Gone are the 'property boom' days in South Africa when property buyers would clamber over themselves to snap up a home without taking ample time and effort to examine the said property's features and flaws.
Now days South African home buyers are much more discerning, and indeed critical, about prospective properties because if they are willing to spend hundreds of thousands to millions of rands on a home, they expect it to be nothing short of perfect.
This new trend has meant that home buyers must now 'be on their toes' more then ever before and not just sit back expecting to receive 'top dollar' for their property based solely on fantastic or desirable 'area' in which it is located.
When selling a house or property, here are 10 flaws to avoid at all costs:
Garden Gnomes - NO, NO, NO - Apart from being the height of kitsch, gnomes will do little to impress prospective home buyers and indeed make them wonder if your favorite movie is Amelie and if you smoke a lot of grass.
Dirty Light Switches and Fixtures - Attention to detail. Make sure that you thoroughly clean all light switches and fixtures because buyers nearly always look at the cleanliness of these and will judge you by it. If need be spend a few hundred rand and buy new switches and fittings.
Dim Lighting - Even though you may think that your dim lighting enhances the 'mood' of your house/room, buyers will more than likely perceive it as 'gloomy' and trust me when I tell you that 'gloomy' rarely sells houses. Go bright so that buyers can see everything properly.
Overcrowded Rooms - In property 'cosy' is a polite way of saying 'small' or 'cramped', and nothing makes a room feel more cosy then too much furniture and an abundance of knick knacks. When selling a house, less is more. Let the buyers imagine how they would fill the empty spaces.
Stained/Dirty Carpets - Nothing puts people off faster than unidentifiable carpet stains, especially people with avid imaginations and die-hard fans of television crime series. Call in a good quality carpet cleaning firm or bite the bullet and replace carpets that are beyond help.
Patterned Carpets - Carpets with ornate patterns and designs should be left to the 70s and expensive Las Vegas hotels. Nuff said.
Carpets in Bathroom - Unless you're Hugh Hefner or you make cheap porn movies for a living, get rid of all carpets in bathrooms. While you might have appreciated them in Winter, prospective buyers might feel you're trying to hide something ugly or expensive to fix.
Dirty Bathrooms - Spend some time and money if need be to de-scale and thoroughly clean all surfaces, walls, basins, baths, showers, shelves, hooks, toilets and bidets in your bathroom. A good sense of hygiene as opposed to a poor one will bode far better with buyers.
Too Many Colours - Being a part of the Rainbow Nation, should not extend to showing your house in 27 different colors, tones and shades. It is a proven fact that home buyers prefer the colour white when looking at a house, no matter how 'clever' you think your Avocado Magenta Mocha living room wall is.
Poorly Built Extensions - If a room feels like it has haphazardly been 'plonked' onto the house, chances are that home buyers will 'plonk' lower offers on the table. Be aware of extra (and perhaps poorly planned) rooms that may interrupt the even flow of a home.