By Minki Matthews of HARCOURTS DOLPHIN COAST.
For many people, preparing their house for sale only means dusting, vacuuming and mopping. In other words, they are selling their house as-is. A couple of things will almost certainly happen:
· The house will remain on the market for months and eventually the seller will be forced to drop the listing price.
· Offers received will reflect the as-is condition of the house, and will probably be lower than the listing price.
· The sellers will be inundated with bargain hunters who are looking for a cheap house to fix up themselves.
You don't want this to happen to you. Your goal is to sell your house as quickly and as profitably as possible. To do that you'll need to stage your house.
FOUR STEPS TO STAGING YOUR HOUSE:
Follow this four-step plan to maximize the value of your house and to turn your home into a desirable sanctuary:
Every room should have a clutter bin where you stow away your everyday-use items. You can purchase these plastic containers just about anywhere. Encourage your family to use the bins as much as possible. Put them away in a convenient place (underneath the bed or in the cupboard) before a showing. Buyers are curious people but they won’t open containers.
Buyers want to buy a house, move in and start enjoying it right away. They don’t want to waste time and money fixing up the place. If you don’t repair your house, it will be seen as a fixer-upper and you will not be able to attract the right kind of buyers, nor will you get the price you want for it.
Buyers, in an effort to protect themselves, will always inflate the actual cost of the repair. A simple fix that might cost you a few hundred rand now will ‘cost thousands of rand’ once the buyer has seized upon it. Issues like broken gutters, damp and cracks should be sorted out. Take time to correct all the problems before putting your home on the market.
Cleaning your house for sale goes well beyond dusting, mopping and vacuuming. You must clean it like you mean it. You must examine every square inch of your house and restore it to near-new condition. Consider the harsh reality: if something appears dirty or smells bad to you, it will be revolting to the buyers!
The kitchen and bathrooms are the most important rooms in a home. They can make or break a sale. Make sure the kitchen is spotless; clean the inside of the cabinets. Put in liners or paint if the shelves or drawer bottoms look aged. Clean the cabinet fronts.
The good news is that, if you've decluttered your home first, you will find cleaning not nearly as laborious. (But just in case, you may want to stock up on your back-pain medicine.)
An advantage of a well-cared-for house is that you're less likely to receive a low offer. When buyers can't find faults they focus less on how much money they can squeeze out of you and start thinking that the house is right for them.
You have decluttered, done all the necessary repairs, and cleaned your house inside and out. Believe it or not, you are already ahead of most other people who are putting their houses on the market.
Now to get your buyer to pay top dollars you need to wow them by revitalizing your house. This starts with improving your curb appeal. Plant some colourful perennials and make sure your garden is tidy and neat. Invest in a few scatter cushions for the lounge and bedrooms, pick up a colour in the cushions and paint one wall in this colour. This is an inexpensive way of bringing colour and updating your home.
Lastly, buy a few interior decorating magazines for new ideas with the furniture you already have, and ask a few friends and your estate agent, to walk through your property, commenting on what is attracting their attention, both good and bad.
Take their advice seriously and improve your home as cost effectively as possible. A few Rands spent on accessories may just be the difference of getting your asking price.
Ask the property professional agents of Harcourts Dolphin Coast to assist you when preparing your house for the property market. You can reach us on 032 946 2331 or go to our website: www.harcourtsdolphincoast.co.ca. You can find us at 11 Jack Powell Road ( behind the Boulevard Centre) near Willard Beach.