Spring clean and get ready to sell

WITH spring under way and temperatures rising, more homeowners may want to take advantage of the fact that there are generally higher volumes of buyers visiting show houses during the warmer months, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of Remax of Southern Africa.

This means the seasonal change is the perfect time to spring clean and get your home in tiptop shape before putting it on the market.

Goslett says there are a few things homeowners can do this season to make sure their home stands out in today's competitive market.

First impressions count The simple truth of the matter is that when it comes to property, appearances matter, so make sure they count in the right way.

"When similar properties in a suburb are similarly priced, the first impression a buyer gets of the home will have a major impact on whether a sale is concluded or not," says Goslett.

Get a trusted second opinion For most homeowners it is difficult to be objective about their home. So it is advisable to get an honest opinion about the improvements that may need to be done to get your home looking great.

"To avoid possible conflict with friends or family, a trusted estate agent will give their honest opinion," he says.

Put the clean in spring cleanOnce you have identified what needs to be done it's time to clean and fix everything.

"Cleaning also entails getting rid of unused items in order to de-clutter the space.

"It is important to make sure even the smallest crack in a window pane has been repaired, as even a minor defect could turn a buyer away."

Allow buyers to see themselves in the homePotential buyers want to be able to visualise themselves in home, so sellers need to make them feel as welcome as possible and not like they are intruding.

"One way is by packing personal items and photos away. Another way is by decorating or painting in neutral colours. Aesthetically enhance the home with a vase of fresh flowers or potpourri in the bathroom. Home-decor magazines are a great resource for tips."

Say goodbye to bad odours"Any traces of food, pets or smoking and other unpleasant odours can kill deals fast," Goslett says.

"Making sure your home is show-day ready will give you the best possible advantage in today's challenging real estate market."