In today’s day and age, perimeter security is a major concern for most homeowners, but many overlook the importance of their boundary walls and fences when it’s time to sell.
According to Schalk van der Merwe, one of the Rawson Property Group’s Helderberg franchisees, this could end up being an expensive mistake. He recommends asking yourself these four questions about your property’s perimeter to decide whether an upgrade could benefit your sale.
1. What is the first thing visitors and potential buyers will see when approaching your home?
As we all know, first impressions count, and they can play a big role in putting buyers in the right frame of mind when viewing your property.
“If you have an existing boundary fence or wall, but it looks shabby, poorly maintained or out of place, it can give the impression that your home has not been well cared for,” says van der Merwe.“There’s nothing worse than visiting a show house and entering through a crumbling fence or cracked, unstable-looking wall. No matter how well cared for the rest of your home is, that first impression will stick in buyers’ minds.”
If this is the case with your property, van der Merwe highly recommends doing the necessary repairs or replacement before putting your house on the market. “Houses that appear well-loved always achieve better sales prices than those that hint at neglect,” he says.
2. Does your boundary wall enhance or detract from your property’s aesthetics?
Boundary walls and fences come in all shapes and sizes, and not all of those will suit your particular property and neighbourhood style.
“Sometimes no fence is better than a bad fence,” says van der Merwe. “It’s important to take street appeal into consideration. If your boundary makes – or is going to make – your property stick out like a sore thumb or look like a prison, it’s not going to be adding value to your home. In fact, it might do the exact opposite, which could make a renovation well worth your while.”
3. How does your boundary compare to that of your neighbours?
Keeping up with the Jones’s may not be how you want to live your life, but when it comes to security it is, unfortunately, important.
“Buyers definitely compare properties to those in the immediate area,” says van der Merwe, “and some of the most obvious differences are those you can see from the street. If all your neighbours have high walls or electric fencing and your home does not, buyers are going to have some safety concerns. In this case, there’s a 99% chance you will increase your home’s value by upgrading to equivalent or better security than your neighbours.”
4. Will a new boundary wall or fence increase the privacy and/or convenience of your home?
If adding a new boundary wall or fence will provide more privacy, buffer sounds from the street, or simply create a more useable front garden or courtyard for children and pets, it could definitely be worth the investment.
“Privacy and usability is more important than ever, now that neighbourhoods are becoming more densely populated and properties are getting smaller,” says van der Merwe. “The more serene and private a property feels, and the more usable space there is, the more people are generally willing to pay. If a boundary wall can help you maximise these aspects, then it’s likely to pay off when it’s time to sell.”
“In almost all cases, a good, well-designed and well-maintained boundary wall or fence adds significant value to a property,” says van der Merwe, “It does, however, need to fit in with the lifestyle and aesthetics of your home. Properties that lack perimeter protection, on the other hand, can linger on the market – most buyers don’t want to have to build fences as soon as they move in.”
For owners planning on boundary upgrades, van der Merwe strongly advises choosing a quality product and trustworthy team, as cutting corners can backfire when it comes to selling down the line.
“The moral of the story is to build something that you can be proud of that enhances your property,” he says.“Buyers will see that value and it will have a positive effect on your sale.”