Getting a Home ready to Sell
Apart from pricing a property at the correct level, i.e. making sure a comprehensive market analysis was done to get to a market price, there are various other factors that will be taken into account when it comes to marketing a home and selling it quickly, says Charlene Nolte-Joubert, partner of law firm Henkes Nolte-Joubert and one of the founding members of the Attorney Realtor Hub (The Hub).
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Getting a home presentable and ready to sell sometimes takes a little time and care, in that it’s not just tidying up and a superficial clean, the home might need to be decluttered or depersonalized, painted or deep-cleaned so that buyers see it at its potential best.
Before putting a home on the market, ensure that the list of faults is attended to. If there are leaking taps, cracks in the plaster, or broken window latches, for example, repair these before buyers start viewing the property, says Nolte-Joubert.
It’s best to start from the outside-in – have a look at the appeal of the property. If the home looks untidy from the outside, a negative impression has already been set, and it only takes mowing the lawn or raking leaves, turning over soil beds and sprinkling some fresh mulch to instantly make a better impression. Depending on the season, find some colourful seedlings to plant in pots or in the beds to brighten up the garden.
Then as a person enters the home, check whether the entrance hall has space to appreciate whether the home is welcoming or not. Many entrance halls are cluttered with rain coats, umbrellas, sports gear, key holders, dog walking paraphernalia, etc. and these all need to be removed.
The smell as one enters a home is influential on the visitor, and if there are pets in the home, the odour might linger (owners will often be used to this smell and not notice it), which might put a potential buyer off if not neutralized, so cleaning all the rugs and carpets in the home is important before putting it on the market.
Good photographs of the property are vital to a marketing campaign as most buyers will begin their search online. When taking photos of a property, the home needs to be “staged” as it would on a show day: any signs of day to day living should be removed before taking the picture.
For example, if taking a photo of the garden, ensure that the hose pipe has been wound up, that there is no laundry on the washing line or hanging in sight, or that all dog waste has been removed from the lawn.
Photographing the interior can be tricky depending on the time of day the pictures are taken.
Switch all the lights on in the home, and make sure clothing, shoes, bags, and any other personal items are stored before taking photos.
When listing the property online, choose portals that are well known and use a variety of tools, such as virtual reality tours (as Attorney Realtors do) or social media to help “spread the word”.
With a virtual realty tour the interested home buyer can ease the viewing of the property as he or she can view the entire property through the comfort of their own electronic advice and then decide, if they are very interested, to set up an appointment to view the property. This way, it can speed up the decision making and eliminate wasted time in showing buyers who are not serious in purchasing a specific property.
It’s also a good idea to provide some information on the area, such as schools, shopping centres or amenities, so that potential buyers see the benefit of living there.
The key is to allow your potential buyer to picture himself living in the home you’re trying to sell.
If it’s in good condition and has been depersonalized, it’s more likely that he might imagine himself living there.
Taking time beforehand to get the home ready will pay in the long run, says Nolte-Joubert.
A property seller who employs the services of an attorney using the tools made available through the Attorney Realtor Hub will also have the comfort of only meeting cash or buyers who are screened and prequalified through the My Bond Fitness process if they can actually qualify for a home loan and as such also eliminate many offers from home buyers who fail to qualify for a home loan.
Author: Charlene Nolte-Joubert