How to ensure buyers notice your property right away

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Steve van Wyk, Seeff’s MD in Centurion says when two properties are similarly priced it is first impressions and small details that will be the distinguishing factors. Steve van Wyk, Seeff’s MD in Centurion says when two properties are similarly priced it is first impressions and small details that will be the distinguishing factors.

South Africa — The latest FNB and ABSA property data shows that properties are staying on the market for longer and an increasing number of sellers having to cut their asking price.

Sellers will therefore not only have to continue keeping their price expectations in check, but in this buyer’s market it is also absolutely crucial that they take measures to make their property stand out from the rest. 

Steve van Wyk, Seeff’s MD in Centurion, South Africa, says when two properties are similarly priced it is first impressions and small details that will be the distinguishing factors. 

He offers the following tips on how to make sure that your home attracts buyers at first sight. 


Make sure that all exterior paintwork is in good condition, flower beds and lawns are trimmed and weed-free, roof and gutters are in good repair and the front entrance is clean and inviting. Remove all clutter from the premises. 


Ensure that the garage door is in good working order, the garage is neat and tidy and free of oil marks.  


Attractive outdoors furniture will help to enhance this area. Cut back creepers which prevent light from entering adjoining rooms. Keep all steps clear of hazards.


These must be sparkling clean. If algae growth has marked the marble coating, consider calling in the experts and have the pool acid washed and chemicalised.


Replace cracked or broken panes, wash windows, check fittings and paintwork. Curtain rails must be firmly attached to walls and curtains should be clean and properly hung.


Check and wash paintwork, polish handles and locks, oil hinges and tighten door knobs.


Untidy or overcrowded cupboards suggest inadequate storage space.


Professional steam cleaning will rejuvenate a tired looking wall-to-wall carpet and a good polish will bring out the natural beauty of a wooden strip floor. If need be, replace Novilon flooring in kitchen and bathroom - a small amount spent can make a great difference in the final selling price.


All should be functional and globes replaced where necessary. 


Stove, refrigerator and sink should be spotless and all work spaces should be cleared.


If basins and bath tubs cannot be spring cleaned, re-enameling is relatively inexpensive and adds value to your home. Replace broken tiles, fix noisy or leaking toilets, repair all dripping taps and repair broken putty around the bath, basin and shower. A new set of colourful towels and a few flowering pot plants in the bathroom make all the difference. 


Besides neat and tidy, a few trays of flowering annuals in strategic places will highlight the beauty of your garden. If a sprinkler system is part of your special fixtures, make sure it is in proper working order.


Both can put off potential buyers. Unfortunately, not all people feel comfortable with animals and most people are offended by smells. Have carpets professionally cleaned and put a few drops of vanilla essence on a saucer in a hot oven to create a pleasant smell. 


When viewing of your home, prospective buyers must be at ease, unobserved, comfortable and free to voice their feelings. It is recommended that you aren’t present when your home is being showed. 

Sellers should not discuss anything concerning the sale with the client, never apologise for appearance as it only accentuates or distracts. Never try to sell furniture to a client before a deal is completed. 

Gerhard van der Linde , MD at Seeff Pta East, says in addition to the above the quality of pictures of your home on the internet and property portals are also extremely important. 

“Most buyers start their search online – if pictures of your home are unattractive and amateurish buyers may be discouraged from the get-go. 

It is also very important for sellers to create a “fear of loss” scenario – if many agents are marketing the same property it created the impression that there could be something wrong with the property. 

Sellers can achieve this by awarding a sole mandate. Whether one or 10 agents are marketing your property online it will still attract the same amount of potential buyers.  

Ensure that your property is valuated and priced correctly. An unrealistic listing price can cause potential buyers to disregard it completely.

All your compliance certificates and copies of approved building plans should be in place before listing your property. If potential buyers realise that there is still admin to be done it may put them off completely. 

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