Brighten up the house for show day

Tamlyn Stewart

Tamlyn Stewart

Get a new shower curtain and put your burnt-out old toaster in a cupboard if you're serious about selling your property.

Homeowners need to pay attention to details like these if they want to convince prospective buyers that their property is a value-for-money purchase.

House price inflation has slowed in the past few months and FNB expects a turnaround in April, when the first interest rate cut is expected.

But if you want to sell your house before then, buy some new fluffy towels for your bathroom.

"Kitchens and bathrooms sell a house," said Rob Stefanutto, director of Lew Geffen, Sotheby's International Realty. "There is nothing more revolting than a grubby shower curtain.

"If you're having a show day, have some nice music playing - something relaxing - so it's not just a visual experience.

"Fill cracks, polish furniture, clean all your carpets. Don't have full laundry bins on show days. Get rid of cushions faded by the sun. If you are going to sell your house for R1million, spend R5000 cleaning it up," said Stefanutto.

But most importantly, you need to be realistic about pricing your house. "You can advertise your house until you're blue in the face but if the price is not right, it won't sell," he said.

"It's a very competitive market today. Look out for show houses, go round the neighbourhood and see what houses are selling for.

"If you are under pressure now financially, don't wait six months hoping for the market to turn - it could get worse - don't wait until you are under massive pressure. If you are desperate you're going to be in a weak position to make a deal," he warned.

Herschel Jawitz, chief executive of Jawitz Properties said attention to detail was key: "It is even more important now when every little bit could be the difference in making a connection with a potential purchaser and not, especially because people have a wide choice of homes at the moment.

"Make your home just that much better on the day," he advised. But ultimately, it comes back to price.

"Purchasers react to price. No doubt in this market purchasers are far more price sensitive than area sensitive - the mantra always used to be location, location, location, now it is value, value, value - a combination of price and location.