Of course, there are many reasons why one particular Algarve property might sell faster than another but as a property owner, you can improve your chances of a quick sale by adhering to a few basic principles.
Tips on presenting your property
The first rule to apply before engaging a potential buyer is to de-personalise your Algarve property. Buyers needs to imagine themselves living in your house, so remove things like ornaments and family photos before they arrive. A tidy home is easier to show and often gives the buyer the impression that the property is larger than it actually is.
What applies to the main living areas of your property also applies to your kitchen. Remove the clutter and make sure that work surfaces are clean and tidy. Make your bathrooms look like they belong in a five-star hotel; remove unnecessary bottles, toothbrushes etc. and put out fresh, neatly-folded towels prior to showing.
If you are a dog owner, be certain to inspect your Algarve property for dog hair and clear your garden of any animal waste. Your dog should be kept in its kennel when a potential buyer is viewing your home as not everyone is comfortable in a dog's presence, especially if your animal is territorial. The same, of course, applies to cats and cat hair which should be removed from rugs, sofas and duvets etc.
Open all curtains, blinds and shutters when a potential buyer visits your Algarve property; your estate agent will probably do this for you, but if you should to be at home when an interested party arrives it would be good to have your house ready for viewing. Turn lights on in the bathrooms and other dark areas of the house to make these places seem inviting. A potential buyer should feel at ease in your home and not as though they are intruding.
Getting documentation early
Before a buyer can purchase your property, you will need to gather all relevant documentation. Habitation licenses, title deeds, tax receipts, swimming pool licenses, borehole licenses and planning permissions must all be in good order before you begin showing your property.
This is even more important in a buyer's market where there are probably many other similar properties for sale at desirable prices. It is often the case that an interested party will buy someone else's property if they have to wait too long for your documentation to be assembled. Instruct your lawyer to deal with all relevant paperwork before putting your Algarve property up for sale.
A government-licensed estate agent will ask you for up-to-date paperwork as part of any real estate contract that you enter in to. They will also require your fiscal number and a copy of your passport or identity card.
Little changes add up
Small improvements to your Algarve property can also facilitate a quick sale. All windows, doors and shutters should open and close smoothly. Light switches should work and be sure to change any broken light bulbs! Cheer up your garden or patio with flowers, potted plants and shrubs. Cut the grass, pull up unsightly weeds and make sure that your swimming pool is leaf and algae free!
If you follow these tips, you will undoubtedly help yourself and your real estate agent sell your property in the Algarve, Portugal. As in so many walks of life, "first impressions count" so make your property the one that buyers will want to remember for all the right reasons at the end of a busy day's viewing.
This article has been submitted by Hildegard Borkent, a licensed member of the Portuguese real estate association and a specialist in providing Algarve real estate services.She is the owner of Almancil Property - Seven Quintas Lda.
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