Ten Tips About Improvements and Repairs,
When Deciding to Sell Your Property
– Andre de Villiers
One of the most frequent advice in respect of the marketing of residential property that we are asked by sellers, is about improvements and repairs before selling.
Here are ten suggestions that you should consider before selling your property:
- Paint areas that need it and in the process repair holes and cracks in walls and ceilings. (Tip: Use a neutral colour but not white which tend to scream "repainted recently")
- Get faulty appliances that are going to be included in the sale fixed and cleaned or remove them.
- Fix the small things like taps that drip and any loose fittings. They distract from the value of your property.
- Replace worn carpeting. Nothing says neglect like a worn carpet and a new carpet is not that expensive and really lifts the room's presentation.
- Replace any broken windows.
- Repair or replace any roof tiles that even look odd. They attract serious concern!
- If you not leaving your light fittings then rather replace then now with something that is staying. You do not want a souring of negotiations over a fittings removal.
- The pool must sparkle or it will look like trouble!
- If any wiring is not legally approved remove it (such as extensions running to a braai spot etc. Just remove the wiring properly or it will need to be replaced professionally if the buyer bought it like that).
If there is a problem and you are not going to do anything about it, insist that the agent includes this is a Defects or Disclosure List which should be available during the marketing.
Such a Defects List shows honesty and builds confidence! Disclosure will protect you later from liability as long as it is full disclosure.
When you sell a property you remain liable for any hidden defect if you did not reveal it, and you knew about it. You cannot rely on the sales contract (voetstoets) to protect you from information you do no disclose to the buyer, as that is misrepresentation. If you effect repairs as suggested above it must not be to merely hide a problem that still exists, i.e. painting over damp but a sincere effort at resolving the problem.
Even if the real estate market is very active and you can get away with fewer fix-ups before selling, a home that looks like it needs repairs will achieve a lower price.
For a little effort and a small budget you can remove these negatives that very easily create a poor impression.