Preparing property for sale - DonaVans

It has often been said that “Buyers buy on emotion” – it’s true!


Picture the following two scenarios:-


You drive up to this beautiful electric fully clad gate and ring the clean bell. You then proceed up this swept and uncluttered driveway, with manicured lawn and trimmed edges, past a sparkling clean pool decorated with garden furniture, bright cushions and colorful umbrella.  The entrance hall is clean and spruced up with lush-green pot-plants.  You walk into a bright & clean home with a smart but not modern kitchen and the smell of percolating coffee.


The second scenario involves driving up to an electric fully clad gate which is rusty and groans in defiance of being made to open yet again, the driveway has weeds growing out of it, the lawn is overgrown and the pool is a beautiful shade of opaque pea-green and full of leaves.  The entrance hall is overcrowded with children’s toys, bicycles, tricycles and dry plants.  And this is just the beginning……  As you dare to venture further into the dark recesses of the house – tripping over various un-nameable clutter, the agent makes all efforts to point out the latest state-of-the-art- kitchen.  However, you cannot concentrate as your nostrils are offended by the over-powering aroma of the dog’s food being cooked (or at least you hope its the dogs food!).  To make matters worse, all windows are shut and curtains drawn (although some light does come through the holes and in places where the curtains have fallen off the rails.)  Do we need to explain more!


The price that you get for your home is directly linked to the way it looks and feels to a prospective purchaser.  Assuming that the two above properties are in the same area, the home in the first example is far more likely to obtain a higher sale price – in spite of being smaller with less modern features.


There is no doubt about it! You are going to have a completely different emotional response to the above two scenarios.  Buyers will buy the perceived value of the property – the image and feeling that they get from experiencing the property.  You cannot put a price on beauty and charm.


So what should the Seller do in order to get the best possible price and a quicker sale?  It will take some effort but be worth every penny and a lot more besides!


To start with, stand across the street and take a critical and unemotional look at your home from a potential buyer’s viewpoint….  (i.e.  “if I considered buying this house –  do I like what I see?”)


Some points to consider:-

  • Is the lawn trimmed and edged and is the lawn green? (water problems notwithstanding)


Now go inside your property and consider the following:-

  • Are the flower beds cultivated and freshly turned?
  • Is all refuse, leaves and clutter from the garden & patios removed?
  • Do the gates open quickly and easily – do the hinges need oiling?
  • Is the front door area tidy and clean.  Are the windows clean?
  • Does the house need re-painting?  If so, ensure with your agent that you pick the right colours for re-sale.


Now go inside your house and check:-

  • Pot plants inside, and pots of geraniums on the verandah always help – and can be taken with you later.
  • Are all light bulbs working?
  • Is the oven ranges and sink all clear and neat?
  • Bathrooms that sparkle sell homes – new towels are an excellent investment. Conversely dripping taps lead buyers to question the plumbing system.  (Ps – underwear hanging in bathrooms mostly never helps!)
  • Are there colourful curtains in harmony with countertops.
  • Are there too many unnecessary articles which have accumulated around the house – remove and hide them in cupboards if necessary.
  • Is there too much furniture and clutter?  Put this in the garage, or better yet - sell it!
  • In general – if its broken – FIX IT!


Correcting small items lets a prospective purchaser concentrate on the more important items.  Don’t make major changes, except for new carpeting if needed – in neutral colour.  Many larger expenditures, though needed, may not be economically sound when selling your home – check with your agent first!


By Donavans Property Consultants

Aldona De Ridder and Vanessa Vos


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