Oudtshoorn Courant

Chas Everett advises how to give your home screen appeal


The digitisati­on of home viewing is the way forward for the real estate industry, with quite a large percentage of buyers who are relocating to another town or city already being prepared to buy just off virtual tours rather than a personal viewing. According to a recent survey of estate agents by property data company Lightstone, up to 14% of buyers in 2020 were prepared to purchase properties without first physically viewing them.

In addition, the majority of home buyers are now using online listings and particular­ly virtual tours to identify and narrow down prospects to just a few properties that they will book to view in person, says Charles de Kock, principal of Chas Everitt Southern Cape.

“While popular before, online house-hunting has in fact been given an extra boost by the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting increase in remote working, with many more people having more time - and more inclinatio­n - to scroll through the property portals in search of their dream homes,” he says.

“And this accelerate­d move online is of course great for home sellers and landlords because their listings are getting more views, and good for the real estate industry too, in terms of the efficienci­es of arranging home viewings by specific appointmen­t instead of holding show days, and of holding meetings via video call rather than face to face.”

What is more, he says, things are not likely to go back to the way they were, simply because of the continuous developmen­t of the new and improved viewing technologi­es. “In the near future, for example, there is likely to be widespread adoption of immersive virtual reality technology, which will enable prospectiv­e home buyers using Smart glasses or a VR headset to feel as if they are actually inside and walking around the property they are viewing online.

“Virtual staging, which digitally adds furnishing­s to an empty space, is also likely to undergo more developmen­t and become more realistic - and easier for even digitally challenged homeowners to use.”

Meanwhile, home sellers need to bear in mind that “screen appeal” is now at least as important as “curb appeal” and think carefully about how their properties will come across to online viewers.

According to De Kock, the three most essential tasks for sellers to complete before their home is photograph­ed for an internet listing are the following:

Extreme declutteri­ng

“Clear every non-essential item off every counter and table, including ornaments and photos. Put away all toys, shoes and other loose items, and tidy the cupboards. Give away whatever items you no longer need and box the rest up in anticipati­on of your move. Remember, the less random stuff on display, the more spacious your rooms will look.”

Creating space

You may love how your rooms are arranged, he says, but your furniture placement might not maximise space on screen.

“Take some test photos to see if the current layouts photograph well and if they don’t, remove some items from each room and put them in storage as well. Alternativ­ely, if the home is empty, you should talk to your agent about hiring some furniture pieces to strategica­lly ‘stage’ the property, which will help viewers to get a better idea of the space available.”

Putting on the shine

Clean, dust and polish every available surface until it gleams. Open the curtains and blinds to let in as much natural light as possible, and replace any dim light bulbs with bright ones. Even the most beautiful and welcoming spaces won’t photograph well if they’re too dark.

Give Chas Everitt Southern Cape a call on 028 514 2202 or 044 690 3054, and their operators will put you in touch with an agent to assist you.

 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Charles de Kock, principal of Chas Everitt Southern Cape
Charles de Kock, principal of Chas Everitt Southern Cape

Newspapers in Afrikaans

Newspapers from South Africa