How to Prepare Your House for a Sale

As workers around the country settle into hybrid work situations, many are looking for more space to accommodate a work-from-home lifestyle.






Even with the recent interest rate hikes, there is still a lot of movement in the housing market. As workers around the country settle into hybrid work situations, many are looking for more space to accommodate a work-from-home lifestyle. There is also a lot of semigration happening in South Africa at the moment, with property companies reporting that people in search of a different lifestyle are changing cities. Now looks to be a good time to sell if it has been on your mind.

The first step is, of course, to sign with an agent and get your property listed. After that, you start with the viewings. For these viewings, however, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind if you wish to impress the potential buyers.

“When you discover your dream home, and need to make quick arrangements to sell your existing home, having an agent host an 'open day' for viewing is a good way of attracting potential buyers,” says Carl Coetzee, CEO of BetterBond. “But do take the necessary steps to ensure that your home is ready or make a few changes if these need to be done. Something as simple as a few plants or a well-placed scented candle will help make a good first impression.”




Ensure that the first impression is a good one

The first thing that potential buyers see when they come for a viewing is the exterior of the house. And the last thing you want them to do is remember it looking drab or as though things are falling apart.

“A perception of your home is formed even before potential buyers walk through the front door, so ensure your whole property has appeal, not just the inside,” advises Coetzee.

Take a good look at your house from the front and see where you add some curb appeal. Can you add flower boxes for colour? Does the outside need a sweep and a clean? Are there any visibly broken fixtures that you need to attend to?

Alen Ribic of SweepSouth, a home services platform, advises that you get these things sorted out before the first viewing. You will need to do this later down the line anyway, so attending to it now ticks it off your list. You can enlist the help of service providers listed on SweepSouth for outdoor and gardening help to get your property in tip top shape.







Declutter countertops

The same applies to the interior, says Coetzee. Make sure it is tidy and remove any clutter or mess. No one wants to see piles of laundry or stacks of paper on your desk. “If you can, remove family photographs and personal items so that aspirant buyers can envision themselves and their new lives in the space,” advises Coetzee. Keep surfaces free of appliances, papers and other items that detract from the focal features you want to highlight. It’s easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves in the house if there’s less clutter and chaos to compete with.





Clear up after your pets

Ribic notes that not everyone loves animals, so while your fur child may leave their toys all over your home, it might not be appealing to potential buyers. Pack away all the toys that belong to your pet, do a good sweep, and clean the yard, too.

Anyone interested in the house will want to see the outside space, too, and if it’s messy and smelling like your dog’s bathroom, it could be off-putting to many.

Light some scented candles or get some air diffusers to mask any lingering pet smells.





Do a thorough clean

You don’t have to go as far as washing the walls (unless they are looking particularly ghastly), but definitely clean your house before a viewing takes place. You want to leave viewers with the best impression possible.

Of course, these viewings could happen often and the last thing you are in the mood for is to clean every single day. You can get help from a service such as SweepSouth or enlist others in your house to share the tasks, too.







Last minute clean up? Store dirty dishes inside a dishwasher and dirty clothes inside your washing machine.





Fit for purpose

Lastly, make sure each room has a clearly defined purpose, says Coetzee. If you have advertised your home as having three bedrooms, but one is being used as a study, rather remove the desk and office equipment so that buyers can make their own decision about how to use the space. “But, that being said, if you have a room that can be used as an office, rather advertise it as such when you list it. With so many people working remotely for at least part of the week, a home office will add value to your property,” he says.

A buyer will be more tempted to put in a lower offer if the home they have seen is unkempt or there are features in a visible state of disrepair. A neat and tidy home with broad appeal stands a far better chance of being sold sooner rather than later, and it will also sell for closer to your asking price.







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