Spruce up your property but don’t go overboard
When it comes to putting your home on the market, make it look good, but beware of spending too much or you might not recoup your investment, experts warn
Q: WE ARE emigrating in the next year and are preparing to sell our home. What should we consider doing to it to ensure we get a good offer and sale without having to do major renovations and possibly over-capitalising?
A: A little bit of sprucing up is always a good idea before a sale but do not go overboard on repairs and renovations. If there are any material defects that could deter buyers, it’s probably worth fixing them, but otherwise it’s usually best to avoid major renovations right before a sale.
Stick to budget-friendly updates in strategic areas, like the kitchen, living rooms and the master bedroom, and leave any major revamps to the new owners. If you’re not sure whether a specific fix or update is worthwhile, run it by your agent first.
First impressions count so adding kerb appeal to your property by planting flowers at your entryway, trimming and tidying your garden and making your front door bright and welcoming can deeply influence buyers. – David Jacobs, Gauteng regional sales manager for Rawson Property Group
Q: We are putting our home on the market and opening it to prospective buyers. We are obviously hoping that we will get an offer soon. But we have heard that the first offer is always the best offer. Is this true? Should we take the first offer we get, if it is close to our asking price, or should we wait for a better one?
A: Sellers must appreciate how buyers think. Buyers generally like to dip their toes in the water. This does not necessarily mean they will approach an estate agent with a list of requirements. Instead, they will begin by checking out prices online and visiting a couple of show houses in the area in which they are interested.
Those who are serious about buying will then follow up by contacting an agent to find out as much as possible about a particular area, including how much the average property is currently selling for.
Things heat up from here and, having narrowed down their search parameters, buyers will start making appointments to view specific properties.
By this stage, buyers will have a good idea of property values in the area and will have begun enquiring about bonds. Sellers should bear in mind that the information that buyers have now acquired is not a mere thumb-suck but the result of intensive investigation, sometimes conducted over a period of months. This type of buyer is often the one who will submit the first offer on a property. – Gerhard van der Linde, managing director of Seeff Pretoria East
Q: When selling our home, should we invest in quality appliances? Will this make a difference at all and, if so, will we get our money back on these investments? Or is it better to just let buyers use their own appliances?
A: When a buyer purchases a home it is widely accepted that he or she will receive all fixtures and fittings of a permanent nature that are found within the property. Items such as stoves, which need to be fitted by an electrician, usually count as a permanent fitting and can, therefore, affect the resale value of a home. Appliances such as the fridge and the dishwasher, on the other hand, usually go with the seller and will not have a direct effect on the resale value of the home.
Having said this, quality appliances in the home can increase the overall appeal of the property which can indirectly affect what buyers are willing to offer. High-quality appliances can give buyers the impression the home is worth more than if it were fitted with old appliances. Even if these appliances are not included in the sale, staging the home with quality appliances might lead to buyers placing a slightly higher offer. – Adrian Goslett, regional director and chief executive of Re/max of Southern Africa
Q: We have had an offer on our home that looks promising. But what, realistically, are the chances of the sale falling through?
A: The chances of a sale falling through are currently around 14%. Some reasons include:
• The buyer failing to get a big enough bond.
• The bank valuing the property for less than expected for a bond and the buyer then being unable to make up the difference.
• The buyer getting retrenched after being pre-qualified for a home loan and the bank reconsidering.
• The buyer’s own home sale falling through.
• The death of the buyer. – Berry Everitt, chief executive of Chas Everitt International.
Q: Our super-luxury home will soon be listed for sale. How can we ensure we get a good price?
A: Make sure the asking price is based on factual data such as the price of your renovations to date, what you bought for
(and when) and what other homes are selling for in the area. Then opt for a sole mandate as nothing screams desperation quite like having several agents marketing your luxury home. Remember, super homes require special marketing, a unique approach and 100% buy-in from both you and your agent. Choose an agent based on their contacts and reputation in selling luxury homes.
Agents marketing high-value properties often offer staging via an interior design consultant. Do your homework to find someone who can assist with this,and get tips on how to best style your home in a way that works best for both photos and viewings. Also, highlight parts of your home that make it unique.
And, finally, avoid public show days. Cultivating an air of exclusivity around your property is key. – Megan Ladbrook, general manager of Frankie Bells Real Estate