How important is aesthetic appeal?

With interest rates at levels that we haven’t seen in the last 39 years, market conditions are perfect for buyers wanting to purchase property. “However,” says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, “while the current conditions will continue to stimulate momentum within the property sector, sellers that want the best possible price for their home will still have to make sure that their property makes a good first impression and stands out from other similar houses on the market.”

According to Goslett, although it seems that buyers are currently holding all the cards in today’s market, sellers do have a part to play in maximising their chances of obtaining the asking price that they want. That being said, over-pricing of property remains a challenge that could negatively impact a seller’s chance of attracting buyers to their home. Goslett says that it is important for sellers to look at their property objectively. “Often when a homeowner has lived in their house for some time and has an emotional attachment to their home, it is easy for them to overlook certain faults and over-estimate the value of their property. If possible, a seller will need to view their home as if they were the buyer.”   

How to price your property correctly

A reputable estate agent that specialises in area where the home is situated can assist sellers with correctly pricing their property and assessing what needs to be done to make the home stand out from the competition. As estate agents are impartial onlookers doing a job, they will take emotionality completely out of the picture and base the asking price on data. Estate agents will have access to information that can assist them to determine the correct fair market value of the property, as well as show them what features the majority of the buyers in the area are looking for.  A comparative market analysis by the agent will provide the details such as the number of properties that have been sold in the area and at what price.

Ensuring maximum aesthetic appeal

After correct-pricing, a home’s aesthetic appeal is the next most important aspect to attracting buyers to the property. “If there are any defects that need to be fixed or other general maintenance required in order to ensure that the house is in pristine condition, these should be completed before the home is placed on the market,” says Goslett. “First impressions are vitally important and curb-appeal plays a major role for those who are looking to attract buyers. The pavement outside the property and the garden should be well-maintained, the grass should be cut and flower beds weeded, the pool should be clean and the water in your swimming pool crystal clear.”

Goslett says that sellers wanting to make the best impression and give themselves a competitive advantage should also consider the following:

• De-cluttering the home by packing away unused items. Clutter generally has a negative impact of the overall appearance of the property; it can distract buyers from the home’s features as well as make a room look smaller.
• Clear items from the top of kitchen counters and units.
• Clean built-in kitchen appliances such as hobs and ovens.
• Ensure the shower is free of algae and that the shower door is clean.
• Organise and clean out the garage.
• Pack away any un-ironed laundry.
• Clear away any children’s toys that may be lying around the garden.
• Paint or clean the exterior and interior walls,
• Wash the windows.
• Clean light switches

“A home that is correctly priced and aesthetically pleasing will appeal to far more buyers and have a greater chance of being sold than an over-priced, under-maintained home. When it comes to attracting buyers to a property, looks do count,” Goslett concludes.

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