Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)


A reader is concerned about marketing a home which is empty, but while this may mean it’s harder for a buyer to make an emotional connection, there are advantages

- Lew Geffen Sotheby’s Internatio­nal Realty


WE MOVED overseas a couple of years ago and have been letting our home. We have now decided to sell it, but as the tenants have already moved out, the house will be vacant. Is that a good or bad thing? Any tips?


While it can be hard for viewers to make a critical emotional connection when the property is empty, there are several advantages to showing an empty home. Vacant homes allow for easy access for shortnotic­e viewings and allow a buyer to see the basics of what they are buying and also to plan any renovation­s.

Fully staging a home is costly and timeconsum­ing. But a few inexpensiv­e staging tricks will make a home seem more inviting.

Leave the lights on during viewings to add warmth.

Keep the lawn and exterior tidy.

Put a fresh coat of paint on the front door, and use a pot plant or two, a new welcome mat and new house numbers.

Strategica­lly placed rugs will help define spaces and add a splash of colour.

Paint walls in neutral colours.

Well-placed mirrors will brighten and lighten a room.

Soften cold, hard surfaces of a bathroom with neatly folded, fluffy towels.

Arrange a couple of accessorie­s on the kitchen counter.

A vase or two of fresh flowers will add colour and make the home more inviting.

Steve Thomas, secure estate specialist for


Our home was recently valued and the price was lower than we had expected. The agents say it is because we have a small kitchen. We really do not have money or time to upgrade it, so how can we still achieve the best price possible?


There are a variety of ways to get your quaint kitchen looking spacious and organised.

◆ If you don’t have many kitchen cupboards, display your pots and cutting boards in an eye-catching way by hanging them on the wall.

◆ Switch all your cabinets to drawers to gain maximum usability of the area. Drawers allow easy access to every item and also look chic and organised.

◆ If you have no room for a kitchen table, consider sacrificin­g a couple of cabinets to squeeze in a small breakfast bar.

◆ You can make a small kitchen feel airy by choosing a neutral colour scheme, such as white, beige, duck egg blue, mint green, soft yellow or light grey. The aim of a neutral colours is for light to bounce around the room, making it appear more spacious.

◆ Using a combined induction/extractor hob is a great space saver in a tiny kitchen. If you do not require an extra cupboard or set of shelves, consider leaving the area above the hob empty to give the illusion of a larger kitchen.

– Mike Greeff, chief executive of Greeff Christie’s Internatio­nal Real Estate


We are thinking of upgrading our home, in terms of both size and price, simply because the low interest rates allow us to. Is this a good idea?


Additional affordabil­ity due to lower interest rates has led many to believe that now is the time to upgrade, especially if they have owned their current home for a few years and built up a healthy amount of equity. However, there are a few things you need to check first. One of the most important is what sort of deal you can get on a new home loan. You may qualify for a much bigger bond now, or a lower interest rate than when you bought your current home, especially if your earnings have increased and you have a strong credit record.

Still, be realistic about how much more you can really afford to pay for your home each month, especially if your family has grown since your last home purchase and you now have additional monthly expenses, such as school fees and higher food, transport, insurance and medical bills.

Remember, just because a bank agrees to lend you a certain amount, you don’t have to spend that much or stretch your monthly budget to the limit. You also need to factor in your other debt repayments and expenses, as well as long and short-term savings goals, like university for the children and your own retirement, and then still leave yourself some leeway to cope with emergencie­s.

– Berry Everitt, chief executive of the Chas

Everitt Internatio­nal property group.


Conditions for buyers seem to be great – but not so much for sellers. With the market more challengin­g, we are worried about listing our home. But we have no choice and are seeking advice as to how to put our best foot forward.


Profession­al photograph­s paired with detailed descriptio­ns are essential for online listings but the virtual experience now has to go at least one step further. For health and safety reasons, show houses are being replaced by virtual show houses, and so without these services, sellers are going to struggle to capture buyers’ attention.

Sellers should contact an experience­d agent to provide an updated valuation – or even virtual valuation – on their home. This is an opportunit­y to pick an expert’s brain on sales prices and how best to market your property to appeal to the right kind of buyers.

Sales strategy is essential – you can’t just list a property and hope for the best. You need to maximise online exposure and have a plan for converting casual interest into actual buyer inquiries. How you do this varies depending on property type, condition, location and price point. It’s not something I’d advise your average homeowner to attempt on their own in the challengin­g market conditions we have today.

Favourable sales are still happening if the price is right.

– Tony Clarke, managing director of the Rawson Property Group

Fall in love with this versatile single storey home tucked away in the heart of the village, yet close enough to enjoy the proximity of the beach shops and restaurant­s. Indulge yourself in this peaceful haven with private terrace and jacuzzi, with an easy layout, well-appointed 3 bedrooms en-suit, engineered oak flooring throughout.

Sean Phillips: 083 301 9003 | Rochelle Serman: 072 239 4449 RE/MAX LIVING: 021 423 4488

 ??  ?? There are several tricks to making a small kitchen appear more spacious and a neutral colour scheme is a good place to start. PICTURE:
There are several tricks to making a small kitchen appear more spacious and a neutral colour scheme is a good place to start. PICTURE: EVY PRENTICE

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