Sellers guide: Getting your home ready to sell

Sellers guide: Getting your home ready to sell

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Learn how to make your home appealing to as many people as possible. People need to be able to imagine their own furniture and belongings in the house and visualise what this house would look like as their home.



A well-kept garden which looks easily maintainable is appealing.

  • Keep the grass mowed and the sides trimmed.
  • Rake up any leaves that have fallen from the trees.
  • Trim all dead leaves off the plants.
  • Make sure that all toys and garden utensils are picked up and put away before a buyer comes to view your home.
  • Keep the pathway to the front door clear and easily accessible.
  • Maintain the shed and other structures in the garden, i.e. the washing line.
  • Fix the cracks in the driveway and remove the weeds between the paving.
  • Make sure the roof and gutters are maintained.
  • Repair or replace any window putty that is cracked or chipped and repaint once dried.
  • Make sure that wooden window frames are maintained. Treat the wood if it appears weathered.
  • Make sure that the pool is well maintained.


Buyers generally prefer a home that they can just move into, without having to do anything else…

  • A good spring clean before you put the house on the market is always a good idea. A buyer will perceive that there is less work to be done on a house that is clean and tidy.
  • De-clutter! By packing away a few personal ornaments and smaller pieces of furniture, you can make your home appear more spacious.
  • Keep your kitchen and bedroom cupboards uncluttered. Pack clothes and utensils away that are not often used. The more space - the better.
  • Pick up all the toys off the floor before a buyer comes to view the house - you don’t need any embarrassing accidents.
  • Arrange every room in the house as neatly as possible.
  • Neutralise your colour schemes as much as possible. Harsh or powerful colours do not always appeal to everyone. Walls painted with neutral colours may be better from a resale perspective.
  • Make sure the walls and skirting boards are clean and are not cracked or damaged. Re-paint where necessary.
  • Repair any leaking taps and toilets.
  • Replace or repair anything that is broken or missing, i.e. washing basin plugs, cupboard keys and locks, loose door knobs, and so on.
  • Repair all sticking or squeaking doors and windows, warped cabinet doors and drawers and all other minor flaws.
  • Pay attention to any woodwork on your home and treat it accordingly, if necessary.
  • Replace broken or cracked windows.
  • Make sure that all your lights are in working order and where necessary replace broken bulbs.
  • Never try to hide any serious damage, such as a leaking roof or damp on the walls. You may be held responsible for any defects, even after the property has transferred to the new owner.

Once you’ve got your house in tip top shape, you’ll be ready to have show days, where prospective buyers can come and view your home.


In South African law the voetstoots clause is a standard term inserted into real estate (and many other) sale agreements.

It says that the purchaser is buying the property (or other item) as it stands, whether or not it has patent or latent defects.

  • Patent defects refer to defects that are openly seen, discovered, or understood to be defects, whereas latent defects refer to hidden or dormant defects.

  • Latent defects are more contentious because they often require a trigger to bring it to one’s attention, for instance roof damage that only becomes obvious after a bad storm.

The clause protects sellers in the event of latent defects coming to light after the transaction has been concluded. However, whether defects are patent or latent, if sellers know about them, they cannot use the voetstoots clause to protect themselves against repairing them or disclosing them to the buyers.

Now that you know who is going to sell your home...
you have decided on a selling price...
and your home is ready to be sold...

The next step in your Sellers Guide is "Advertising your home for sale":

  1. How to sell your home successfully
  2. Deciding on a selling price
  3. Getting your home ready to sell
  4. Advertising your home for sale
  5. The costs involved with selling your home
  6. Moving tips


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