Selling Costa Blanca property: Preparation
Aim to present an Airy, Bright, Spacious and Well Kept Property
A villa or apartment presented in this way quickly attracts a buyer and stands a good chance of arriving on their short list. First impressions are very important as foreign buyers are often on a brief Costa Blanca visit and have to cover a lot of ground in a few days.
How do I prepare my property?
A well kept Mediterranean garden can be very attractive so trim hedges, clear paths, and if the garden is short of colour, maybe add some potted plants at entrances or on window ledges. These give a very Mediterranean feel and help your sale.
Clear away your home's garden and pool equipment, toys and any bric a brac and put it in a basement or store. The same goes for dog's bowls and left over building materials that can be neatly stacked in a garage or beside a wall.
Make sure that your property's street gate opens correctly without catching or scraping and that the bell works. These are small repairs that may have been delayed, but now is the time to do them. If any paint is flaking or missing on fencing or gates touch it up or re-do it. Bright Spanish ironwork gates and lamps are a feature worth showing on your home.
The entrance door to a property is very important. It needs to have paint or varnish in good condition, and have handles and locks that work easily. Entrance decoration will also help here, using, again, for example, Spanish lamps and potted plants if there is room.
Anything that is visibly broken like perhaps shutters or step tiles, needs to be repaired or replaced. If it isn't, the buyer will assume that the rest of your home is not in good condition.
Interior: The words here are spacious, bright and clean.
Spacious: Any living space can be made more attractive by removing clutter. There may be useful extra cabinets, sideboards and wardrobes etc. but they don't make a living-room, bedroom or terrace look any better. If the priority is to sell the house, then these items have to be sold or removed to a garage or rented storage. The result is an attractive living space that is nearer the way the architect planned it.
Bright: Traditional Spanish villas often feature dark wood beams, shutters and doors. This isn't a problem as these are desirable features in a property, especially when they combine, as they often do, with a traditional stone fireplace. However, the varnish or polish needs to be bright to give an antique but well kept appearance. All the shutters and blinds need to be opened and potted flowering plants can be especially effective here giving a homely splash of colour.
If the interior hasn't been painted recently, now is the time to do it. For a relatively small cost the villa will be freshened up and look "like new". In kitchens and bathrooms, things tend to collect on tops. It's best to clear most of them and neatly store away the various items to leave clear surfaces. Put fresh towels and soap in the bathroom. Fix dripping taps with new washers and oil squeaking hinges.
Clean and Quiet: Barking dogs, children running around and switched on televisions don't help to sell property. Typical buyers are likely to be distracted, so it's best for the sale to switch off the T.V. and lodge the children and animals with a friend for a short while until the visit is over.
A thorough clean is essential, paying attention to the kitchen and bathroom. If the chrome on the appliances and bathroom fittings shines, and all the windows and mirrors are bright and clear, the property will inevitably look better. It is particularly important to remove any grease stains in the kitchen but also in more unfamiliar places like light switches and door handles.
Renovation Prior to Selling: Everyone has heard stories about professional "fixer uppers", however the benefits of "fixing up" are not so clear if the aim is to profit from the renovation. On 1970's Costa Blanca properties it is best to repair or replace anything that is broken such as shutters, tiles or kitchen work surfaces, but it usually isn't worth doing more apart from painting and tidying. The lower price will be a selling point and the new owners will probably want to do a complete renovation to their own taste anyway.
1980's villas can benefit from renovation on kitchens and bathrooms, especially if they are otherwise well presented with a pool and perhaps double glazing.
On newer properties, renovation/alterations may be problematic since buyer preferences are not so clear.