The key is to create a positive emotional response from the purchasers. When a buyer has made the emotional purchase then they will be motivated to make a strong offer to buy your home.
That’s why, even before you list, there are many things you need to do to ensure you are ready. Here are some practical suggestions that will help you create that positive emotional response:
- View your home as a buyer would, not as you would as the seller
- Address any structural or damp issues with a professional contractor who will give you a warranty on their work. You will need to disclose this, but having it seen to and supplying a warranty adds value.
- Attend to leaking gutters and dripping taps
- Ensure your garden and pool are looking at their best. Does the lawn need top-dressing or fertilizer?
- Are there any cosmetic changes needed, like a coat of paint? Often painting (or varnishing) the fascia’s, gutters, wooden windows and garage doors makes a huge difference.
- Is there enough light? Dark rooms may need brighter globes. Open the curtains. Do all the light bulbs work?
- Is there too much clutter? Does some furniture need to go into storage or be sold?
- What is the state of the flooring? Do the carpets need cleaning, or can some cracked tiles be replaced?
Having an objective approach can be hard, especially if you’ve lived in the property for many years. Perhaps you could ask someone to come and comment of your property and what needs to be done?
There are professional home stagers who are skilled at knowing exactly what needs to be done to make your home look its’ absolute best. In many cases this may not cost as much as you would think. It could even be that you only need to re-arrange some of your furniture to make a room look larger, or flow more effectively.
We’ve learnt at Harcourts that small amounts spent up front to get your home ready for marketing can result in you selling for 10-12% more and getting the absolute most the market will pay. In order to show the benefit to property sellers we’re now investing in a home staging report for each listing we take. It will result in more buyers responding to the marketing, and with a much stronger emotional appeal, and result in a faster selling time at a higher price.
It’s only when a buyer has the emotional desire to buy a property – when they “fall in love with it” – that they will make their very best offer. This is especially true when there are multiple buyers who show interest and they have to compete for your home. So take the time before you list to ensure your property puts its’ best foot forward.
Principal, Harcourts Platinum
Director, Harcourts South Africa