Dress up your home's exterior to attract more buyers
There's no doubt that modern kitchens and bathrooms, spacious living rooms, lots of storage and good security will all help persuade buyers to purchase your house.
"But before they see any of those features, they are likely to see your front garden, and if that is wilted, cluttered or neglected, they aren't going to have much confidence about what they might find inside your home. In fact, they might just decide to give it a miss altogether," says Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet estate agency group.
Fortunately, though, it is relatively easy to avoid creating a bad first impression by following these simple tips:
- Remove any dead plants or shrubs and any junk lying around, then fill any gaps in your flower beds with some colourful flowering plants in pots.
- If your trees shed a lot of leaves, make sure they get raked and swept up regularly, so you won't have to worry when your agent organises an unexpected viewing.
- If you have a lawn, keep it fertilised, watered and mowed. Large patches of brown will discourage a buyer, as will overgrown grass that makes it look like the house has been abandoned.
- If you have a pool, keep it clean and sparkling. A half-full basin of black water is hardly an appealing feature - and will make prospective buyers wonder about what else doesn't work.
Next, he says, you should take a walk around the exterior of your home to see if anything needs repairing or sprucing up. "Fix cracks in paving, replace any broken window panes, revarnish your garage doors and paint the gutters if that's what is needed to give your house a fresh, cared-for look.
"Then place your garden furniture and dress it up to show prospective buyers how space can be used and enjoyed."
You might not think that any of these things should matter much to serious buyers, says Kotzé, "but any good agent will tell you that they could actually make all the difference between getting a good offer for your house or no offer at all, so they are definitely worth your time and effort".