Each year as the temperatures start to rise there is normally an uptick in the number of people looking to get into the property market, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. “During the warmer months, more buyers will venture out to look for their ideal home, making it the perfect time for homeowners to list their property. The increase in the volumes of buyers and foot traffic during the warmer seasons can be used to the seller’s advantage,” he adds.
Goslett says that even with the expected increase of buyers in the market during spring and summer, the market remains competitive and sellers will need to prepare their home before they list. Here are a few things that sellers can do this season to get their home in show day condition and ensure that it stands out from the competition:
You only get one chance to make a first impression – so make it count in the right way. If buyers had to choose between two properties that are located in the same area and offer similar features with the same price bracket, the only determining factors would be the look and buyer’s overall first impression of the property.
“A buyer’s first impression of a home is created by their sensory perception of the property, which is a result of what they see, hear, smell and feel when they first enter the home. The combination of all of these aspects contributes to the overall feel of the home, resulting in an emotional response from buyers. A positive experience results in a favourable impression, which is more likely to result in the buyer making an offer on the property,” Goslett explains.
Get someone else’s opinion
It is difficult to have an objective view on a property when there is an emotional attachment. For this reason, it is best to call in a second opinion about what improvements might need to be done to get the home into show day condition. “Seek out the opinion of a trusted person who can provide an objective point of view. It is important that the person is willing to provide a completely honest opinion, pointing out the good and bad points of the home,” says Goslett. “If you are worried about possible conflict with friends or family, a trusted estate agent will give their honest and direct opinion regarding what will make the home more marketable.”
Spring cleaning means just that
After you have identified the areas that require improvement, it is time to put your head down and work, cleaning and making the necessary changes to the home. Apart from washing the scrubbing the home, spring cleaning also entails decluttering and getting rid of unused items.
“As the saying goes - God is in the details. Paying attention to all aspects of the home, regardless of how insignificant they seem, will reap greater rewards. While you may not notice the minor defects in and around your home, buyers will specifically be looking for things that are wrong with it. Bear in mind that the home is competing with others in the area, so it is imperative that every effort is made to ensure that it is in its best condition, especially considering that there might be newer homes on the market,” says Goslett.
Remember that buyers want to picture themselves in the home
Buyers should feel welcome and have the space to be able to view the property at their leisure, visualising living in the home. “One way to make buyers feel more at ease is by packing away personal items and photos. Doing this will help buyers to see themselves in the home. It is also best to decorate or paint the home in neutral, muted colours with only a few well-placed items to add interest and warmth. Home-decor magazines and websites are great resources for tips,” says Goslett.
Say goodbye to foul smells
Prospective buyers can be driven away by unpleasant odours. So, it is imperative that every effort is made to ensure the home smells inviting. Traces of food, pets or smoking and other disagreeable odours can kill deals fast.
“Spring cleaning and getting the home into show day condition is a vital element in setting it apart from others in the neighbourhood. In today’s competitive real estate environment, every effort should be made to stand apart from the crowd,” Goslett concludes.