Renovate now if you are selling in 2015

The market may be a little quiet during the festive season, but in the New Year, people will be looking to relocate, perhaps to be closer to new jobs or schools. “The holidays are the ideal time to get your home looking as good as possible if you’re thinking of selling,” says Carel van Niekerk, Principal at Jawitz Properties Tygerberg.
“Buyers prefer to simply move in and settle down. Most don’t want to renovate and repair, and would rather pay a little more to move into a home that has been renovated and is in good nick,” he says.  The difference in monthly installments between a bond of R1 million and R1.1 million is about R1000 per month. “A thousand rand a month is easier to afford than R100 000 cash for renovations.”
Jawitz Tygerberg recently listed a property in Goodwood for R1.195 million. The paint in two of the bedrooms was in bad condition, the support beam under the wooden kitchen floor was damaged and the back yard was messy, while on the back wall of the house there were old electric wires and water pipes which were no longer in use.
“Every time buyers came to view the property, they were informed that the owner would repair the damages and tidy up, resulting in only two offers of R900 000 each,” van Niekerk says.  “We suggested that the owner take the house off the market for two weeks to do the required repairs.”
The owner spent R7 900 to paint the two bedrooms, fix the kitchen floor, remove the old pipes and wiring outside and to clean up the back yard. New photos of the property were loaded online and it was back on the market. “Within the first week we received two offers of R1.07 million and R1.12 million,” van Niekerk adds.
The house sold for R1.12 million in the end, which was R220 000 more than when it was first on the market in its original condition. “This is a great return on the effort and money spent to make those small changes - an investment of less than R8 000.”
Another property transaction saw one of the main banks give a client a 100% bond, pending valuation of the property. “After the valuation was done, the bank decided it would only grant the bond once the house was painted throughout the inside, and once the gutters had been replaced,” he says.  “So the owners of the house for sale were under pressure and probably ended up spending more than they needed to had they taken care of those things before putting their home on the market.”
First impressions definitely play a huge role in the final price you get for your home.  For a relatively low cost you can fix leaking taps, loose gutters, mouldy bathroom tiles and overgrown gardens – these are all easy things to fix. But they make a very big difference. “A clean, tidy appearance goes a long way and will get you the best possible price,” van Niekerk concludes.

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