The local property market has been making a slow recovery since the financial crisis of 2008. However, with South Africa's many economic woes, activity on the residential property market remains relatively flat.
The good news is that if you plan to put your home on the market, there are a number of simple things you can do to increase its selling potential.
Here we outline seven tips to help you sell your home fast, and for a good price.
Choose your time wisely
Spring and summer are the busiest seasons in real estate. This is the period when people have the most time to search for a new home, and many are looking to relocate before the new school and business year starts in January.
This is also the time of year when your property will be most appealing to buyers due to good weather conditions. So take advantage of the high demand for homes in this selling on-season by putting your home on the market towards the end of the year.
Price it right
Price your home strategically to sell it quickly. Base your asking price on historical sales in your neighbourhood, the municipal valuation of your property and the merits of your home. For example, features like a large garden, updated kitchen or double garage will obviously add to a home's value.
If you price your home too high, you'll turn away potential buyers. Price it too low and buyers may be suspicious that there's something wrong with the property – and you could lose out on a much higher offer.
Ideally, aim to price your home just under its market value. This could result in a bid war that ultimately increases the amount you get for your home.
To attract as many potential buyers as possible, advertise your property online with a full list of details and amenities – and always include attractive photos of your home.
A study by property website Trulia.com found that property listings with six or more photos generally attract twice as many views as those with fewer photos.
Aim to include images of the outside of your home, kitchen, bathroom(s), bedroom(s) and living area.
If you’re selling your property through an agency, choose one that advertises properties online with high-quality photos.
Show your home
Essentially, homes that don’t get shown, don’t get sold.
Try to be accommodating when it comes to setting up appointments for potential buyers to see your home. If people need to make appointments really far in advance to see your property or can view it only in a restrictive time frame, you're likely to lose potential buyers.
Do some maintenance
Before you put your property on the market, think of ways you can increase its value without spending too much.
For example, paint any walls that are in need of a fresh coat of paint, repair cracked tiles, replace torn or worn carpets, replace rotting wood, and repair broken gutters. Also, make sure that rooms are well lit and all windows are operational.
Enhance your home's appeal
Ensure that your property is as attractive as possible before viewings by tidying and de-cluttering your house and garden.
Inside, make rooms more appealing by decorating with vases of fresh flowers, photo frames, ornaments and candles.
To make small rooms appear larger, hang mirrors and arrange furniture in the centre of the room.
Consider repurposing rooms that don’t have a function to show buyers the potential of the space. For example, you could turn a storeroom into a study, or a garage into a playroom.
Make outdoor areas more appealing by tidying flower beds and mowing the lawn. You can also add appeal to an outdoor area by adding garden furniture (preferably with cushions), plants in pots and decorations such as wind chimes.
Your home is more likely to make a good impression if it's clean, neat and free of clutter, and if people can move around freely in it. Clearing clutter can also make spaces appear larger, lighter and more appealing.
An ideal solution is to use a self-storage unit to house items you won't need until you've succeeded in selling your property and have moved into a new home yourself. You can safely store everything from books that don't fit existing shelves to damaged old furniture, appliances that otherwise take up counter space and personal bric-à-brac.
XtraSpace specialises in providing affordable, secure storage spaces, ideal for storing clutter and personal items while your home is on show. For more information, contact us at XtraSpace or browse to find a branch near you.