How to make your home more appealing to buyers

Although the property market has been a tough trading arena for sellers over the past few years, the market is turning and sellers will find that making their home more appealing to buyers may be easier than they think, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

According to Goslett, while market related prices will always be attractive to buyers, there are other simple things that sellers can do to make their home stand out and leave a lasting and good impression. He offers a few tips:

If it’s attractive on the outside, buyers will want to see the inside – Homes that are visibly well maintained and well kept on the outside will be more appealing than the homes that aren’t. Most buyers will pass over a home that they don’t like the look of from the outside. This doesn’t mean that the structure of the home needs to be changed, just simple improvements such as a fresh coat of paint, a cut lawn and flowers in the garden. Buyers want to be able to move in and live there without the need for extensive renovating or upgrades.  

De-clutter and keep it tidy – Make sure that the home is clean because you don’t want the dirty dishes in the sink to distract the buyer from what the home has to offer. Make sure that the state of your home leaves the best possible image in the buyer’s mind. Also make sure that all unnecessary or unused items are packed away as clutter can make homes look a lot smaller.  

Buyers must feel like they are walking into a home and not just a house – Staging certain areas in a home will add to its appeal and make buyers feel at home. For example, have a vase of freshly cut flowers on the dining room table or in the entrance hall. This will not only make the house look and feel more homely, but it will also have the place smelling great.

Keep rooms for what they were intended for – While many homeowners deviate from the original use that a room was intended for, and turn bedrooms into a laundry room or office, when selling a home, bedrooms should remain bedrooms. A home with more bedrooms will always be perceived as more valuable in a buyer’s mind.  Sellers must use the spaces in the home in the correct manner, because a three-bedroom home will fetch a higher value than a two-bedroom unit with an office, even if the space is the same.

Create a comfortable atmosphere – Turn lights on in darker areas of the home or on days that are overcast. Open windows to allow fresh air through the house or if there is an air-conditioning system, adjust it to a comfortable temperature so that buyers will want to linger and have a proper look at the place. If a home is hot and stuffy, buyers will rush through it and try to get out of it as quickly as possible. This will leave an impression, but not the right kind.

Make the home available at all times – With the busy work schedules that most buyers have, many will appreciate being able to view property after hours or when it is convenient to do so. Sellers should therefore be open to their estate agent arranging viewings on other days aside from show days.

“In today’s market, buyers want a property that is priced right and meets their lifestyle requirements, but they also want a home that is beautiful. With the competitive nature of selling property, making the property as appealing as possible is the key to staying ahead of the game and ensuring a successful sale,” Goslett concludes.

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