Homeowners' Guide: Maintaining Property Value in an Ever-Changing Market

Undeniably, a property that lacks proper maintenance can quickly deteriorate, becoming outmoded and falling into disrepair. The inevitable conclusion? Such a home would command a lower asking price when it finally hits the market. But, the million-dollar question remains: what are the decisive actions homeowners can take to ensure their property not only maintains its allure, but possibly grows in value?

It's simple, yet demands commitment. The answer lies in the active pursuit of regular maintenance, diligent upkeep of necessary repairs, and enticing landscaping. 

According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, there are many aspects that affect a home’s value over time – many of which are outside of a homeowner’s control, like the demand for a suburb or the greater economic conditions.

“However, what is within a homeowner’s control is the overall condition of the home. By making sure that the home is as appealing as possible to potential buyers, homeowners will protect the resale value of their home and safeguard their investment,” Goslett notes.

Ever considered how instrumental regular home maintenance can be in preserving its resale value? Not only does timely upkeep mitigate the risk of serious repair woes in the future, but it also establishes your property as a well-kept haven. Let's delve into those commonplace maintenance tasks you should be routinely attending to:

Chips, cracks, and holes
It can be easy to ignore a small crack on the wall or a patch of chipped paint here and there. The problem is that these small defects can either grow larger or accumulate over time, which can make a home look scruffy and uncared for. It is better to touch up any of these defects as soon as they appear rather than delay the repairs until they become a bigger problem.

Regular garden maintenance
The home’s exterior is so important. Not only is the first impression a buyer will get of the home, but it is also often the first place where damage can occur. Apart from seeing to the lawn and doing regular weed maintenance, homeowners should be clearing out gutters and inspecting the roof to guard against potential leaks or water damage making its way to the home’s interior.

Cleaning that goes beyond the normal routine
Every so often, it is advisable to do a deep cleaning of the home. Get any fitted carpets professionally cleaned; do a deep clean of all cupboards to make sure nothing has spilled or caused damage; clean all windows; scrub the grout between the tiles, and polish any metal fittings (doorknobs, handles, etc.) that are looking cloudy.

Lastly, Goslett mentions that it is useful to keep an eye on home décor trends and to try and slowly update things where you can. “Sometimes just small updates, like painting cupboard fronts in a new colour or replacing faucets, can make a big difference to how modern a home feels,” he notes.

He adds that leaning on the advice of a real estate professional can be useful in this regard. “An agent will know what features buyers are looking for in the area and can point out if things in your home might need updating. Real estate agents are also able to keep you updated on the average selling prices in your suburb and can let you know how your home is appreciating over time – it’s worth developing a good working relationship with an agent to stay informed,” he concludes.   

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