Last week we published our post about how to add value to a property in the city, usually an apartment. You can see that post here. We said we would return to this subject and look at houses and villas so today it’s time to do that. And remember as a buyer this is what you can do in many cases after purchase to increase the value of your property immediately without any building costs, projects or licences.
However, bear in mind that everything we said in that post needs to be done in a house too. The below are the extra things that need to be done in order to maximise value in a house. And some of them cost considerably more than the basics in the last post.
Putting Value Into Houses
Everything we said in our last post is more or less applicable to houses but there are also other factors to consider because you as an individual owner are responsible for the first impression of the building when we are talking about a house. There is little you can do about the look of an apartment from outside as the building is covered by the community and if it needs a paint or modernisation you depend on everyone else. This is not the case with a house or villa of course.
Outside Kerb Appeal
The first impression comes from outside the house and the front wall, facade or garden can be a huge disappointment or tempt the potential buyer into the property. It is useful to repaint external walls and even tile or put in brickwork on the outside but as we are talking about things that cost little to make a big difference, fresh paintwork is always a good option.
Cost: Up to 600 Euros for painting an outside wall.
Overgrown paths are not a great look. Take a strimmer to long grass, weeds and overgrown hedges and trees. Paths fringed with white stone or even cheaper wood chip along with tree bases surrounded by the same not only look good but they can hide a multitude of sins in your previous lack of care of the garden.
Cost: Elbow grease and green fingers or a gardener for a couple of days around 200 Euros
You can get strips of fairy lights on terraces and even trees and also solar lights marking the paths as you walk in. This lighting is good for photographing the property in the evenings and as the days get shorter can be used during the winter for when you are showing a house in darker light or even in the total dark.
Cost: A couple of hundred euros at worst because you don’t need to go over the top like in the example below
The Swimming Pool Area
If you have a swimming pool then make sure it is clean, filled with water and dressed, meaning that you have the sun loungers out even if it is the depths of winter and there is little to no chance of you using the pool at that time of year. The difference between an inviting pool and a large hole in the ground filled with brown water, green slime and the odd crocodile cannot be overestimated in the mind of a potential purchaser of your property.
Cost: This could be a biggie. Cleaning and filling a pool might cost around 1000 Euros and setting it up might be a few hundred Euros too. Also add on maintenance costs as you want it to stay blue and not go green like the garden.
General Tidying Of The Plot
The plot is the area that most people will imagine themselves spending the majority of their time as people buying villas in Spain think they will be spending all of their time outside. Therefore you want nooks and crannies where the buyer can imagine themselves sitting, lying in a hammock and pottering about doing gardening. A mess will not help you sell it. Abandoned cars, broken pallets, empty plastic receptacles that used to be filled with pool cleaner or weed killer will not help you to sell the property.
Cost: Your time and maybe a skip or two which can be around 80-150 Euros each.
Fencing can be a big issue. Fencing that is old, rusty and topped with barbed wire doesn’t give a great impression but many times it is what is there and it is difficult to replace it cheaply. It doesn’t give a good impression and it always looks scruffy so sometimes it is best to get rid of areas that look shabby altogether.
Cost: This could be quite costly depending on the current fencing.
The Burnt Chimney and Paellero
Yes, we know you use the paellero every Sunday for your family paella and we know you have sixteen different paella dishes depending on how many guests you have over but your outside Paellero House should still be presentable. Remember that most buyers are looking for an outside kitchen area that is useable. Make sure the place is clean and easy to get in and out of and lose at least a few of the rusting paella dishes!
Cost: A little bit of elbow grease and time or maybe a paella for friends.
If The Driveway Is Overgrown Fix It
Many driveways are overgrown, have weeds popping out from the concrete or tarmac or are cracked or falling to bits. Do whatever you can to make them look better especially if your clients will be coming into the house via the driveway rather than parking at the front. Also if you have a car port, clean it. Too many times we see a car port weighed down with pine needles or with a broken plastic roof that doesn’t look great.
Cost: Depends on the state but it can be as simple as weeding and using weedkiller.
The Outside Walls of the House
If there are rain marks, damp patches, cracks or ivy growing madly over the facade of your house you should do something about it. And as with the walls for the plot a fresh paint wouldn’t go amiss. Also bear in mind that holes for wires, where things were previously hung up and falling down basketball nets on the side of the house don’t give a great impression either. Sort them.
Cost: Painting and fixing the outside of a large house can be costly so anything from 1000-3000 Euros.
If you have awnings that are discoloured, broken or ripped then replace or remove them. Shade is good but if it looks like the awning is ready to collapse onto anyone sheltering under it then it doesn’t serve a purpose.
Cost: If it is just the fabric as opposed to the mechanism then 100-200 Euros for larger awnings and under that for smaller ones.
Get Rid Of All Of The Scary Dolls
We said this in the last post about apartments but the same applies here. All of your collections are not interesting to a potential purchaser so lose the junk. Having a clearout is essential when you want to sell your house, and be brutal! The potential buyer wants to imagine space and light not feel overwhelmed by “stuff”.
Cost: The joy of throwing things out.
Lose The Dogs and Evidence of Dogs
We know, you love your dogs and they get the run of the garden and the house and the car and… and…
However, dogs and evidence of dogs; dog dirt, dug up parts of the garden, hairs in the house on the dog’s bed etc… are not a great look for most people on looking at a house even if they have dogs themselves! And more importantly some people are allergic (Including yours truly) and do not want to be licked, pinned down and “Played With” by your dogs.
Cost: A good clean up around 200 Euros and taking the dogs out while there is a visit on.
Lose Excess Furniture
Over the years furniture tends to mount up in houses as things that may be useful pile up and you finish up with 23 different chairs of varying sizes, conditions and styles. It’s not a good look. Minimise all you can and lose the excess. Have a bonfire or a charity giveaway or just hide everything in the garage or storeroom but never fill the storeroom to overflowing. If you are never going to use something again then give it away.
Cost: Nothing. Just give it away or put it by a bin. It will be taken.
Take New Photos
Once you have done all of the above, take new fresh photos and do it on a day when it is sunny and light. If needs be get a professional photographer in to make the best of what you have but never try to give a false impression using wide angle lenses, fake staging or ridiculous photoshop tricks. If you do this the potential buyer will inevitably be disappointed on seeing the somewhat underwhelming reality.
What you should be doing instead is opening the blinds to increase interior light, use lights where required and make the lighting soft, take a lot of photos so you can use the best, and give a full and correct impression of what the house looks like inside and out. You can also do this with a 360º tour we can arrange for you so the only people who visit will be those who are sure they are interested as they have already seen the property before.
Cost: Around 300-1000 Euros. At the higher price points you might get drone shots too.
Previously we have written about how to put value into apartments and how much a full modernisation will cost. Click on the images below to see those articles along with a few more that might interest you and if you know someone who is selling their property point them towards this post and maybe even put them in touch with us. We have clients looking for properties at all price points and in all areas.
If you are looking to sell your property and want some advice feel free to contact us too. We can help.