Correct pricing and aesthetic appeal boosts seller’s chances

Although the market has begun to shift in the seller’s favour, those wanting to achieve the best possible price in today’s market will still need to ensure that their property makes a good first impression and stands out from the competition, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
“While the number of properties available to buyers has dropped, sellers still need to do their part if they want to maximise their chances of obtaining the asking price that they want. Many sellers are still making the mistake of over-pricing their property, which can negatively impact their chances of attracting buyers to their home,” says Goslett, who points out that sellers need to view their home objectively when setting an asking price. “Very often sellers are driven by their emotions when they decide what price they want for their home, possibly overlooking certain faults or current market values. Sellers need to try to put themselves in the shoes of a potential buyer. Homes that are considered to be overpriced continue to sit on the market for months - even years. However, newly listed, realistically priced property is moving and moving quickly. Buyers are more educated about the market these days and know what qualifies as fair market value. According to a recent FNB Property Barometer,  24% of first-time buyers in today’s market shop around, do lots of market research, ask questions and are knowledgeable,” says Goslett. 
He notes that a reputable estate agent with specific area knowledge can be a valuable tool when it comes to determining the home’s fair market value. “Estate agents will be able to provide an impartial view on the property, taking emotion out of the equation and only basing the price on statistics and facts.  An agent who has been working in a particular area for some time will understand which features are popular among buyers in that area. They will also have access to data regarding recent sales in the area to complete a comparative market analysis. This will provide an accurate pricing structure on which to base the asking price,” explains Goslett.
According to Goslett, apart from correct pricing, a home’s aesthetic appeal is the next most important aspect for attracting buyers to the property. “When it comes to selling property, first impressions are vital. A home that has been poorly maintained will appeal to far fewer buyers than one that is in good repair. Before a home is placed on the market, all defects and general maintenance should be taken care of to ensure that the property is in pristine condition. Curb-appeal starts from the pavement outside the property, so the home should be maintained from there all the way through. The grass should be cut, flower beds weeded and the swimming–pool’s water should be crystal clear,” says Goslett.
Sellers wanting to make the best possible first impression and increase the aesthetic appeal of their home should also consider the following:

•       Paint or clean the exterior and interior walls

•       Wash the windows

•       Clean light switches

•       Clutter will distract buyers from the home’s features and make the spaces appear smaller. Where possible de-clutter the home and pack away unused items

•       Clear items from the top of kitchen counters

•       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

Goslett concludes by saying that a well-maintained home that is considered to be fairly priced will appeal to a wide variety of buyers and will have more chance of selling within a reasonable time frame.  A good first impression is the initial step to securing a property sale.

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