Be creative, network and have realistic expectations. Intention without action is useless.
Some of this information will be common sense to you. If you are here on Mallorca, then you are probably a sophisticated buyer no matter what your price point. That means that selling has been part of your life experience. In this article, we offer tips come from years of experience here on the island. While we have all fallen in love with the island's magical beauty and tranquility, life changes require disposition of assets.
With the near-certain economic decline for many with COVID-19, properties that were purchased as second-homes and investment properties will be listed for sale. Many owners will try to rent to cover expenses. When that time comes to sell, we hope this article is helpful.
Make Your Property Stand Out #
Here are our five tried and true tips to make sure your property stands out from its competition even in an over-saturated or off-season market. Prepare yourself! None of these recommendations are for the casual, uncommitted seller.
- Clear the clutter. Most people don’t have the vision to see past things like over-sized furniture and your personal knick knacks.
- Fix everything. Inspections aren’t just due diligence—they are re-negotiation leverage!
- Get the pricing right. People say even a dog' hut can fetch a horrendous price anywhere in Mallorca? Better stay on the realistic side.
- Create the Ambience. A buyer makes the decision to buy in the first 60 seconds of seeing a property. Make your home a place where people don’t want to leave and must buy.
- Put on your networking personality. Make sure word gets round you want to sell. Or, chances are you won't. Share on social media. Ask your friends to share your listing.
Clear the Clutter #
Remove personal items like photos or any highly valuable items since people want to envision their new lives in their home—not yours. Clean out the spice rack and other food items in the pantry that will attract moths, cockroaches and ants. No spider webs should be seen.
Take unwanted clothes and beach gear to a second-hand store or donate them to a local Fundació Deixalles This is a great way to help others and unload items that no longer serve you. When we sold our last home in Andratx, we gave a third of the items to friends and neighbors, took a third to Deixalles in Son Bugadelles and put a third in storage until we found our next home.
Get creative and do this before the photographer comes to capture the best vision of your home for the online ads. Nothing can be more off-putting for an online viewer than to see curtains hanging off-center or having countertops filled with clutter. Take as much care with areas outside as you do with your closets.
Fix Everything (or disclose what needs work) #
Inspections aren’t just due diligence—they are re-negotiation leverage, especially in a buyer’s market like Mallorca where nice second-homes are snapped up while the ones needing work tend not to be priced lower as an incentive for the buyer to take time after the sale to get the place in shape. COVID19 only makes this point more real.
Fixing everything before you list your property may sound like a daunting task. But, to every reasonable extent possible, repair anything that’s broken. Pay special attention to the obvious eye-catching places.
Make a list of where you have the following
- rotting wood or peeling paint on shutters
- stains on the floors and carpets
- broken tiles
- running toilets
- dripping faucets covered in calc and mineral deposits
- broken lights or hanging fixtures with no shade
- cracked window panes
- electrical switches to nowhere
- any leaks that show water damage from the roof
And now get that handyman going!
Price is Key #
If you have chosen a strong real estate agent then trust them to guide you to the appropriate price. No matter how many times I hear about price per square meter for valuing properties, only banks use that in their appraisals. How many times have you heard a person looking for a home, I have €3,000 m2 to spend on my new apartment so I will only look at 80 m2 places because that is my budget. I assure you that if someone has €240,000 to spend, the person will want the place that makes them feel like it's worth it.
The price may not be tied to square meter cost but to the price of properties in your village. This is not to say that you shouldn’t participate in the price decision. However, Mallorca is still a buyer’s market. Choose a price that will get motivated buyers to make the special trip to your property. If you and your agent can’t get comfortable with a number that works for you, perhaps you should sit tight and sell at a later time.
Helpful Hint: Don't let the price you paid for the property factor into the selling price.
Create the Ambience #
Make your home a place where people don’t want to leave and must buy.
As intrusive to your life as it is when people view your property, you have one shot at making an impression. Take a play from the hospitality industry and make the showing experiential by stimulating all of the senses during a visit from potential buyers. Walk up to every entry (including back gates) to your home and notice what you are seeing, hearing, hearing and smelling.
• Your home should be clean, no dirty fingerprints on doors or hair (human or otherwise) left behind for potential buyers to see.
• Stage with fresh flowers, fresh paint, fluffed pillows, thoughtful décor. Overall, your home must be visually appealing.
• Turn on the music if you have surround sound. You are selling through an appeal to people's senses so make the music mellow.
• Turn on all the lights, open the shutters. Light the fireplace if showing in the winter and if there is no downdraft.
For added bonus - -
- Add an infuser of lavender, vanilla or apple cinnamon. These scents help the atmosphere and to clear any musty smells. Nothing is worse than a smoking smell except for the smell of mildew or septic.
The small touches show that you care about your home and are often good indicators of how well you have kept it in the less visible areas. This is harder to do if you have rented your flat or have friends over for holiday.
Want help? #
If you want help staging your property, let us connect you to a great decorator who will help you achieve your goals at an affordable price. Just send us an email at #helpindecorating. Just remember: the goal is to sell your home.
Networking is Key #
If the market is slow in your area, you may have to lower your price and be prepared to do everything within your power to accommodate potential buyers. Sales in Santa Catalina and Calatrava areas of Palma skew the market and should be viewed separately from other parts of the island, even Andratx and Calvia. Property types are different and square meter prices are higher in Palma than other places.
One Last Note on Price
Buyers are more educated than ever these days. If you are going to ask for a premium over what the local square foot average is priced at, your house better be perfect. And remember, because of online searches plus other marketing avenues, keeping the same price with every advertisement whether online or word of mouth in your village is crucial. Countless times, I’ve seen people post one price with one agency and use a different price with another. Same with online listing services.
If you don’t hold the value constant, the buyer will set the price at your lowest offer. Then you are effectively negotiating against yourself.
By Memphis Holland
11 May, 2020