You know the value of your home, after all, those happy memories must count for something, but when it comes to selling your home you are trying to make it appeal to people with no emotional attachment to it. Providing your home has no major structural problems clinching that sale can come down to simple aesthetics.
With so much new build going up all the time along the Costa del Sol; and major builders, being able to offer all sorts of incentives to buyers, its getting more and more difficult for the private seller to find a market. Although, having said, its not everyone who wants a brand new property (with its associated teething problems) buyers of resale or older properties are out there; you just have to work a little harder to hook them.
So where do you start? Have a really good house tidy; its true that people are going to be looking at the house and not your possessions, but a mess does register. You dont want your perspective buyers not being able to open a cupboard door because the sheer weight of toys is keeping it shut. If a similar house to yours is for sale at a similar price, but that house is owned by an elderly couple with no pets or grandchildren, you can almost guarantee that that house will sell before your with its paraphernalia of every day living. It can be hard for buyers to imagine their own possessions in a new setting, if they cant see the floor for clutter, if possible have a good clearing session and throw away anything you no longer need or want.
By having less furniture in a room you can make the room appear bigger then it actually is, this is a good tip for the bedrooms; if you dont use a double bed in any of the bedrooms, change it for a single, this will make the room look much bigger.
Weather permitting, open up as many windows as possible when potential buyers visit, not only does this eliminate any smells from the house (pets and smoking) but it gives a feeling of space and airiness.
Little touches can brighten up a tired looking room; for instance, freshly painting a feature wall will instantly and cheaply freshen up the whole room; so to, will changing cupboard door handles. Other small things you can do that make a huge difference include washing and rehanging the curtains, you will be amazed how much brighter the room looks, putting matching towels in the bathroom, regrouting the tiles in the kitchen and bathroom, putting down a bright new rug, hanging a new shower curtain and giving the cooker a really good scrub.
Its an old trick, but it still works, have some bread baking or coffee perculating people associate homely smells with a homely environment, by the same token placing vases of fresh scented flowers or plants around the house adds a nice ambience. Have a heater going if the weather is cool, this not only shows that the heating works, it makes the house cozy and inviting, and feelings sell a house, conversely have windows open on a nice day or turn on the air conditioning if it is hot. Let people feel comfortable in your home regardless of outside conditions. Have some lights on in the house to keep it nice and cheery. For evening viewings, soft corner lighting in formal rooms is welcoming.
Common sense should tell you to make sure the beds are made and no washing up is left in the sink or anything strong smelling in the bin; if you have a pet dog or cat try to make provisions for them to be absent during inspections, not everybody is an animal lover and some people are afraid of dogs. Remove any valuables, unfortunately things have been stolen during house inspections, so you dont want to temp fate, its also been suggested, that more valuable possessions make buyers less inclined to pay you the asking price as they dont need it.
The outside of the house is the first thing potential buyers see, make sure the front path is swept clean and any weeds pulled up, if you have a lawn, try to keep it as short as possible, unkempt grass is an eyesore as well as suggesting a sloppy attitude to the rest of the property. A fresh coat of paint to the front of the house may also be a quick and effective way of giving that all important first impression. Clean windows really spruce up the appearance of a house and why you are at it give the frames a good clean or a coat of paint.
Finally, what you want to avoid is running around at the last minute stuffing things under cushions, so make sure the house is kept as tidy as possible all the time and try to avoid the habit of squirreling things away, after all you will only have to take it all with you when you do finally sell.