It’s a buyer’s market; it’s a seller’s market. Property prices are up; property prices are down. The property market is in a constant state of flux, but no matter what the prevailing conditions, there are things that you can do to help your house sell quickly and for the price that you want.
Top selling points
You may or may not know that the bathroom and the kitchen are the biggest selling points in your home. So these are the rooms you need to focus on to improve your chances of closing a sale. You want them to have a fresh, modern feel.
The biggest turnoffs in the bathroom include stained bath tubs, mouldy grouting and tarnished fittings. Old fashioned toilet and basin sets are also unlikely to add to the room’s appeal. If you can afford it, give your bathroom an overhaul because you’ll recover the costs in your selling price. If you can’t afford it, give the room a fresh lick of paint, replace the fittings and use some elbow grease to clean the shower and bath.
The biggest turnoffs in the kitchen are grimy counter tops, tarnished fittings, out-dated cupboards, patchy floors and stained walls and ceilings. Once again, if you can afford it redo the kitchen completely. If you can’t give it a complete make-over then go as far as you can. Get new cupboards and counter tops. Replace the sink fittings. Repaint the walls and ceiling. Redo the floor. Start reducing clutter to make it look more spacious.
The other thing you need to look at objectively is the colour of your walls. You might like burnt orange, sunshine yellow and lilac, but your prospective buyers might be into lime green, sky blue and magenta. Your best bet is to sand your beautiful colours and go with something more neutral. Don’t go with stark white, rather choose something with a bit of a tint like cream, beige or light grey. Even if you already have neutral colours, you’ll need to see if they need freshening up. While you’re at it don’t forget about the ceiling, exterior walls and roof.
Your garden counts
No one, but no one, likes to see knee-high weeds, scraggly lawn and dead flowers when they’re house hunting, so ensure that your garden has none of these. It’s worth the effort to get your garden in tip-top shape by nurturing the lawn, planting new flower beds, tending your trees and keeping any paving weed- and dust-free.
Consider installing an outdoor BBQ area or a deck because outdoor living areas are in big demand. If you have a patio, make it more inviting with furniture and accessories. Install outdoor lighting.
If you don’t have a pool, don’t get one. Not everyone wants the hassle and expense of keeping a pool clean. Rather spend the money on landscaping or fixing your bathroom.
In this day and age, houses that are equipped for sustainable and environmentally-friendly living sell quickly. Install a solar water heater, use eco-friendly insulation and have a rain water collector on the side of your house and people will automatically be impressed.
Pass a critical eye over your house; would you buy it if you were in the market? This sounds like a loaded question, but it isn’t. Really look at your carpets, if you were moving into a new home would they do? Years of pets, kids, spills and general traffic and wear and tear take their toll on your floors, especially on your carpets. Seriously consider replacing them before you move.
De-clutter your home to showcase it properly. If your lounge is packed full of furniture and you can barely move in your bedroom for want of space, ask a generous friend if you can store some things there or rent a self-storage room. Don’t put them in your garage. People like space and if there isn’t space they like the illusion of space. Your job as a seller is to give buyers what they want.
Dust and vacuum your home before a showing. Pack away everything. Make the beds. Don’t leave dish cloths lying around. Pick up the magazines. Tidy the bookshelf. Make your home more presentable than it’s ever been in its entire life.
No matter what the state of the property market, you need to have a competitive edge. Follow these tips and you could soon be crowing about your speedy, profitable sale.
This guest post was written by Sandy Cosser. Sandy writes on behalf of Ooba, a home loan and mortgage provider in South Africa.