The most important features a buyer looks at once an area and price range has been established, are aesthetics, functionality, security, and safety. Ideally, added value should correlate with innovation, feasible finances, and practicality, say the experts.
Although over capitalising when upgrading or renovating a home remains subject to location, area prices and global economics, property professionals say the positive mindset of a seller who provides ample reassurance through a well maintained, repaired, and possibly renewed home goes a long way. When it comes to aesthetics, beauty does lie in the eyes of the beholder, and sellers are advised to decorate homes with a broader appeal for re-sale value, as opposed to an individual focus and current fashions only.
In addition to statutory clearance requirements such as for electricity, plumbing, and woodborer property professionals emphasise the importance of optimum functionality of properties for sale. Although the New Consumer Act now offers greater protection, astute buyers not necessarily moving at the top end of the market, may consult with qualified professionals, to ensure a sound long term investment when complex building issues such as water drainage, building structures, leaks, and damp require qualified advice.
A check list is advised, where the needs of varying buyer profiles are taken into consideration, such as lifestyle requirements of different age groups. For permanent occupants the enjoyment of outdoor views from undercover living areas can be as important as multiple interior living areas, while functional outdoor braai areas that provide undercover shelter from wind and rain remain firm favourites.
Agents who sell holiday homes especially near the coast say convenience is essential, such as surfaces that are easily cleaned, generous outdoor entertainment and swimming areas, outdoor showers, and lock-up and go security.
The needs of younger families are focused on the practical and safety aspects such as stair cases, landings, and balustrades. In- and-outdoor play areas interlinking between garden and interior spaces in full view from central living areas, also offer great appeal. And in some cases, there may even be a preference for a house without a swimming pool, with the future prospect of building a pool in available garden space.
Teen lifestyle requirements differ vastly, as additional yet separate living spaces are essential for all members of families. Study stations either in bedrooms or quiet parts of the house are favoured, while allocated space for parents to enjoy sound and big screen entertainment are ideal. For pet owners the most essential requirements are sufficient garden space and secure fencing. Yet, say agents that when a property has not been enclosed, they can propose the idea with at least one cost estimate available to prospective buyers.
A typical retiree wish list prioritises convenient lock- up- and- go facilities where ample security, generous garage space for work benches and hobbies, and close proximity to local amenities and hospital are available. As with a disabled friendly home, limited mobility can be catered for through non-slip floor surface applications, ramps and non invasive rail facilities.
When the property for sale is located in a cold shaded environment, renewed insulation to facilitate minimal energy consumption, and foliage cut back for maximum sun during winter, is advisable. For summer gardens that require irrigation or swimming pools that need topping up, rainwater catchment areas such as tanks make for ideal solutions.
Lastly say the professionals, provide easy reference and records of additional items for sale on the property, as well as all work done by different contractors, including additions, alterations, workmanship guarantees, and materials used.