In the current tough economic climate, the housing market favours buyers – you now have more choice and leverage when negotiating price. But where does that leave sellers?
The key, says Lee-Ann Dobrescu, head of Group Business Development at Hollard, is to make your property stand out from the rest.
‘You’ll be able to attract qualified buyers and sell your property faster, and get a fair market-related price without
having to sacrifice profit or sanity,’ she explains.
Before putting up that for sale sign, Lee-Ann advises:
1. Get the price right
A professional estate agent will be able to accurately assess the value of your home in relation to current sale values for similar properties in your area. Even if you decide to sell privately, which many homeowners are
moving towards, a professional evaluator can assist you if you’re unsure. If priced too low, you’ll lose out, but if you aim too high, your home may stay on the market so long it becomes ‘stale’. Potential buyers may even assume there’s something wrong with the property.
2. Do neccessary repairs
A major revamp is risky as you may not recoup the costs. But doing essential repairs and maintenance can
influence evaluators and buyers alike. Obvious repairs and touch-ups you’ve failed to carry out will be red flags to
interested buyers, who may then try to beat down your asking price. Less obvious repairs that you neglect to
repair or disclose can come back to haunt you post-sale if it can be proved that you knew about them but failed
to disclose details to a buyer. If you need extra peace of mind, products like the Hollard Home Warranty can
put both your and the buyer’s mind at rest. It couples a professional property inspection to an insurance policy that protects the buyer and seller against the financial and legal ramifications of any defects that may emerge in the property for two years after taking transfer. Visit Hollard.co.za for more info.
3. Boost your kerb appeal
First impressions count, so make sure buyers are presented with a well-tended garden and maintained home. Ask a garden service for a once-off clean-up, and pressure-wash your home’s exterior to remove dirt, dust and moss from walls and paving. You don’t want buyers to think they’ll have to spend money repainting and landscaping.
Before your show day, pack away all personal items such as family photos, memorabilia, collections, animal skins
and other items that may prevent buyers from seeing themselves in the space. You want to present as blank a canvas as possible. Neutralise any feature walls and put away pet beds, litter trays and feeding bowls for the day. For security reasons, safely stow jewellery and other small (and portable) items of value, and prescription medication.
5. Give it your best shot
Once you’ve decluttered, style your home for appealing photos. If you don’t want to enlist a professional,
a few pointers will help you take photos that do your home justice, even with your smartphone.
- Use natural light where possible. Open curtains and doors to let in more light and prevent dark corners and shadows.
- Shoot mirrors and other reflective surfaces at an angle, so you don’t show up in the shot.
- When photographing empty spaces, add an item such as a chair to give a sense of scale.
- Avoid sterile-looking shots by adding a few professional styling tricks, as appropriate, to make spaces appear more inviting: a vase of flowers in the dining room, a cosy throw over the back of a sofa, a plate of cut fruit
in the kitchen, or an inviting bath full of bubbles.
Feature: Belinda Burns and images from Fotolia.com