Wait before you renovate

As has been reported by several estate agencies serving the Upper Constantia residential property market, a reluctance to sell is now increasingly evident among home owners in this area.

Among those who do put their homes up for sale, says Gerald Romanovsky, the senior sales agent at the Rawson Property Group’s Constantia franchise, he often comes across those who are contemplating selling after carrying out quite substantial renovations and improvements.

Their line of thought, says Romanovsky, is that by ‘improving’ what are often readily saleable properties they will add significantly to the profit that they make on the sale.

Typically, he said, an Upper Constantia home owner with, say, a home worth R7 million will carry out an upgrade at a cost of R500,000 and will then expect to sell the home for R8 million or even more.

“My experience of selling homes in the upper brackets,” says Romanovsky, “leads me to think that this line of thought is very seldom justified.  The innovations and extras installed to enhance the value of the home are likely in many cases not to be to the taste of the new buyer, who probably in any case has plans of his own for upgrading the home.

“My advice to profit seekers of this kind is, therefore, ‘don’t’.  Make your home look as spic and span as possible and then put it on the market at the price a trained estate agent with valuation experience recommends.  That way you will probably get the best possible sale result.”

On the other hand, says Romanovsky, if the owner upgrades and improves his home and then continues to live in it for four to five years, it is highly likely that the increased sale price that he will achieve will more than compensate for his earlier outlay on the upgrade.

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