Ten Tips About Property Improvements and Repairs When Selling
- Andre de Villiers
Probably the most frequent advice in respect of marketing residential property that I have been asked from sellers is about getting things done before selling.
These are ten improvements and 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. Use a neutral colour but not white which can scream ‘repainted recently’
· Get all faulty appliances being included in the sale fixed and cleaned or remove them.
· Fix those small things like taps that drip and any loose fittings.
· Replace worn carpeting. Nothing says neglect like a worn carpet!
· Replace any broken windows.
· Repair or replace any roof tiles that even look odd.
· If you not leaving your light fittings replace then now with something that is staying.
· The pool must sparkle or it will look like trouble
· If anything is ‘illegal’ - remove it (often there are extensions running to a braai spot etc. – just remove the wiring properly)
· If there is a problem and you are not going to do anything about it insist that the agent has a Defects List which should be available during the marketing.
A Defects List shows honesty and creates confidence and such a disclosure will protect you later from liability as long as there is full disclosure.
Once you sell something you will have to still accept liability for any hidden defect if you did not reveal it and you knew about it.
You cannot rely on the sales contract to protect you from information you do no disclose to the buyer. That is misrepresentation.
Likewise if you effect repairs as suggested above it must not be to hide a problem that still exists, i.e. painting over damp.
Even if the real estate market is very active and you can get away with fewer fix-ups before selling, a home that 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.