Regular home maintenance gives sellers the edge

The majority of South African homeowners are not among the landed gentry who can afford lots of “hired help” to see to the maintenance of their properties – and so must plan and handle these chores themselves.

“And while many consider home maintenance a necessary evil to be put off as often as possible, prevention is definitely better than cure,” says Homenet CEO Martin Schultheiss. “By keeping up with the maintenance it is likely that you can stop most small problems from becoming big problems that can be very costly to remedy.

“Take roof leaks. Attending to a leak quickly can avoid major roof repairs or a serious damp problem later.”

Schultheiss also says it’s no secret that well-kept homes sell quickest, whatever the state of the property market, and that sticking to a preventative maintenance plan will ensure that the property is always “sale ready” if necessary.”

Alternating major jobs and splitting them up makes home maintenance that much more manageable, he notes.

“A good example of this is repainting. Instead of attempting to repaint the entire house in one go, rather concentrate on the interior one year and paint the exterior the following year. Windows, doors and frames can be also be allocated to a separate project. In this fashion, homeowners can also spread their expenses as opposed to forking out a fortune all at once.”

Keeping your garden in check is another way of minimising home maintenance stress. “Rather dispose of unwanted garden rubbish regularly in small loads. This will eliminate the need to call in a costly waste removal service to dispose of a mountain of trash that has accumulated over years. The same applies to any construction rubble and refuse.”

Homeowners should also react swiftly to any plumbing problems. A small fault can quickly turn into an unwelcome indoor water feature that, needless to say, can cost a princely sum to repair.

Attending to any fitted carpets on a regular basis also helps prevent costly carpeting overhauls and likewise, regular pool maintenance should prevent the need for any major pool repairs.

“And lastly, keeping a record of all the maintenance work done reassures potential buyers that the property has been well maintained,” says Scultheiss.

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