In this edition of Window on Phuket, we will discuss what makes a villa or luxury condo instantly attractive to buyers, while other properties can linger on the market unsold.
It is surprising how many owners don’t gras the fact that their villa is competing with every other comparably priced villa on the island.
And nearly every buyer only reaches a decision after hands-on visits to a number of properties with a real estate agent. It may require days or weeks of viewings, but ultimately the buyer will make their decision based on value for money, unique selling points, and/or a personal attraction toward a specific property.
For motivated owners looking to sell, here are some tips which should help you make your villa stand out to prospective buyers.
The three most important factors to consider are Price, Exposure and Agent commission.
Price may sound obvious, but most buyers compare apples with apples. Without one or more extremely unique features, your price must be within the range of similar properties in the same area. If you are overpricing your villa it will be harder to sell.
Exposure is also important because the Phuket property market is comparatively new, only becoming a truly world-wide tourist destination and real estate market within the last 30 years. Finding an agent who has strong relationships with other major agencies is a must if you really want your villa to be marketed to its full potential.
We can picture a few eyes rolling when commissions are mentioned, but sellers must understand the effort and cost required to attract even initial enquiries. The industry is extremely competitive, and closing a single sale can be time consuming. Any real estate agent will tell you they see ten time wasters – “tyre kickers” – who are driven around the island free of charge for days for every one legitimately interested buyer. Sellers who understand this dynamic offer competitive commissions.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at what you can do to make your luxury condo or villa more attractive to potential buyers.
With properties, as with people, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Buyers require instantaneous reinforcement. By creating a welcoming ambience, buyers can make up their mind as soon as they walk into a property that “feels right”.
Seeing your property through the eyes of a realistic and sophisticated buyer will pay off tenfold, so meticulous attention to detail is a must.
Let’s start with the interior. The subtlest of changes can make your property more attractive to buyers, and the necessary renovations do not have to be extensive or costly.
In our experience, most buyers are looking for a modern contemporary style. Dark wood was very popular two decades ago, but doesn’t hold the same appeal with the current generation of buyers. Whitewashing a dark wooden vaulted ceiling is very inexpensive and can transform the whole room. White ceilings enhance the perceived size of the room, create amazing shifts in lighting, and allow for more noticeable furniture tones and colours.
The same applies to kitchens. Depending on the size, it is not expensive to radically change the appearance of a kitchen. Nearly every woman (and even many men) love to work in a nice kitchen.
Bathrooms also make a difference, and something as simple as new tiles can transform a bathroom at very reasonable cost.
The first things your viewers will see when they arrive are the driveway and exterior walls. For villa owners, a simple high-pressure water cleaning will rejuvenate your paths, driveway and any stone walls.
The garden can be a major selling point for villas, and you don’t have to be a botanist to make some simple yet significant changes here. Garden pots, water features, shrubs, trees and flowers make a huge difference. Attractive statues (inside or outside the house) also add to a property’s appeal.
Water features are easy and cheap. You can use water hyacinths, water lettuce – or simple duck weed if you are on a tight budget. For height, lotus plants, papyrus and thalias are perfect.Make sure you put a few guppies in the water. Guppies not only eat mosquitoes, but they don’t lay eggs (they’re live-bearing) and breed quickly.
For flower beds, Japanese daisies are easy to grow. They bloom magnificently each day before folding up at night. You can even use heliconia and bird of paradise to give your garden a truly tropical look. Don’t forget bamboo, lady palms, or giant taros (often called elephant ears) to cover unsightly fences, and the omnipresent bougainvillea always adds a splash of colour.
If you have a 5G tower or electricity pylon next door, or a condo spoiling a picturesque sea view, it’s essential to address this.
In fact, a spoiled or unsightly view is usually the main difference between a fast sale and waiting forever to dispose of your property. We’ve already mentioned bamboo and lady palms, but it may be worth investing in other taller trees like red palm, and frangipani. Ravenala (travellers palm) look superb in any garden. Some of these can be regularly trimmed, similar to caring for a bonsai tree, to make them the perfect height. If you need something bigger, then the magnificent royal poinciana (flame of the forest) also add incredible scarlet tones to any landscape.
If you already have mature trees, decorate them with ferns, orchids, dischidia or hanging moss. Birds nest ferns look stunning clinging to the trunk of a tree.
An attractive garden is not decisive for every buyer, but a neglected garden may put off some prospects. And a garden which fails to hide utility poles or unsightly views will almost certainly be a major reason your villa is not selling.
If you address all of the above, then you’re certain to increase the chances of a successful sale.
This article is from the Thai Residential Phuket Property Guide.
To download the 2019/2020 Guide visit ThaiResidential.com