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5 Handy Hints in Preparing a Residential Property for Sale

BVI Sotheby's International Realty

BVI Sotheby's International Realty

BVI Sotheby’s International Realty is the global authority for property sales and rentals in the British Virgin Islands. Providing property valuation and management, the company specialises in residential sales, vacation villa rentals, commercial property, including private islands, marinas, hotels and resorts.

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BVI HomeSense – 5 Handy Hints in Preparing a Residential Property for Sale

Photography by Rainbow Visions BVI

In the BVI HomeSense column, we address concerns that apply to buying and selling real estate and to property ownership.

In this month’s article, we will address preparation involved in sale of a residential property. This strategy has become recognised as a very important part of the sale process and there are numerous popular television programmes which address this topic.

The ultimate goal is to make your property attractive for the specific requirements of the potential buyer, thereby facilitating a successful sale. Here are some insider-pointers that will make that goal a reality:

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(1) First Impressions!

The first consideration in preparing a property for sale is ‘curb appeal’ – when approaching a property, how does the exterior look? Is there debris in the yard? Is the landscaping overgrown? Does the doorway and front of the building need a coat of paint?


Sometimes the cost of improving a property is minimal and just requires some effort. When arriving at a property, a potential buyer develops a first impression, so let it be a positive one. A property with attractive curb appeal will definitely assist in facilitating a sale because it immediately instils confidence of the interior’s appearance in the potential buyer’s mind.


(2) Spring Clean!

The next step is to create an interior that matches the allure of the exterior. There are many aspects to this, ranging from paint colours to furniture positioning. Review your home and begin with the less costly adjustments. To start the process, eradicate clutter – throw away items that are unnecessary. If you are unable to part with certain objects, store them – preferably off premises. Clear surfaces and counters in all rooms, especially in places where clutter accumulates easily such as the kitchen, family room, bathrooms and closets.

Clutter makes a home appear smaller and can be a primary deterrent to a potential sale as many buyers cannot visualise the residence properly when items from the previous owner are in the way. A buyer should be able to envision themselves in the home, so depersonalise the residence as much as possible while still giving the home island character and charm.


(3) Colour is Everything!

Take a look at the interior and exterior paint colours. Are any of the walls painted an overly dark or vibrant colour? Most buyers prefer to see neutral colours such as pastels with off-white tones. Occasionally, dark or vibrant colours give depth to a room, but if you are not sure, get a professional opinion from a trained interior designer as this seemingly simple visual element can change everything, from the appearance of the size of the room to altering the buyer’s decision.


(4) Architectural Integrity

It is wise to check for structural defects and if necessary, to get professional guidance. In the tropics, some structural defects that often need to be addressed are adequate hurricane clips, rusty bolts and brackets, mould and mildew, peeling paint, leaking cisterns, grass in gutters, drainage issues, and rotting wood, especially on decks and siding. If you want the best price for your home, rectifying and repairing these issues is a must. Every potential buyer should leave the home with a feeling of security and safety.


(5) The Final Performance

Once the above issues are addressed, the final step is to stage the property.

Think of staging as preparing your property for a photo-shoot. Furniture may need to be arranged in a specific way and sometimes accents such as plants, pillows and vases with flowers are added for balance. Peruse interior design magazines for some ideas. You may need to hire a professional to help with this aspect as some agents do not like to give their input for fear of offending their clients. Maritha Keil of BVI Sotheby’s attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Marketing (FIDM) in Los Angeles for architecture and interior design before coming to the BVI and is willing to give sellers’ advice free, when taking a listing.

Once these changes have been made, have a thorough look at your home from an objective standpoint. View it as a potential buyer to see if there is anything else that would help with the presentation of the home.

Addressing some of the issues and questions in the above paragraphs should guide you on the correct path to getting your home sufficiently ready for sale – looking forward to your input on this column and hoping to address your BVI HomeSense interests.

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