08 Feb 2013
With the start of a new year there is often an inclination for people to make changes in their lives by selling their home.
This is according to Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Anne Porter, who says this is the time of the year when people either decide to upscale or downscale, or simply make some lifestyle changes.
She says when deciding on selling a home, it is wise to maximise the value of the property and it is also in the seller’s best interest to make sure the property is presented in the best fashion.
In most homes there are things that need to be fixed, certain rooms might need sprucing up, the garden might need some work and there is inevitably some clutter that needs to be packed or given away.
The one way to get all the necessary things done is to hire a trained home stager who will depersonalise the home and make sure all the clean up or repair jobs are carried out at the right budget, she says.
The services a home stager offers might include treating woodwork, installing furniture and soft furnishings on loan that might benefit the feel of the home, packing away all the clutter or personal items, adding to the landscaping to create a welcoming look, coordinating colours and adding small touches such as flowers and introducing pleasant smells like vanilla to the home.
One of the reasons to invest in staging a property is that homes presented well sell faster than those that aren’t and they often sell close to or at the actual asking price, says Steward.
Home staging can actually add around 10 percent to the value of the home and in some cases sell up to 50 percent faster than homes that aren’t staged.
When one moves, there is a lot of cleaning up that needs to take place - the garage needs to be cleared and the garden must be cleared of any rubble or garden refuse. A clean, uncluttered appearance to any room will make it look bigger and more attractive, says Steward, and a tidy garden will make it more inviting and open.
For relatively little money one can plant rows of petunias and pansies in the garden, which immediately adds cheer, she says.
A recent case that Steward has come across is a home where the seller had collected beer mugs from all over the world, which ended up overwhelming the lounge and dining room.
The property was not selling and the agent had the courage to suggest that these be packed away. Clearing the space immediately improved the appearance of the rooms, making them look larger and within two weeks the home was sold at almost the original asking price.
It is important to assess all the rooms separately, get rid of excess furniture and any ornaments that collect dust, she says.
She advises home sellers to clear the space of personal items before the home goes on show, to paint the rooms that need it, to steam the carpets and to get rid of pet smells.
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