Preparation is key when selling

One of the founding fathers of the United States was once quoted as saying: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  

The key to any successful endeavour in life is preparation, according to Chris van der Merwe, Broker/Manager of RE/MAX Eden, whose offices services Knysna, Sedgefield and the Wilderness. He says that preparation is one of the most important parts of the property sale process, especially for sellers who hope to achieve the optimum results when they list their home.

“While we are currently in a seller’s market with a shortage of properties available to buyers, sellers can’t sit back and hope for the best, unless they put in some time and effort to ensure that their home is at its best before they put it on the market.  Regardless of the market phase, sellers who want the best possible results will still need to work for it to ensure the best outcome,” says van der Merwe.

He notes that before placing their home on the market, sellers must ensure that, to their knowledge, all outstanding maintenance issues have been dealt with and everything within the property is in order. “A home that appears to be well maintained and looked after will be far more attractive to potential buyers than a home that is in need of repair. Even in a seller’s market, unless a buyer is specifically looking for a fixer-upper, they are not going to want to spend additional money on fixing the property before they move in. If the property is in excellent condition it will push the odds further into the seller’s favour and ensure that they get the best possible price for their home,” says van der Merwe.

Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, agrees, saying that most buyers want a home that they can move into without the added expense of repairs right at the onset. Purchasing a home can be an expensive process with the buyer required to pay a deposit, attorney and registration fees, meaning that further costs to repair the home could push buyers away or result in the seller having to dramatically reduce their asking price in order to clinch the deal.

Van der Merwe provides sellers with a few tips to prepare their home for sale:

·         Make sure that the garden and outside area surrounding the home is landscaped and neat.
·         Ensure that any alterations done to the home are on plan and approved by the local council. The seller will need to   obtain copies for the agent and prospective buyer.
·         Stage the home for show days and remove all excess ornaments/picture frames and objects - in other words,   declutter the home.
·         Ensure that the home is spotlessly clean when the agents bring prospective buyers around for viewings.

He notes that some pitfalls that a seller should try to avoid include:

·         Overpricing the property
·         Not allowing the agent to place a yard sign in front of the home 
·         Not allowing show days
·         Giving the home to too many agents to market at the same time

“To ensure the best results, a seller should give the agent that has the highest premier market presence and market share an exclusive mandate, as this will eliminate wasting time and will decrease the turnaround time of the sale,” advises van der Merwe. “Working with a reputable real estate professional with specific area knowledge will help to ensure the seller receives the best possible price for their property within the shortest possible timeframe,” he concludes.

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