Tips for selling your home in a tough market

As a seller, your priority is always to sell your home quickly, and at your asking price. Right now there’s no shortage of properties waiting an increasingly long time to be sold in what is a buyer’s market. So how do you give your property the edge?

The cost of remodelling your property can rapidly mushroom, so keep things in perspective, especially as buyers will begin making alterations of their own as soon as the keys are handed over.

With this in mind, Spence says it’s important to know what to fix and what to forget, how to draw up a plan and where to draw the line. He shares tips:

1. First impressions count

The first step is to make sure that your property captures the imagination of your prospective buyers from the moment they step inside the front gate. Buyers gravitate towards neat, clean, clutter-free interiors and exteriors in which they can immediately begin to imagine themselves living.

If you have a garden, it’s vital to make sure that it is neatly presented and inviting. Short-cut grass, tidy flower beds and boundary walls in a good state of repair make for a great first impression.

Security is also a vital drawcard for most buyers. Features such as alarms, security cameras and electric fences need to be in good working order. Unkempt gardens and obvious security risks are likely to put off prospective buyers before they’ve even set foot in the house.

2. Choose the right agent

Are estate agencies key to the success of selling your house? Not always, but the right agent certainly is.

Having a good agency in your corner can be a great help, but choosing the right agent (not the brand behind them) will make the difference between selling at or close to your asking price, or else waiting and falling short. Begin by researching into which agents have sold the most properties in your area and ask family, friends and neighbours for referrals.

It’s not enough to accept that the agent sent by the agency is the best or right fit for selling your home. If you’re struggling to know who to decide on, invite several agents to your home to pitch for your mandate in order to find more about their personal sales and success in your area.

Find out their approaches to bringing in buyers and their propositions for marketing strategies. Make sure to have questions prepared about the number of houses they have sold that are similar to yours and ask them to tell you about neighbourhood trends and activities.

3. Interiors

Style is as much in the eye of the beholder as beauty, and an important rule of thumb is that less is more. Sprucing up your interior design should definitely include clearing clutter. A prospective buyer will not only judge you on your neatness, but also the house you are trying to sell.

Of course, your pride and sense of style has long resided in your home, but it’s important to remember that your priority is to make a sale at this point, rather than a fashion statement.

Spending a small fortune on the latest wallpaper designs or that luxurious looking hot tub should not be your number one priority, but a fresh lick of paint should be, especially if the dirt has been accumulating over the past few years.

Well-presented houses sell for higher prices.

4. Kitchens, bathrooms and beyond

Kitchens and bathrooms are crucial selling points for any home, so it’s vital to capitalise on this and make them look their best. The perception of cleanliness is a must in these rooms. If you are prepared to budget for a partial or complete makeover of any specific rooms, then these should be the ones to consider.

– Bathroom

If you can, replace worn and cracked tiles. Carpeting should be left in the 1980s and replaced with laminate flooring, engineered wood or tiles.

Similarly, old fixtures such as taps and showerheads can readily be replaced with gleaming new versions, and you don’t have to go for the most expensive options for the desired results. Take the time to re-grout around the bath and shower.

– Kitchen

Countertops and cabinets are the most noticeable features in your kitchen.

If minor repairs are not enough to bring your kitchen back to its best, then settle for moderately priced replacement cabinet doors and façades. Keep your budget low by avoiding marble or granite countertop replacements in favour of solid surface, laminate or concrete – all of which can be easily installed without the need for a complete kitchen redesign.