Putting your best foot forward when marketing your house

Don’t leave as is
Everything in your home must be in good working order before you put it on the market. Take some time to look at the house from a buyer’s perspective and make a list of things you need to attend to before putting the house on the market. Attend to things such as:

  • Damp
  • Roof leaks and marks on ceilings which resulted from the leak
  • Peeling gutters and facia boards
  • Broken windows
  • Loose window putty
  • Wooden frames and doors in need of treatment
  • Broken fixtures, such as light fittings, sanitary ware and door handles
  • Dripping taps and leaking toilets
  • Loose cupboard hinges
  • Outdated or worn wallpaper

Boost curb appeal
Many people thinking of viewing your home will do a quick drive-by first, often deciding on the spot if it is even worth a look inside. Make sure your home is inviting to potential buyers with these tips: 

  • The boundary wall or fence, gate and pavement must look neat, and the house number must be clearly visible. Give the wall or fence a coat of paint if necessary.
  • Power wash the driveway and remove any oil stains with a chemical solvent.
  • Tidy up the yard and put away stuff that is lying around.
  • Mow the lawn, trim trees, shrubs and creepers, and weed beds.
  • Clean gutters.
  • Throw out unsightly pots with dead plants.
  • Put out a few attractive containers with flowering plants to create a splash of colour in focal points.
  • Make sure walls and windows are clean. If you are not repainting the house, power wash the walls.
  • Outdoor lights must be working!
  • Even if you have only a tiny porch, make it say "welcome home" with a clean doormat and potted plants.

Get the house sparkling clean and tidy
From shining floors and gleaming windows to clean counters, every surface should sparkle. Even a modest home will look good when it is clean and tidy.

  • Spring clean. Wash walls and windows, remove finger marks from doors and polish door handles.
  • Have carpets washed.
  • Let fresh air and light in. Open windows and remove or open net curtains where possible.
  • Pay special attention to bathrooms – scrub grout and clean shower doors. Put out fresh towels, soap and toilet paper. Put away toiletries which may look untidy.
  • In the kitchen, clear working surfaces as far as possible, make sure the stove top and oven are both clean, and do the dishes and put them away.
  • Make beds and put clothes away.
  • Clear away clutter. You want prospective buyers to look at the space, not get distracted by your personal belongings. Store piles of paper and stacks of magazines in boxes out of sight, put away stray children’s toys, and if you have a lot of ornaments and family photographs, put away some. Store your collections in a safe place for the duration of the selling process. Make your house a place that anyone could imagine living in.
  • Get rid of everything you wouldn’t want your mother to see. Prospective buyers will open the oven, investigate drawers for function and capacity, and study your closets and medicine cabinet. Part of preparing your house to sell is a ruthless purging of all these places and a thoughtful review of potentially embarrassing items.
  • Plump out cushions and check paintings – don’t let them hang skew!
  • Create a sense of homeliness and evoke a feeling of contentment with a bowl of fresh flowers or a bowl of fresh fruit. Place this for example on the dining room table or coffee tables, instead of magazines or books.
  • Clear up and clean the garage – let buyers see there is space to park the car!

Pleasant scents
It is important to keep your home smelling nice. You can do this in various ways, from using scented candles to having a fresh pot of coffee brewing in the kitchen or rusks drying in the oven.

  • Empty the garbage bin.
  • Load dirty clothes into the washing machine.
  • Run a lemon rind through the disposal unit.
  • Give wood furniture a quick polish.
  • Clean the litter box.
  • Refrain from smoking inside the house.

Keep your home at a moderate temperature
This will encourage potential buyers to stay longer in the comfortable surroundings.
In winter:

  • Light a fire in the fireplace or use a heater to heat up a cold room.
  • Close curtains at sunset to keep the heat inside.

In summer:

  • Open windows and doors to create a draught.
  • Use a ceiling or standing fan.

Staging the interior
This American and European concept has not quite established itself here as yet, but sometimes a few small changes may make your home look more appealing.

  • Let the light stream in. A bright home appeals to buyers. Trim plants which darken a room. A room which is painted in a dark colour will seem dark. Neutral walls, pale furniture and soft lighting go a long way toward creating a crowd-pleasing interior.
  • Remove extra furniture that clutters the space - side tables, footstools and magazine racks.
  • Create simple arrangements with maximum impact. Often people arrange their living room as if they’re hosting the neighbourhood meeting, with all the furniture lined up along the walls. Instead, place a sofa facing the fireplace, and flank it with two chairs and coffee table in between. This will create visual depth and an inviting picture.
  • Borrow pieces which could make a difference – a painting to fill an obvious gap, a carpet to warm up an uninviting room, even furniture for an empty room.

Stage the outdoors too                                                                                                                                                 Buyers often buy a lifestyle. Use this to your advantage.

  • The pool must be sparkling clean – a neglected pool will remind buyers that a pool means work. An unkempt garden will have the same effect.
  • If you have a table and chairs on the patio, put out cushions and cover the table with a pretty table cloth.
  • Hanging a hammock in your backyard could be the perfect touch.
  • Play up a postage–stamp size balcony or corner in the garden with a cafe table and chairs, a cheerful tablecloth and even a tray of dishes. Let them see that it is the perfect spot for breakfast!

Published in: Linprop news


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