Today we publish the next of our blogs in our 12-week blog series, THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SELLING YOUR HOME.
STAGING YOUR HOME FOR MAXIMUM SELLING IMPACT
PREPARE FOR THE SALE WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME
You have decided on an agent to assist you in the marketing of your property and between the two of you, you have agreed a price to market the property at. That probably means that you have gone some way to reducing the emotion attached to selling your home.
Now it is time to follow through and maximize the chance of successfully marketing your property by assessing your current home unemotionally in terms of how it will present itself to a prospective buyer. Houses change into homes as owners tailor it to their specific needs over time. However, your and/or your family’s needs will never equate exactly to those of a prospective buyer.
Therefore, put your ‘buyer’s hat’ on and be prepared to change a lot of what you have become used to over the years. And ask your estate agent to advise you on preparing your property for sale.
DO HOME STAGING – IT BOOSTS THE APPEAL AND SELLING POWER OF YOUR HOME
The first impression is the only impression
A prospective buyer visiting your property for a viewing has already judged your home before he or she walks through the door. After all, the general area in which your property is situated and the very street in which it is located, has already made a certain impression on that person. Whilst you do not have much control over the latter, you can and should influence the potential buyer’s impression from the moment he or she steps onto the pavement in front of your house.
START FROM YOUR PAVEMENT AND WORK YOUR WAY IN
One of the first things buyers are going to notice as they enter your property is the landscape, i.e. the lawn, plants, flowerbeds etc.
- Fix/paint the entrance gate (if necessary)
- Mow the lawn and pull out weeds
- Trim trees and flowers or plant new flowers for some colour
- Get rid of oil marks from driveways
- Clean the pool
- Clean up outdoor areas
- Fix any holes in, or leaning, fences
- Unblock gutters
- Wash the windows
- If necessary, repaint the exterior walls, driveway gates and boundary walls
LESS IS BETTER, SO REMOVE CLUTTER
Any homeowner builds up a tremendous number of fixtures and fittings over many years of turning a house into a home. However, the prospective buyer is only interested in seeing as much of the actual house as possible. This includes the floor-space of every room and the physical dimensions of cupboards, showers etc. A cluttered home will make the house seem much smaller than it is. You want to maximize the perceived space in your house.
- Make sure the entry way is clear and clean
- Remove any furniture which may seem excessive; rent a storage space if needs be
- Present some cupboards half-empty (and neatly stacked or hung), to illustrate the space available
- De-personalize your home as much as possible. Prospective buyers will have difficulty visualizing the house as their future home, the more clutter they see
- A good yardstick is getting rid of one-third of the stuff in your home
- Maximize the perceived space in the home – clear out all the non-essentials.
DON’T OVER-UPGRADE, BUT DO MAKE SURE YOU REPAIR EVERYTHING THAT’S BROKEN
Fixing what is broken is critical and will always pay off, but massive makeovers seldom do when selling your home. Therefore, fix everything, because when a buyer sees one thing broken, it is only natural to start wondering about what else may be a problem.
- Fix broken doorknobs and/or locks
- Repair broken window latches
- Fix a leaking toilet
- Repair leaky faucets
- Clean or re-paint ceiling stains
- Fix broken Cupboard handles
- Ensure Closet doors are on track
- Fix faulty and/or exposed wiring
- Clean any grout
PAINT YOUR INTERIOR IF IT NEEDS IT
There is not another home improvement that will give you more bang for your buck than a fresh coat of paint. Dark colors will reflect less space and old paint makes rooms look decrepit. Paint with contemporary, light and neutral colors.
CLEAN PROPERLY AND THOROUGHLY
A dirty home is one of the things most off-putting to a potential buyer. It makes it almost impossible for him or, especially her, to visualize themselves in the house in the future. It is one of the quickest, most sure-fire things to turn a potential buyer away and this applies particularly to the kitchen, the bathrooms and any carpets. This is one of those things where spending a few hundred Rand can save you thousands by preventing the buyer from thinking they need to replace the carpets immediately. As a result, consider a professional cleaning for the entire house if it really requires it.
GET RID OF ALL ODORS
This is something you should not take any chances with. Ask an outside person, like your property agent, for an opinion on any odors in the house. This may include smoking (a massive no-no!), pet or cooking odors; any of these, particularly the first two, will more than likely chase most buyers away.
LET THE LIGHT IN!
Presenting a light, airy house to the buyer is critical; it is next in line in importance, only to the location and the kitchen. Good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Things to do to maximize light is cleaning the windows, remove unnecessary curtains, replace fused light bulbs and increase wattage, where necessary. If there are any shrubs or bushes outside windows which deplete light inflow, cut them back to let in sunshine.
WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME, THE KITCHEN COMES FIRST, SO MAKE IT APPEALING
Remember, you are selling your kitchen as much as you are selling your home. On the one hand, we have warned against over-spending on upgrading and/or performing unnecessary upgrades. However, if there is one area in which you can break this rule, it is the kitchen. You are almost certain to get your money back. Replace counter-tops and any tacky cabinetry. Paint, with neutral colours! You can even consider installing a new appliance or two if the existing ones are in really bad shape or look outdated.
NEXT WEEK: CRITICAL ASPECTS TO EFFECTIVE MARKETING OF YOUR HOME