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How to sell a property quickly - the essence of home staging

First impressions count, that’s the bottom line. This even applies to selling a home ?presentation is key. If a potential buyer walks past a ‘For Sale’ sign at your front gate only to be greeted by a house in a sad state of disrepair, they are likely to try make a hasty exit ? unless they are excited by the prospect of buying a ‘charming fixer-upper’ at a reduced price, of course. But don’t bank on it.

This is where home staging comes in. Unlike decorating, staging is when you dress up a property so that it has a universal appeal. This often means applying a more neutral coat of paint to walls, pulling up tired, old carpets, fixing things that are broken, installing modern fittings, and peeling your kids’ grimy stickers off the cupboards ? in essence, tastefully dressing your home to create a blank canvas for buyers to explore, as opposed to presenting them with a finished and overly personalised masterpiece.

At the end of the day, you want your property to appeal to as many buyers as possible. At the same time, you don’t want to overspend on getting a house ‘sales ready’.

According to Graham Ross, Sales Manager at Just Property in Blouberg, houses that sell are ones that have curb appeal.

“Boost your property by having a good street view of the property,” advises Ross.

“Hang easy-to-read house numbers, mow the lawn, freshen up the flower beds and clean the front windows. When prospective buyers arrive at the house they are already starting to formulate an opinion, so make sure your home gets off to a good start.

“Cleaning the floors, painting the walls and taking care of some basic maintenance will already go a long way in getting the property ready for the market.”

Ross maintains that kitchens and bathrooms are some of the more important rooms to fix up in any house. “However, you can create a better feel in any room by simply getting rid of clutter and striking a balance between a clean but lived in feeling,” he adds. 

“Creating a lifestyle would also be important in the home. For example, if you have a dining room, dress this room up by setting the table and having freshly cut flowers in a vase. This would create the feeling of a warm family home, ready for that first dinner party.”

While the amount spent on staging a house before selling will depend on the property concerned, most of the work can be done by owners themselves, which should keep costs to a minimum.

When it comes to what he thinks buyers are looking for in a property purchase these days, Ross has the following to say: “Location is still a major factor for buyers, with schooling being an important part of their decision-making; and a clean and neat home will also sell much quicker than a home that would need some maintenance.”


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