Optimising your home’s best features

Property prices continue to see a gradual upward trend as the market slowly turns, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. However, he says that conditions still favour buyers, and sellers are not able to sit back and wait for the offers to flood in quite yet. “Sellers need to continue to focus on highlighting their property and its best focal points in order to give themselves a selling edge over the competition.”

In order to ensure that a property is sold in the shortest possible period of time at the best possible price, Goslett says that some effort will be required on the sellers’ part, but that it needn’t involve costly additions or completely gutting the existing property. “It is simply a matter of evaluating the home’s top selling points, making sure they look the best they can and then finding ways to draw the buyer’s attention to these features. Subtle, contemporary changes can be made to create a fresh and modern look without undertaking massive costly renovations,” says Goslett.

While advice for a fresh coat of paint where needed and ensuring that your home looks tidy are usually the first points of departure when preparing your home for show day, Goslett offers a few other pointers for sellers to help ensure that their property is in top form when showcasing it to potential buyers: 

Kitchens and bathrooms

Having an attractive kitchen and bathrooms can really add to the value of a home and make a good impression on buyers.  Goslett says that many buyers are often swayed when these areas in a home are updated and aesthetically pleasing. “It is possible to freshen up and add a bit of glamour to these rooms without doing too much to them,” he says. “It is not necessary to completely change the room; but just making small adjustments can have a huge impact. For example, adding a new mirror to the bathroom wall or updating the taps and lighting can breathe new life into the space and create a completely different feel altogether.”

As the heart of the home, the kitchen is especially important. Goslett says that the range of the kitchen can be expanded with the addition of features such as a work island giving the kitchen extra cupboards and food preparation space, or a cosy breakfast nook which reinforces the kitchen as a gathering place for the family over meals.

“Sellers should also look at refurbishing the counters tops and updating major appliances as this will go a long way to reinventing and modernising the overall look of the home,” Goslett adds.

Get organised

Goslett says that often buyers are looking for homes with additional storage and cupboard space, so if there is room for it, expanding cupboards in bedrooms or bathrooms and adding a walk-in pantry to the kitchen will give a home an extra selling point.

“If there is a lot of open wall space that is unused, why not add some built-in shelves or an organisational wall unit? These are generally relatively easy to install and will be a functional addition that could give the home an interesting and unique feature,” says Goslett.  
Wood is a great option

If the home is carpeted and the carpets are in good repair, having a professional carpet cleaning will rejuvenate their look and have the home smelling great. However, if the carpets need to be replaced and the home has wooden flooring underneath, why not consider ripping up the carpets and refinishing the wood flooring. Wooden floors are timeless, and generally buyers place extremely high value on homes with these kinds of floors. 

“If the home does not have wooden flooring underneath the carpeting and seller would like to replace the flooring, there are a large number of synthetic alternatives that look very similar to hardwood flooring, but which come at a fraction of the cost,” says Goslett. “The right flooring option can make a room appear larger and will completely revamp its look and feel.”

Landscape the garden

More often than not, the first thing that a buyer sees is the front garden, so it is important for sellers to make sure that the first impression buyers get of the property is the right one. “While adding a deck or patio could be a good idea, it won’t always be in the budget and isn’t needed to make the garden look attractive. Simply having the garden landscaped and neatly kept is enough. The lawn should be mowed, the driveway and pavement edged and the flowerbeds well tended,” says Goslett.   

“Small updates before listing a property will give sellers an excellent chance of standing apart from the crowd and achieving their asking price. Although the updates don’t need to be expensive, the impact they will have can be invaluable,” Goslett concludes.

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