With economic comfidence returning to many European countries we are forecasting that sales of French houses to international buyers will rise substantially in 2014. So if you are thinking of putting your house on the market here are a dozen tips to help you sell:
1. Price it sensibly – the market is coming back but buyers are still looking for a bargain. Your house needs to stand out on your agents website & on the property portals and you really should put your personal involvement to one side and listen to your agent.
2. Make sure that your agent takes great photos – if you can persuade them to make a virtual tour of your property so that international buyers can get a real feel for your home then all the better.
3. First impressions count – the first 30 seconds are vital. Take a look at your property through the eyes of a stranger and tidy your garden/entrance and add a splash of colour.
4. Don’t just tidy but clean too – we’ve all seen the TV experts talking about de-cluttering your house but go one step further and make sure it’s clean too. “One careful owner” works for houses too!
5. Your house should smell nice – lucky you if you have time to bake bread & put on a fresh pot of coffee but even if you don’t then make sure there are no noxious odours and add a few scented “plug ins” in discreet locations. Don’t go over the top though!
6. You might love your cat/dog but not everyone will – animals make a mess, particularly around their food bowls and litter trays. Clean it up and try and make your favourite pet scarce.
7. Kitchens are important – there’s no need to show dirty crockery in the sink and the remains of last night’s “Coq au Vin”, no matter how delightful. Keep your kitchen in pristine condition so that it feels welcoming.
8. Bathrooms are too – OK, it’s not going to be the most important room in the house but dirty towels on the floor or toilets that need flushing can undo a lot of hard work that has gone on before.
9. Bedrooms – as a minimum you should make the beds and tidy up. If your bedroom has a great view of the countryside then make sure visitors get to see it fully.
10. Add some colour – there’s a good reason that canny property developers fill their show homes with fresh flowers. They create a warm & friendly feel so if you have a chance the get in the garden and cut a few fresh flowers.
11. Fix all the little “niggly issues” before you put the house on the market – don’t give buyers the opportunity to beat you down on price because of dripping gutters, leaking taps or peeling wallpaper.
12. Let your agent do their job – OK they may not know every nook & cranny as well as you do but they will know their buyers and they will be able to focus on their “hot buttons”.