There are always certain elements of a property that can attract or discourage buyers in certain areas. Tools such as comparative market analysis are commonly used to evaluate the value of property where houses of similar size, location and features are compared to arrive at an estimated market value.

Lee Siebert, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Helderberg says that when undertaking a comparative market analysis, unique features are taken into account and can have anything from a 2% - 25% influence on the value of a property, depending on the feature and the demand for that specific feature in the market place.

Talking about the demand for property in the Helderberg Basin, Siebert says that the natural beauty of the area, easy access to the Cape Peninsula, the winelands, and the international airport, makes this area one of the most sought-after locations in the Western Cape.

Added to this, Siebert says that the results of a recent survey undertaken by RE/MAX Helderberg among potential buyers clearly shows that the features in Somerset West which attract buyers to the area are the sea and mountain views as well as the beautiful gardens many of the homes in the area boast. 

“Unique aspects and features that many of the properties contain, such as interesting architectural design, custom home theatre rooms and wine cellars for collectors and wine enthusiasts are also very strong selling points,” Siebert says.

Other distinguishing features which set homes in Somerset West apart from others in the same area or price range are quality kitchens and attractive bathrooms. “Kitchens are extremely important. Buyers prefer large kitchens and ample working space. Modern bathrooms with quality finishes are equally as important, and buyers prefer stylish fittings such as large bathtubs, steam showers, twin basins and the like.”

Light, airy, spacious rooms that have a good exposure to the surrounding views are also important for attracting buyers, as is a well-tended, landscaped garden and ample storage space.

Conversely, one of the biggest downfalls of a property can be a poorly-designed or neglected roof, or a general lack of maintenance, says Siebert. “Home buyers expect, at a minimum, a solid roof over their heads, so make sure that your roof is in good order, or expect that your property’s value will plummet, and you will struggle to sell.”

Siebert also notes that dated features and finishes, like popcorn ceilings, outdated kitchen appliances, old plumbing and faulty electrical circuits will certainly detract from the value of a property. Badly-maintained swimming pools will also present a problem.

Siebert points out that one of the main factors influencing property values in the Somerset West area is garaging. “Storage is always an important consideration when purchasing a home. The lack of ample garaging, and even secure parking space to accommodate guests’ vehicles will be off-putting for most buyers,” she says.

Small rooms are increasingly unpopular with open-plan living areas the modern trend, while wooden structures are usually considered to be less valuable than those built from traditional brick and mortar. “Remember that your location in the street, the neighbourhood and the condition and value of houses in your suburb will also influence the value of your property,” says Siebert.

She also warns sellers about overly personalized and arty décor. “You may love your stylish, black dining room walls, but few potential buyers may share your taste.”

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says: “It is important for sellers look at their property objectively and see what can be done to improve the chances of the sale becoming a reality. An aesthetically pleasing home that is well-maintained and priced correctly, will appeal to far more buyers than an over-priced home in need of repair.”

Siebert notes that Somerset West properties offer particularly good value for money deals for property investors, with prices in Somerset West and surrounds averaging between R1,5 million and R3 million. During April 2012, RE/MAX Helderberg sold a selection of properties in Somerset West that ranged between R450 000 and R15 million.

Currently on the RE/MAX Helderberg books, is a home in Somerset West’s exclusive security development, Spanish Farm, which is being marketed at R14 million by Sales Associate Pieter Kotzè.

Designed by well-known architect, Eben Rahl, the home offers sea views from the living areas over the rim-flow pool. The stylish, custom-made front door leads into the large entrance hall with a sweeping staircase. Living areas include a large serving counter or bar area, formal lounge and dining room, informal braai room, large kitchen area with feature fireplace and a secluded piazza with a pizza oven. The living areas flow onto a large covered patio and pool area.  There is also a study/office along with five en-suite bedrooms, an upstairs “pyjama” lounge, his and hers dressing rooms in the master bedroom, staff accommodation and garages for three to four cars.


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