When selling a home, first impressions count & an important aspect in achieving a successful sale is ensuring potential buyers don't overlook your property due to poor maintenance, clutter & the like.

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"It’s a fact that homes which enable the buyer to simply move in and enjoy the property, sell quicker and at far better prices as purchasers are saved time, inconvenience and additional cost."

The aim of a professional real estate agent is to sell your home in a short period of time, at a good market related price and with the least amount of stress for the seller. The seller’s property should be exhibited to suitable, potential buyers as the one which is the most appealing and well presented within its price bracket.

It’s a fact that homes which enable the buyer to simply move in and enjoy the property, sell quicker and at far better prices as purchasers are saved time, inconvenience and additional cost.

Key aspects of setting the stage for the successful sale of your home are to de-clutter, refresh, refurbish, tidy and organise and de-personalise.

Agent and seller should work together to identify and rectify any problem areas. Start with a checklist of exterior maintenance which is needed. For example, look at the condition of paint work, fascias and gutters. Is the verge, driveway, boundary walls and gates neat and well maintained, is there an attractive post box and street number.

Simply grouping pot plants and repainting the pots, and perhaps adding pavers can create an attractive focal point.  Ensure the home is adequately and attractively lit on the outside – not only for security but also for appeal. Affordable solar-energised garden lights can create a pleasant ambience.

A freshly painted older home with neat gutters, a tidy garden with trees, lawn and shrubs trimmed, green grass and a sparkling pool with spotless surrounds will generally sell more readily and certainly at a better price than a modern looking home with peeling paint, shoddy gutters and fascias, neglected garden and green pool.

De-clutter all areas of the home and spring clean rooms, carpets, furniture, curtains and linen. Co-ordinate bed linen and curtains to create a restful impression and if possible, buy new neutral-coloured linen which can be complemented by colourful scatter cushions and throws to create a homely look.

Many buyers purchase at face value and may not perceive the potential in homes that they view. It is therefore a simpler exercise to present a more appealing package that a broader market will warm to. In the kitchen, for example, remove any clutter such as an excess of appliances to display attractive granite tops and cupboards and sufficient workspace – which is very important.  Contemporary new cupboard handles and colour scheme can make a huge difference to a kitchen with a dated look. And bear in mind that chipped tiles create a very negative impression. Also ensure the scullery and laundry area is clean and neat.

Bathrooms should also be in good condition, clean and preferably with blinds instead of curtains for a more modern, neutral appeal. Again, check the condition of the tiles and any mosaics and repaint walls and ceiling in neutral shades. Fresh towels should be neatly displayed and remove any children’s toys from the bathroom. Replace broken or damaged towel rails and put down new bath mats.

Simply by repositioning or even removing some of the furniture and objects in a room can more fully reveal its character and purpose and help create an air of spaciousness. Entrance halls should be light, inviting and again, uncluttered. When a potential buyer walks into your home they need to feel a natural flow through the house from the interior living spaces to outdoor entertainment, patio, pool and other areas.

Importantly, display the rooms for the purpose intended – a bedroom turned into a gym may not be appealing to potential buyers, nor a bedroom with a dual purpose as a study as the clutter of papers and office equipment does not create the impression of a restful atmosphere for a good night’s rest.

For further information contact Pam Golding Properties KwaZulu-Natal regional office on 031 2750500