can take advantage of it and use the work to be done as a bargaining chip to further beat down the selling price, generally by much more than the cost of it to you, if you did the maintenance in the first place.
If you are selling your villa, it is needing some maintenance, and it is just not getting the interest you had hoped for. Take care of the maintenance first and re-shoot your photos. It will save you a lot more money in the long run.