Advice and Opinion

Five insider tips to successfully sell your home

Berman Brothers Properties is the Atlantic Seaboard’s latest boutique Real Estate Agency. Although they operate separately from their sister Company – the Berman Brothers Group – they are able to leverage off their vast experience they’ve earned over the last 20 years in developing what is considered South Africa’s hottest property market destination.

They are frequently called upon to provide our clients with ideas and alert them to trends that can assist them in selling their homes, and thought we would share five insider tips to sell your property quickly at the price it deserves.

1. Bathrooms and kitchen

Unless they are well versed in interior design or property development, most prospective buyers have difficulty accurately visualizing what can be done to improve a property, especially in terms of refurbishment and the cost thereof.

In our experience, it is the state of bathrooms and kitchen that are a deal maker or deal breaker in the eyes of a prospective buyer, and these should be the first areas that a home owner upgrades when putting their home on market. A modern kitchen and well-designed bathrooms add significant value to a home and this translates to a higher asking price and less time on the market.

2. Creating the right sights, smells and sounds

While most people know that having the right sights, smells and sounds creates an alluring homely atmosphere which helps secure the sale of your home. However special care must be taken when trying to appeal to these senses; less is invariably more and one should always go for the safest options in order to appeal to the widest cross section of prospective buyers.

By way of example, choosing to play a soundtrack of classical musical is an obvious preference over the likes of hip hop or heavy metal which are too polarizing in their appeal. You should also pay attention to the volume of the music as if it is too loud sceptical buyers could start to wonder what noises you might be trying to cover up. And be careful with overdoing any air- fresheners or artificial fragrances. Rather go for subtle scents of jasmine or lavender in a vase, freshly baked goods, and the alluring smell of brewing coffee which are highly enlightening to the senses and creates a positive impression in nearly everyone.

In terms of the sights, you might have become blasé about your view, but pulling back the curtains to let natural light in and reveal the property’s vista is an absolute must so that prospective buyers can see for themselves. Furthermore, if you know that your property gets more afternoon sun for example – try schedule home viewings around these times for maximum effect.

Home buying is a multi-sensory experience and visual staging of the property is essential. Homes which create pleasant impressions that appeal to a buyer’s sensory perceptions definitely have the edge on their competition.

3. A deep clean up and attention to detail

It goes without saying that a clean home and neat garden is essential when showcasing your home to a prospective buyer, whether it is for a viewing or for when the agent is taking marketing photos of the property. If you want your property to stand out from the rest, we recommend that you spend extra time and effort in this regard and enlist professional cleaning and garden services to give all aspects of the property a thorough spring clean. Attention to detail is key; ensure that your home is a smoke free environment before a viewing, check that the fireplace or braai area has been cleaned, and replace any faulty lightbulbs. The presence of pets are also quite a polarizing issue to many buyers, and it is preferable to err on the side of caution and arrange not to have any pets around during an open day if possible.

A clean, neat home give the impression of a well maintained property and responsible home owners, all of which instils confidence in a prospective buyer and makes your property that much easier to sell.

4. Advertise your happiness

There is a rising trend in some of the top international property markets such as London and Manhattan, where a home owner will make their own simple video or even a hand-written note to promote their home and neighbourhood. While this trend is yet to take place in South Africa, the Atlantic Seaboard property market is exposed to many international buyers and is it is certainly worth being aware about.

By showcasing a prospective buyer your home through your own eyes, and sharing your favorite local restaurant, parks, and other neighbourhood best kept secrets creates a positive impression in a buyer’s mind. Similarly, indicators that you have invested a lot of love in your home create the feeling that a home was happily lived in – and this is hard for a prospective buyer to ignore.

5. Choosing the right agent

A property is often one’s most valuable asset and you can never be too careful in choosing the right estate agent to handle this important transaction. In addition to clearly understanding your specific requirements and preferences, you need to ensure that your estate agent has intimate knowledge of the neighbourhood and extensive experience in the respective property market. Your estate agent must have an comprehensive database of prospective buyers and show genuine commitment in selling your home. If possible, it is always a good idea to ask to speak to your agent’s other clients for an independent appraisal of their performance.

Ultimately you should be looking for the consummate professional with whom you have total confidence in their ability, experience and integrity.