Would you buy your own house?
“Lost time is never found again!” – Benjamin Franklin
A sound way of determining if your house is market-ready is to ask yourself: “ Would I buy my own home ?”
That’s according to Richard Gray , CEO of Harcourts Real Estate South Africa , who says it’s a question that calls for an honest answer, best arrived at by an objective analysis of its best and worst features.
“And if you find it difficult to be objective, get input from someone else who will be honest,” he adds, “since an honest answer will help you arrive at a realistic selling date as well as an achievable selling price.” So often the “wish- for -price” you want for your property will not be acceptable to the buyers out there and will be time wasted on the market, and :‘lost time is never found again.”
Sellers generally don’t see their homes with the same eyes of prospective buyers. Broken windows, peeling paintwork, missing roof tiles, sagging gates and mould in the shower – these tend to go unnoticed by owners after a while. Yet, they are detractors that will stand out a mile to buyers, who will either be put off the property completely or they’ll use them to justify a low offer.
Buyers who are prepared to upgrade or renovate – and they are in the vast minority – will not pay a premium for the property because of the danger of over-capitalising.
Where to start?
The best place to start is in the street outside. This is where buyers will form a first – and lasting – impression of your home, so you need to assess its verge appeal. If you don’t like its appearance, buyers probably won’t either. Look critically at the overall state of repair as well as the garden.
Consider the paintwork as the next step. Painting is one of the quickest, most effective ways of sprucing up a property.
Still outside, take a tour of your neighbourhood to see what other properties are on the market. You need to know what you’re competing with, so ascertain the asking prices and the length of time they’ve been on the market, which will allow you to set a realistic selling price.
It’s now time for the interior analysis.
Good advice on entering the front door is to stop and sniff. The smell of animals is extremely off-putting for buyers as well as any other odours you may have gotten used to.
Your home inspection should also focus on mess and clutter, the condition of the interior paint, the cleanliness of the kitchen and bathrooms and how well lit it is. These are just some areas one should take into consideration.
Prospective buyers like to picture their own furniture and pictures in a house, something that will be almost impossible for them to do if the place is jam-packed with tables, chairs, boxes and ornaments. Once more a coat of paint and having the grouting re-done in discoloured bathrooms and kitchens, tackling dripping taps and cleaning light fittings and switches will help to present your home at its best.
Most of these are cosmetic fixes that would be recommended by any competent estate agent, bearing in mind that the majority of buyers want to be able to move in and live.
WHAT WOULD YOU PAY FOR YOUR OWN HOUSE?
Having done a thorough inspection of your home, you now need to establish what price you would be willing to pay for it. “If you arrive at a selling price based on how much you need to pay off debt or upgrade to a better property, you’re going to spend a long time on the market,” warns Richard Gray . In this vein, he also cautions against choosing an agent on the basis of who gives you the highest valuation.
“The bottom line is that if you want the top price for your home, you have to give the market a top product. If you don’t, the buyers will simply move on to the next property.”
At Harcourts Dolphin Coast we are proud to “do the right thing” and to put “your needs first”. Call on us to give you an honest and professional evaluation of your home before you place it on the market.
Property is our profession, but PEOPLE our passion!!!
Call us on 032 946 2331