It pays to keep your home up to par

As a homeowner, you should start a programme of regular maintenance from the day you move in.
That’s the advice of Jan Davel, MD of the RealNet property group, who says it’s no secret that the best-looking homes always sell fastest and for the highest prices, and that it’s much easier to get a home into “show condition” if you don’t have to overcome years of neglect.
“Property buyers should always make sure,” he says, “that there is enough leeway in their household budgets to keep their homes in shape. Deferred maintenance during a period of high interest rates and increased home loan repayments is one thing, but owners should never let their homes get so run down that turning things around is an insurmountable chore.
“Indeed, if for some reason you no longer have the resources to maintain your home, it is often better to sell it before it goes into decline.”
Davel also suggests that homeowners keep a record or log of all the improvements they make and repairs they undertake during their period of ownership. “This will come in very handy when you decide to sell because it will document your regimen of good home maintenance for potential buyers.
“It can also be very useful for calculating your capital gains liability.”
As for going to the trouble of adding that extra “gloss” on show day, he says it really can make all the difference between a sale and no-sale, or between a good offer and a bad one, especially in the current market.
“All too often we hear homeowners say they think it would be a waste to spend money on a property they are about to sell. But when you decide to sell, you home is no longer your family residence but a ‘commodity’ that must be made attractive to other prospective homeowners. And a couple of thousand rand and a few working weekends spent to transform a home into one of the most attractive local listings inevitably pays dividends.
“For a start, there are always far more buyers looking for homes in ‘move-in’ condition than those scouting for dilapidated properties that they can fix up and resell.
"And the added appeal of a well-presented home not only attracts more offers, but often also justifies a higher asking price when prospective buyers consider the work required and costs they would have to incur to bring other, under-presented homes up to the same standard."

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