5 flaws that could kill your property sale

Private Property South Africa
Tahir Desai

You show a buyer around a property and on paper it seems like a perfect fit – the right price, the right number of rooms and the right location. But when push comes to shove, they don’t make an offer and you’re left scratching your head wondering why.

The truth is buyers can be put off by seemingly small flaws. Fortunately these deal-killers can be easily rectified by working together with the seller to eradicate them.

Deal-killer #1: Dirty bathrooms and kitchens

Dirty bathrooms and kitchens are usually the first reason given by buyers for them viewing a property unfavourably.

When a buyer views a property they try to imagine themselves living in the property and a lack of cleanliness and hygiene can be a real barrier to this. Fortunately this is easily fixed with a bit of Handy Andy and some elbow grease.

Deal Killer #2: Odours

Viewing a house is mainly a visual experience but that does not mean that house hunters turn off their other senses during a viewing. And there is nothing that can turn a buyer off more quickly than nasty smells at the property.

It might be a tough conversation but you need to point out that Fido or their 40 a day cigarette habit has left the house smelling a bit funky.

Advise the seller to clean carpets and curtains thoroughly, air the property out by leaving doors and windows open and maybe even lighting some perfumed candles.

Deal Killer #3: Clutter

Clutter makes the home seem smaller than it really is and gives the impression that the house lacks storage space. Sellers should consider moving larger items into storage temporarily and pack away all ornaments and trinkets. Besides making the house look bigger, a clutter free home also enables the buyer to imagine what their things would look like in the space.

Deal Killer #4: Little Malfunctions

Small malfunctions in an otherwise beautifully presented house may also stop buyers from making an offer. The faulty light switch, the cupboard door that comes off in their hand, the leaky tap and the broken stair that they trip over may not cost a lot to repair, but can create the impression that the place is falling apart.

Walk through the property with the seller and point out all the little fixes that need to be done. Explain to then why the relatively low cost of the repairs could be the difference between selling the property and it remaining on the market. If you can, recommend a reliable handyman to save them the hassle of having to find one themselves.

Deal Killer #5: Untidy Communal Areas

If the outside and communal areas of a block of flats or a development are dirty and unkept, the buyer might question how well it is run by the management company. In fact, buyers might even make the decision not to buy while still in the hallway outside. Admittedly, the seller can’t control what happens in the communal areas but they can get it vacuumed and cleaned on the days that viewing are booked so that it looks presentable.


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