CAPE PROPERTY SELLING - The presentation of your home is all-important

Cape Peninsula residential property prices are holding up well and, indeed, continuing to grow. There are now some 30% more homes on the market than last year, said Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank.

In this situation, she said, it is of the utmost importance that sellers present their properties to buyers in an appealing way.

“At the height of the boom it was possible to sell a home without any effort being put into its presentation. That is definitely not possible any longer,” said Steward.

Sellers, she said, must realise that a home for sale should appeal to four of the five senses: sight, smell, touch and sound.

In practical terms, she said, that should mean such things as removing all the rubbish from the garden, planting out a few hundred rands worth of flowering plants, commissioning a carpet and curtain cleaner, returning to their shelves all books and magazines and repainting any section where the paint is peeling or dull.

added Steward, “underestimate the impact of odours. Many people have grown so used to the strong scents of their cats, dogs and other animals that they completely forget how off-putting these can be to a new arrival.”

Noise, particularly traffic noises, said Steward, can completely spoil the impression a home makes.

“I have,” she said, “seen home values greatly increased by the erection prior to the sale of additional fencing and by installing a gentle fountain in the garden.”

Asked how a seller might appeal to the sense of touch, Steward said that once they have sat down they imagine themselves living in the house. Furniture should, therefore, be in good condition.

Apart from poor presentation, right now, said Steward, many agents face the challenge that there are still sellers who refuse to accept well researched accurate valuations. Instead they rely on dinner talk to get a price for their homes. In nine cases out of ten, said Steward, they are wrong and the house then sits on the market interminably.

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