6 steps to put your property on the market


Putting your overseas home on the market? Now is the time to start getting ready.  

Here is the guide from The-Viewing on how to prepare to make sure this year generates that all important buyer lead for a speedy, problem-free sale.

THE KEY STATS. You may need to get a surveyor or architect to help here. You need the floor area and land area of your property. Also swimming pool dimensions, altitude of property and orientation (buyers love those south facing houses). It is always advisable to be as precise as possible - you certainly don't want to find yourself mid negotiation explaining that in fact you only have 1.5 hectares of land and not the 2 hectares you had published.

GET ALL YOUR PAPERWORK READY. Have all your ownership documentation on file – and that means scanned and ready to email to a lawyer or prospective buyer – not in a dust covered box with red wax seals from the day you walked out of the notary’s back in the mid 90s! Have you got all your conformity certificates and floor plans at the ready? If you don’t ask a local architect or surveyor to retrieve these from the local planning office. It is also advisable to get a reputable surveyor to review all of this documentation alongside inspecting your property. You would be surprised how many sales can be delayed because that lovely pergola you built a few years back or the bbq area or the extension to the swimming pool paving actually required planning consent. Selling an apartment? Do you have a copy of your condominium agreement scanned and ready?

IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET BUYER: What nationalities have been buying your area over the past 12 to 24 months? Is there a particular nationality keen on your area at the moment? For example, the Russians continue to love the south of France; there have been a number of sales in Bordeaux to Chinese buyers; French and German buyers in Tuscany have been active this year and remember they don’t have any currency exchange issues; the French and Belgium are keen on the Portugal. Ask around property owner friends, restaurant and hotel owners (they often overhear the ‘over dinner’ conversations with these all important snippets of information), ask architects (they may well have been appointed to coordinate works of recently sold properties). Ask local lawyers and notaries. These informal conversations can provide excellent information.

GET THE PRICE RIGHT: So no doubt you have an idea in mind of how much your house is worth or indeed how much you need to make from the sale of the house. It is important to research prices from a range of sources to be sure you are setting it at the right level. Do some internet searches of properties in the area, get an agent or two to inspect the property and provide valuations (be aware they may edge up their valuation in hope they win the instruction), ask a local architect or two for their price guidance. Then, weigh up all the information you have been provided, calculate all taxes and fees you will incur on the sale, and decide what the bottom line price is you need to walk away from the sale. Fees you are likely to incur are legal fees, some registration fees and in some cases also notary fees. Agent fees can be as much as 6% plus vat in some countries - not a small fee so this must be considered in your pricing. Make sure you consider that buyers are likely to negotiate hard so you may need to build in a margin for negotiation. Typically we see 10% to 15% negotiated off asking price but in some cases it can be as much as 30%.

PHOTOS: Fabulous photos sell houses so collate the best images you have on file. Obviously the professional photos taken over the summer will be the best images to use. A selection of photos showing some exterior angles, the swimming pool, the view, then a couple of the reception rooms, one of the kitchen, a couple of bedrooms and one of a bathroom. No need to use photos of every nook and cranny. Wow prospective buyers with a few great images, they’ll then have to get in touch to find out more.

List on The-Viewing: Well of course this should be Step Six. You have everything ready to go, you’ll be saving yourself thousands in commission and you can target the nationalities you know are buying in your area. What could be simpler?