Sellers advised to put properties on show

When selling your home, should you show it "as is" with all your furniture and belongings in place, or wait until it is empty it so prospective buyers can see the actual size of the rooms?

Preferably, says Braam de Jager, national operations manager of Aida, you should put it on show before you move out.

"Many buyers find it difficult to visualise how a vacant house will look - and feel - when it is fully furnished. They cannot make sense of the floor plan without furniture in place, and they find it hard to gauge whether items such as their fridge, freezer and dishwasher will fit.

"That is why developers often go to the expense of furnishing a show house when launching a new townhouse or cluster complex. Even if the furniture in the show house is not to the taste of potential buyers, it gives them a 'feel' for what it would be like to live in the home And if the feel is right, the sale is half-way made."

On the other hand, he says, homes on show should be clean, light and clutter-free. "Even the most spacious house can looked cramped with a lifetime's worth of photos and knick knacks on display. And heavy, dark curtains can easily make even airy rooms look dingy."

As for homes that have been occupied by tenants, De Jager notes, these should only be shown to potential buyers after the tenants have moved - and after the owner has had time to attend to any repairs that are necessary, to repaint and to have the home thoroughly cleaned.

"Buyers will understand if a home is empty in these circumstances,and will appreciate the fact that the owner has taken the trouble to get it clean and ready for sale.

"And while the owner may forfeit out on one or two months' rent while doing this, he or she should be more than compensated by a quick sale."

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