Tips to attract multiple offers in today’s competitive real estate market

Homeowners who plan to sell their property this year may find the conditions slightly more to their liking than what we have seen over the past few years, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
“Various factors will come into play and have a positive impact on the housing market over the next 12 months,” says Goslett. “While we have seen favourable conditions for buyers over the last while, we could see the market shifting towards sellers in 2014, with the numbers of property available to buyers lessening. According to both Absa and FNB property reports, residential building activity has been under pressure and the number of new homes being built has dropped. This, coupled with fewer existing homes on the market, could give rise to more sellers attracting multiple offers on their property. However, that said, just because it is a possibility, doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee. It is still important that sellers are aware that we are in a competitive real estate market and buyers want the best value for money that they can find. Sellers must be prepared and present their homes in the best possible manner to give themselves the best chance of garnering not just one offer, but several.”
Goslett notes that there are a few things that sellers can do to ensure that their home stands out from the competition and appeals to as many serious buyers as possible:
Correct pricing

Correct pricing is always going to be the number one factor that draws buyers to a property, especially if the buyer has been researching the market and knows the fair market value of property in the area. “Buyers take into consideration many factors when looking for a property, such as its location and features, but a property that is priced correctly is more likely to appeal to a wider range of buyers, which is more likely to result in multiple offers,” says Goslett.

It would be advantageous to find out what other properties in your area are selling for. You can do an online property search by using a radius or draw-a-search function to find properties for sale in your vicinity. 
Curb appeal

Goslett says that the right price will bring buyers to the property, but curb appeal is what will get them through the front door. “Sellers are more likely to attract multiple offers if their home is in good condition and is aesthetically pleasing to look at. It is especially important that the front entrance looks attractive, as this will be the buyers’ first impression of the home and set the tone for the rest of the viewing. Buyers want to purchase a property that they feel has been maintained and looked after,” says Goslett.
Good repair and condition

Most buyers are looking for a property that requires the least amount of work to make it liveable, so it’s important that sellers pay attention to the little details and ensure that everything is in good repair. The seller must make sure that any broken windows or roof tiles are replaced and walls that are faded, chipped or dirty are repainted. A new coat of paint will make a huge difference to the overall look and feel of the home as it will appear fresher and cleaner. Minor work and inexpensive improvements could give a seller the edge over other properties in the area and make their home much more appealing to buyers walking through the door.
Set the stage

Staging a home is about removing clutter and rearranging furniture to best showcase the room. It is also a good idea to de-personalise the home by removing family photos and other memorabilia in the home that could distract the buyer from the features of the home itself. “Homes without a lot of clutter and unnecessary items will have a positive impact on buyers. The idea is to make the rooms feel larger and more airy. Where possible also allow natural light into the home, keeping it as bright as possible,” says Goslett.
Work with the right agent

A professional, fully-qualified estate agent from a reputable agency can be an invaluable asset for sellers wanting to market their property to the right buyers. “A good real estate agent will have an in-depth market knowledge, resources and the ability to value a property at its true, market-related value, as well as ensure that the property is marketed to the right target audience with maximum exposure,” says Goslett. “This will all increase the odds of attracting multiple offers.”

Find the right estate agent for you by using our find an estate agent function
There will be advantages for homeowners wanting to sell their property during 2014, but it is up to them to ensure that their home has the best chance of being sold. “Buyers are best likely to respond to a property that is correctly priced and in a good condition, so sellers will need to make sure they are prepared to do their bit to maximise their home’s appeal,” Goslett concludes.

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