With spring underway and temperatures rising, more and more homeowners may want to take advantage of the fact that there are generally higher volumes of buyers visiting show houses during the warmer months, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
He notes higher temperatures generally result in a higher number of sales, which means that the seasonal change is the perfect time to do some spring cleaning and get your home in tip-top shape before putting it on the market. Goslett says that there are a few things that homeowners can do this season in order to make sure that their home is show day ready and stands out in today’s competitive real estate market.
First impressions count – The simple truth of the matter is that when it comes to property, appearances matter, so make sure that they count in the right way. “When similar properties in a suburb are similarly priced, the way a home looks and the first impression that a buyer gets of the home will have a major impact on whether a sale is concluded or not,” says Goslett. “Potential buyerswill use their sensual perception to react to what they see, hear, feel and smell when they first walk into a home. These factors will contribute the overall feel of the home, which will generate an emotional response from the buyer. If this response is positive, there is a far better chance of selling the home.”
Get a trusted second opinion – For most homeowners it is difficult to be objective about their home because of the emotional attachment that they have to it. Goslett says that for this reason, it is advisable to get an honest opinion about what improvements may need to be done to get your home looking great, rather than relying solely on your own opinion. “Instead of shying away from the input from others, homeowners should seek out the honest opinions and focus on both their home’s good points as well as bad. To avoid possible conflict with friends or family, a trusted estate agent will give their honest and direct opinion with regards to what should be done to make the home more marketable,” advises Goslett.
Put the clean in spring clean – Once you have identified what needs to be done it’s time to clean and fix everything. “Aside from washing and scrubbing your home, cleaning also entails getting rid of unused items in order to de-clutter the space. It is important to pay attention to every detail and make sure that even the smallest crack in a window pane has been repaired, as even a minor defect could turn a buyer away. Sellers must remember that their property is not just competing with other similar homes on the market, but with brand-new ones as well,” says Goslett.
Allow buyers to see themselves in the home – Potential buyers want to be able to visualise themselves in home, so sellers need to make them feel as welcome as possible and not like they are intruding when they view the property. “One way to assist prospective buyers to feel more at ease is by packing personal items and photos away. This will help them see themselves in the home and not the current homeowner. Another way to achieve this is by decorating or painting the home in neutral, muted colours such as white or beige, with only a few well-chosen items to provide accent colour and add warmth. Aesthetically enhance the home with a vase of some fresh flowers or potpourri in the bathroom. Home-decor magazines are a great resource for tips,” says Goslett.
Say goodbye to bad odours – Bad smells can chase a potential buyer away so it is important for sellers make sure their home smells great. “While you may not realise that your home smells, any traces of food, pets or smoking and other unpleasant odours can kill deals fast.
“Making sure that your home is show day ready will be a vital element in setting the property apart from others in a similar area and price range and will give you the best possible advantage in today’s challenging real estate market,” Goslett concludes.