With distressed property sales still the order of the day in the South African Property market it is still currently a buyer’s market and any predictions of a turnaround in favour of property sellers can at this stage be nothing more than a thumb-suck guesstimate.
Selling your property in the current situation can be quite daunting. Competition is fierce and buyers are now in a position to be more selective. The following guidelines could be of some assistance when selling your property.
Location is still one of the factors that has a major influence on the selling price of property but is unfortunately something you have no control over. You cannot move your property closer to schools, shopping centres or further away from busy intersections. There is however a number of things you can do towards making your property more appealing to potential buyers.
1. Do your homework before you set a selling price
Many sellers tend to place an unrealistic value on their property based on sentiment or their own financial needs. Gone are the days when you put your property on the market for more than what you expect to sell it for so that you have some bargaining power. An overpriced house in today’s market will not sell and you will eventually be forced to lower your selling price. This never creates a good impression and you will save yourself a lot of time and trouble if you get a proper valuation of the property before you put it on the market. Keep in mind that the real value of your home will be determined by how potential buyers perceive its worth compared to similar properties on the market.
2. Make sure your property is welcoming
First impressions count and more so when you are up against fierce competition. Make sure your property sells itself by ensuring that the exterior is immaculate and homely. Make sure that the garden is kept tidy and free of weeds. If necessary make use of a garden service if you find you are pressed for time to maintain the garden. If you have a swimming pool stick to a maintenance schedule to ensure that the pool looks inviting at all times.
Water features, garden lights or a strategically placed hammock or garden bench can do wonders when it comes to impressing potential buyers. Remember that you need to create a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere – a place that people will want to call their own.
3. Kitchens and Bathrooms must be immaculately clean and tidy
Bathrooms and kitchens are important areas in a home as far as most people are concerned. Potential buyers realise that with the right furnishings and decor they can change the entire look of bedrooms and living areas. Bathrooms and kitchens on the other hand are more dependent on permanent fixtures including sanitary ware and cupboards and if you plan to make a good impression on potential buyers you should make sure that these rooms are uncluttered and spotlessly clean.
4. Walk-in dressing rooms
If you have walk-in cupboards in your dressing room make sure that they are only packed half-full. An over full cupboard could lead potential buyers to believe that the house does not offer sufficient packing space.
5. Make sure your house is light and comfortable
Open windows, curtains and blinds and make sure that there is sufficient fresh air and light in the house. A stale smelling house is a sure put-off as is a dark and dingy house. If there are trees or shrubs that are blocking light in front of windows have them trimmed so that you allow the maximum amount of light into your home.
Regulate the temperature in the house with either air conditioning or fans in summer and heaters in winter to ensure that the house is comfortable and inviting.
Remember that all other sellers in your area and price class will be competing for the same potential buyers. Make sure that you have the competitive edge by offering a home and not just another house by offering a well-kept appealing house at a market related price.