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You only get one chance to make a good first impression, many potential buyers have made a decision about a property before even entering it.
Improving ones curb appeal does not necessarily require huge expenditure, make sure the lawn is trimmed, weed free and green. Bushes and trees have been trimmed to “open up” the front of the home. Add some inexpensive colourful flowers. Ensure that paving has been well cleaned and the front of the home is neat, clean and welcoming. Give it a fresh coat of paint if necessary and don’t forget the front door itself, make sure presentable and in good working order.
Apart from the addition of the front porch on the Before and After images to the right, all other improvements have been inexpensive cosmetic alterations, which together make a huge difference to the overall curb appeal.
De Clutter & De Personalise.
Once you have decided to sell your home it is a good idea to alter your perception, it is no longer your home, but a product to be sold.
You now need to “stage” your home to appeal to potential new owners which means removing excessive traces of ourselves and returning the house to a neutral state which will enable potential buyers to more easily imagine themselves living in your home. In fact apparently an empty house sells more easily than one that is occupied.
It’s perfectly natural for most people to have collected a lot of “stuff” over the years, but we need to be brutal and, either get rid of it or put it in storage somewhere offsite. A cluttered home will come across as smaller, claustrophobic and maybe even dirty. Even cupboards should be no more than half full, full cupboards will create the impression of lack of storage space.
Empty Canvas, return your home to as neutral a space as possible. If you have painted different rooms very specific colours or decorated in a very personal manner this may not appeal to prospective buyers who may just see it as extra expense to have to change, re paint and re decorate in a neutral manner and remove all those family pictures and personal items, this can make potential buyers feel like they are intruding on your personal space and more difficult for them to “see” themselves living in your home.
Light it Up, Most people do not like a dark home. Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the curtains, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.
The Kitchen Comes First.
The kitchen is the heart of the home and probably the most expensive room in the house, it’s generally considered that you are not selling a house, but a kitchen, that’s how important the kitchen is.
A clean, fresh modern kitchen sets the tone for the rest of the home, a shabby or dated kitchen will immediately make the prospective buyer think “expense” resulting in him trying to knock more off the asking price than the actual repairs/updates may actually cost.
Don’t be shy in investing in modernising or fixing up the kitchen, again keep it neutral, you will get your money back, and it makes the home more sellable.
Clean and accessible, Keep your home clean and presentable always, you never know when a prospective buyer may wish to view it and a dirty untidy home not only gives the impression of a neglected home, but it also distracts the buyer from “seeing” the positive aspects your home has to offer.
We know it’s not always easy, but try to be as accommodating as possible to Agents and prospective buyers in terms of viewing times and accessibility, allow show days if required. Limiting access would definitely make it more difficult for the Agent to sell your home, a prospective buyer may find another suitable property while waiting to view yours.
Pricing, we all know that pricing your home correctly is essential, an over priced home will sit on the market eventually probably selling below market value, but we’ve uncovered some rather risky advice in terms of pricing.
We’re not too convinced that this technique would work well in South Africa, but basically you determine a market related price for your home and then knock 15% - 20% off the asking price. The theory is that this will result in the property being viewed as such a bargain leading to a possible bidding war among potential buyers ultimately resulting in the seller achieving a higher than market related price. Sounds a bit too risky for our likings, what do you think?
While performing our research for this article we came across many logical, sound and well known tips on how to sell a home quickly, but to our amazement we also came across some interesting possibly contentious, definitely risky, advice.
It’s vital for a seller to think like a potential buyer when preparing ones home for marketing, perform a thorough inspection of your home through the eyes of a potential buyer and rectify all the issues that would put you off buying your own home.
Let’s first cover the sound advice before we get to the somewhat more risky techniques.