Pricing and presentation are the two most important aspects sellers should consider when putting their homes on the market, says Grant Gavin, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Panache, which operates in the KwaZulu-Natal north coast suburbs of Durban North and La Lucia.
“If the price is right for the present market, the property will sell. Presentation is also a key factor that helps to sell houses - good looking properties are attractive to buyers as they do not really need to worry about upgrading / renovating costs,” he says.
Gavin notes that in order for sellers to increase their chances of their home being sold within a reasonable amount of time, they need to work with the recommendations of their agent on pricing and presentation. “In most cases sellers do not believe what their agents say about recommended selling prices and these homes normally sit on the market for ages. In fact, these homes quite often remain unsold or eventually sell below the original recommended agent’s price,” he says.
Looking at the areas of Durban North and La Lucia specifically, Gavin says that most of the sellers have been looking to upgrade or downgrade their properties, which is the reason they are selling their homes. He says homes in these areas generally sit on the market for around 30 days before being sold. If they take longer than 30 days, Gavin is of the opinion that the asking price is not right for the market.
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa notes that one of the most detrimental mistakes that so many sellers make when putting their home on the market is overpricing the property. “Often sellers set a higher price for their property than what they want to get out, with the hope that if a buyer offers a lower price, they are still able to negotiate close to the original price they wanted. This will definitely hinder a successful sale resulting in the property sitting on the market for longer, and probably selling at a lower price than the seller would have wanted to achieve in the first place.”
When it comes to selecting the right estate agent to sell a property, Gavin says group exposure, market share, marketing plans / obligations and agent professionalism are the key elements sellers should bear in mind.
Talking about specific rooms in a home which will influence the majority of buyers, Gavin says that the age-old saying that ‘kitchens and bathrooms sell houses’ remains true in today’s market. “Kitchens and bathrooms are known to get sellers the best boost in value, so these are the two areas of the home where renovation costs can be recouped the best.”
“Due to the fact that many buyers see the kitchen as the heart of the home, even a few basic improvements to this room can really pay off. Research indicates that a well renovated kitchen can recoup between 70% and 80% of remodelling cost when the home is sold.”
When it comes to bathrooms, Gavin says that sellers can recoup between 65% and 75% of the costs of remodelling a full bathroom and around 65% of the cost of adding a full bathroom.
Gavin concludes by saying that while there are a number of factors that need to be right in order for a property sale to be successful, sellers need to do everything they can to ensure they stand the best chance of getting a good price in the shortest possible space of time.