PROPERTY NEWS - Given the unique circumstances caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, it is understandable that activity within the housing market will be slow. Yet, the need to buy real estate – whether for the purpose of relocating, downscaling, or simply for a change of scenery – still exists, which means that sellers will be able to close a sale if they market their home correctly.
"Now more than ever before, sellers will need to be realistic when setting an asking price and trust the advice of a qualified and experienced real estate practitioner," says Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
"Beyond this, sellers should fix up and stage their home to ensure that their property has the best chance of being noticed by the small pool of qualified buyers who are serious about making a purchase over this time."
The first thing he recommends changing is the at-home study or office space. "Now that we are all working more remotely, a well-fitted at-home office is likely to be an incredibly appealing feature to buyers," he predicts.
If a seller has a temporary set-up or does not yet have an at-home office space, he recommends transforming a room or a space in the home into a fully functional office.
Goslett also highlights the importance of a well-maintained garden space. "Those who have spent lockdown in an apartment block are likely to be searching for homes with some garden space. If a seller's property has any outdoor space, they could increase the appeal of the home simply by making that space as functional and aesthetically pleasing as possible," he recommends.
Space is another factor that most buyers are likely to be paying more attention to over this time. "Buyers are likely to be asking themselves the question: 'Would I be able to spend months in lockdown in this home?' One of the biggest frustrations in this scenario is feeling caged in by a home that is cramped or feeling like there is no place in the home to escape to for some alone time.
Sellers should declutter their homes to make their property feel more spacious.
Those with open-plan living spaces might also consider creating a separate space in the home that can be closed off to allow for some privacy. An experienced home stager could help sellers create private nooks through smart furniture placements and design," says Goslett.
Goslett recommends partnering with a real estate professional from a well-established brand with a large referral network that can be tapped into to reach more buyers.
"In these challenging market conditions, a large real estate brand like RE/MAX is able to equip our agents with the resources and support required to help them market their listings and close sales. Partnering with a RE/MAX agent gives sellers an unfair advantage within this highly competitive market," he says.
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