YOUR HOUSE, THEIR HOME... Prepare your home to sell.


Paging through interior design magazines, we stand in awe at the sheer beauty and luxury of other people’s homes. Rooms are often staged to look their best – much as we would when we receive guests – some light candles; others burn essential oils and play soft background music; the table is set with meticulous attention to detail; and in many South African homes, we are welcomed by the smell of a wood burning fire ready for a braai on the stoep.

These same principles should apply when we decide to sell our home. Buyers must be wooed into falling in love with your house. In this article, I will share a few tips of the trade to rekindle the spirit of your home:

  1. De-clutter
    • Remove nick-knacks (including most family photographs). Too many personal items block buyers’ vision of your house as their home.
    • Clear the garage from boxes and unused items (including extra tiles and paint). Rent a storage space to store all these items. Paint or tile the floors for a finished look.
    • Remove excess furniture and worn carpets to showcase a spacious well-kept home.
    • Clear the kitchen. Take everything off the counters. Store all appliances inside cabinets or drawers and take them out when you use them. Remove any pots and crockery that you do not use regularly and put them in storage. Buyers need to see that the kitchen has sufficient preparation space and room for all their utensils and appliances. (You will probably get rid of a lot of stuff once you move, why not do it now?). Make sure that taps do not leak. Clear the fridge door of all notes and pictures. Store children’s drawings in an album to enjoy.
    • Remove closet clutter – it will save you the effort before the move and buyers will be able to visualise lots of space for all their clothes and linen.
    • Store toiletries out of sight. Make sure that towels and bathmats are clean. Showcase the interior design of your bathroom.
  2. Pay attention to the structure and fittings
    • Fix all leaking faucets and make sure that kitchen and bathroom fixtures are sparkling clean. Make sure that shower doors open and shut smoothly. Replace any damaged glass or porcelain in the kitchen and bathroom.
    • Paint stained ceilings where roof leaks have been repaired (declare all leaks to the estate agent and present a copy of guarantees of work done by contractors).
    • Ensure that cornices, skirting and doors are neat. Woodwork should be oiled or varnished.
    • Fix hinges on cupboard doors.
    • Fix damp and paint walls (declare all work done to the estate agent and present a copy of guarantees of work done by contractor).
    • Paint interior walls a neutral colour, to enable buyers to visualise their furniture in your house.
  3. Tend to the garden.
    • It is hard to keep the garden in mint condition in periods of drought.  Invest in a waterwise garden.
  4. Ensure that the pool is clean.
    • Add deck chairs and pillows for an inviting atmosphere.  Cover the pool to prevent evaporation.
  5. Pay attention to the curb appeal of your house.
    • The house should look inviting even from a distance. Fix hairline cracks and paint exterior walls (declare all work done to the estate agent).
  6. Critically evaluate the structure, interior design and décor, the atmosphere and garden
    • – would you buy this house if it was presented to you?
Help your house put its best foot forward when viewed by potential buyers. A neat property, without clutter and unnecessary noise, will welcome potential buyers into the home of their dreams.