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Go west young man ...

Dear Heather,

I have a property in the west of the Island that I wish to sell, do you have any advice on how to get the best price?

Western Parishes

Dear Western Parishes,

Recent information in the press indicated that there were bargains to be had in the western parishes, and this was certainly true of 2014. In the last 12 months only seven sales have taken place in Sandys. We have seen three-bedroom, two-bathroom condominiums on the market for under $300,000, and cottages from about $500,000 and upwards.

However, we are seeing a renewed interest in the western end of the island. Undoubtedly in the next two to three years there is going to be a lot of activity in Dockyard, as we build, prepare, plan and improve our Island with our sailing visitors in mind. Some of the Island’s best beaches are in the west, likewise golf courses, restaurants, hotels and walks, so while historically prices have been lower, the west has a lot to offer.

In order to get top dollar for your property it must be in good shape, so now is a good time to consider any maintenance projects that may have been temporarily put on hold.

It has been proven that the following “exterior fixes” cost very little and can dramatically improve the appearance of your home.

Go outside of your house right now and take a few pictures with your phone or camera. Take pictures of the good the bad and the ugly. We tend to overlook things when we see things every day. Print off the pictures (full size in colour), get a red pen and circle everything that needs to be removed, tidied, painted or cleaned.

This could include:

• Hiring a truck to clear away debris or unwanted items and get them disposed of properly.

• Mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, weeding the gardens and maybe putting a few new flowers in them.

• Repairs and/or repainting fences and gates, window frames and shutters.

• Giving the house a fresh coat of paint and painting the roof always helps.

• Wash windows inside and out.

• Rent a pressure washer and clean outdoor, paths patios and balconies.

• Clean out and repair your water tank.

Listing your home for sale, no matter where it is located, is best approached with the help of an objective third party (aka your real estate agent). They will work for you for free until they have been successful in selling it. Find an agent who will be honest with you and provide many facts regarding the market and how your home measures up, against others in the same price bracket. Whilst we are anticipating more activity in the sales market, we are not anticipating prices rising with any significance for some time. So please remain realistic.

•Heather Chilvers is among Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty’s leading sales representatives. She has been working in real estate for 25 years. If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at hchilvers@brcl.bm or 332 1793. All questions will be treated in confidence.