The current property market is tough for most sellers, with supply far outweighing demand in many areas. Sellers will therefore need to do all they can to make sure their property has the best chance of selling in this highly competitive market.
“My advice to sellers over this period is to listen to the suggestions of a reliable real estate advisor who knows what features are winning buyers over within the given suburb. Real estate professionals will also know what sellers are up against within a particular area and price range. This information can prove invaluable when it comes to the marketing of a property,” explains Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
To give an idea of what buyers in her area are looking for, Susan Watts, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Living that operates in Cape Town CBD and Atlantic Seaboard, explains that pet-friendly properties are a big plus for many buyers these days. “Other big draw cards include a garage or secure parking, as well as a well-maintained or newly renovated kitchen and bathroom. For sectional title units in our area, extra amenities such as laundry facilities, gym, pool or braai area certainly do find favour with buyers. For freehold properties, a state-of-the-art security system and low-maintenance features seem to win buyers over.”
Similarly, Caron Leslie, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Property Associates that operates in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town, explains that security features and smaller gardens are popular options in these suburbs. “Many are drawn to the lock-up-and-go sort of homes within security estates. Homes with modern finishes, upgraded bathrooms and kitchens, as well as wooden or tiled flooring seem to be favourable among buyers in our area. The safest and most affordable renovation option for sellers in our area is to update their home with modern finishes,” Leslie suggests.
For sellers who find themselves in the Germiston and Alberton areas, Jenny De Necker (Broker/Owner) and Nadia Aucamp (Broker/Manager) of RE/MAX All Stars suggest that there are some aspects of a home that may affect buyers negatively. “Some buyers feel that a pool is too big of an expense and that they would rather buy a house without one. Dated finishes can also be viewed as an expensive exercise to replace and buyers are often put off by that,” Aucamp explains.
In the last couple of months, the RE/MAX All Stars office also noticed an increase in the demand for homes with garden cottages or flatlets. “This is mainly because extended families are buying together to have a more affordable living arrangement. If there is an additional rental income from a flatlet, it makes a property more appealing to buyers even if they were not initially looking for it,” says Aucamp.
Whichever suburb you find yourself in, Goslett recommends that you do your research and make sure your home is market-ready before you officially list it. “Newer listings often receive more attention than older listings. Be sure to take advantage of this by getting all renovations, maintenance and home staging done before you introduce your property onto the market,” Goslett concludes.