As property inventory shortages and rising prices continue to push the market into the seller’s favour, some may be tempted to sit back and wait for the offers to purchase to come flooding in. However, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, even in a market that favours sellers, those who want to achieve the optimum results need to ensure they are prepared and stand out from the competition.
“There is no doubt that conditions we are currently experiencing in today’s market make it the ideal time to list property, however sellers still need to focus on showcasing their property and its best features in order to gain a competitive edge over other homes on offer and realise their home’s true potential,” says Goslett. “To sell a home at the best possible price within a reasonable time frame requires not only the right real estate professional, but also some effort on the seller’s part.”
He adds that this does not mean that sellers need to completely change the existing property or undergo costly renovations – it simply means that sellers should work on highlighting the home’s prime selling points. “Subtle changes can make a big difference if done correctly. Small modern updates to areas around the homes can give the entire home a fresh, contemporary look and feel, without costing a lot of money. A fresh coat of paint and ensuring the home is tidy is already an excellent start to ensuring that the home is in show-day condition,” advises Goslett, who offers a few additional pointers to have the property in top form:
Kitchen – the heart of the home
Possibly one of the most important areas, referred to as the heart of the home, is the kitchen. As an area that is often the make-or-break deciding factor for many buyers, an updated kitchen can increase the value of the property and will leave a lasting impression. “Refurbishing countertops and cupboards, along with updating large appliances will modernise and reinvent the space completely,” says Goslett. “Adding an island is both aesthetically pleasing and functional, giving the room an entirely new dynamic with additional counter space.”
This is another area in the home that can either attract buyers or have them walking away. “Small updates and changes in the bathroom can have a big impact,” says Goslett. “Just by changing the taps to more contemporary styles or adding a mirror can freshen up the look and create a different feel. Modern lighting can also change the space and breathe fresh life into an outdated area.”
Storage and organisation
If the design of the home allows, adding additional cupboards and storage space will add to the home’s selling features. “Often buyers are looking for homes with ample storage capacity, so an extra cupboard, expanding existing cupboards or walk-in pantry can become an extra selling point,” says Goslett.
He adds that built–in shelves or a wall unit in areas with a lot of open wall space can also be a great and unique feature. These are generally relatively easy to install and will be a functional addition that could give the home additional interest.
Goslett says that having carpets that are in good repair and professionally cleaned will not only make them look good, but will also leave the home smelling great. He notes that if the carpets aren’t in good repair and the home has wooden flooring underneath, it could worthwhile lifting the carpets and refinishing the wood floors. “Wooden floors have always been a timeless feature that is once again becoming trendy with buyers placing a high value on homes with this kind of flooring,” says Goslett. “In the case where the home does not already have wooden floors underneath the carpeting, synthetic alternatives are available that look similar but cost far less. The right flooring option can make a room appear larger and will completely revamp its look and feel.”
Outside areas and gardens
Often the first thing that a buyer will see as they walk onto the property, if not before, is the garden. This section of the property will be largely responsible for creating the buyer’s first impression of the home. Additions such as decks and patios can impress, however they aren’t always in the budget and are not necessarily needed to make the garden look impressive. “A garden that is neat and well-kept will make an excellent impression with buyers,” says Goslett.
He notes in conclusion that simple but effective updates to a property before it is listed will ensure that it stands out and achieves that highest possible selling price. While the updates don’t have to cost a lot, the impact they can make will be priceless.
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