Renovation Trends this Summer

Jan 28, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

With summer back in full force, some of us are feeling the urge to get back into renovating our properties.


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Topics: DIY, Tips on selling your home, Home Renovations

Price your property to sell in the current market

Jan 23, 2019 7:19:21 PM Share this:

Whether it is a buyers or seller's market accurate valuation and pricing of your home is imperative if you aim to have a successful transaction. Realistic pricing is relevant to accurate market value and often buyers will compare your home to the properties in the area so they can gauge an insight into the true market value.

Market fluctuations and economic pressures undoubtedly influence the price of property and we've seen some homeowners having to drop expected prices due to the external economic factors affecting the market from a holistic perspective.

Therefore, If your property is over-valuated it not only wastes valuable marketing time but it can very often gain a stigma that negatively affects the perception of the home going forward. In the end, you may end up getting far less for your property than could have been initially obtained. No matter how well your property is marketed, if the price isn't right, it won't sell.

When a property is accurately valuated and the agent commences marketing of the listing this creates immediate demand. The first 6 to 12 weeks are the most important when marketing a property.

The first step is to contact an agent with an extensive target market presence. Browse digital property platforms, forums, portals as well as published newspapers and magazines to best see which agents have a true understanding and footprint in the region you wish to sell. Then, similarly, use that research time to assess where your property's value is located in the market and try and scale it correctly. Not just comparing the size and location but added features also.

Agents use many accurate tools that take an array of factors into account when valuating your home. Pair this data with expert insights into the current climate of the market and trends of buyers and sellers and an agent is able to present your property to a diverse network exposing it to the right buyers.


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Topics: buying and selling, Property Valuation, Harcourts Real Estate, Harcourts South Africa, Richard Gray

Expect more property developments in 2019

Jan 23, 2019 6:52:46 PM Share this:

During 2018 the South African property market was under immense pressure. We saw many agents having to reinvent their strategies in an attempt to to grow their businesses. Some were also forced to evolve as the man on the street consumes information differently. However, there were certain areas that performed well, developments being one. Across the major metros developments took center stage as a lot of investment and high demand seemed to defy the downward trend of the property landscape. And without a doubt, this will continue throughout 2019.

The large scale investment injections into city living is certainly very exciting and much needed. We've seen how incredible the major commercial and residential property developments in places like the inner city of Cape Town and Johannesburg are transforming the CBDs. There is a real effort to make properties available and a effort to revitalize certain areas as well as boost already booming regions.

On the other side of the spectrum we are seeing well sought-after communities growing even more. According to reports property developers' goals are to meet the demand for housing in  areas like Sandton and surrounds. Many of these properties appeal to first-time buyers,  business executives working in the greater Sandton area as well as investors seeking an asset that will show positive appreciation and rental returns.

We expect the push to develop certain areas to continue. Especially due to the appeal of these properties. Many people view them as safer because of stringent security strategies. Also, there is often a community aspect to lifestyle estates and developments - children playing in the park and getting to know your neighbours. We've seen how the inclusion of a management body and property guidelines assist properties to have a long-term investment life.

The often overlooked aspect that certain developments bring to a community is the increased economic activity. In areas like Somerset West in Cape Town, there are developments almost the size of suburbs. This attracts commercial interest to the region, increasing employment and business growth opportunities and ensuring the local economy has a chance to grow.


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Topics: Property Development, buying and selling, Harcourts Real Estate, Harcourts South Africa, Richard Gray

To repair or not to repair: interior

Jan 21, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

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When it comes to preparation, Olympic athletes leave no stone unturned.

Because the competition is so intense, preparing for the Olympics becomes life and death, with endless months of training, and unyielding focus. Preparing for a game of soccer down the beach with some friends – not so much.

The same principle applies when preparing your property for sale and deciding what to repair, and what not to. Where do you draw the line? What do you fix and what do you leave? (In this article we look exclusively at the interior of your property).

Much depends on the competition. If the competition is intense, then preparation is all important.

If the market in your area is super-hot, and houses are selling at Usain Bolt speed, it shows that buyers are attracted to the area rather than the finer details.

In such a sellers’ market, it is possible only minor, essential repairs need to be made. Undertaking costlier repairs or renovations are likely to have little or no effect on the inevitability of sale or price, and represent an unnecessary cost.

The other major factor in deciding what to repair is how urgently you want to sell.

If you want to sell your house “yesterday”, then you need to remove every barrier that could potentially short-circuit a sale. For example, some buyers will pull out of a sale because of a seemingly insignificant fault, like a door knob that falls off in their hand.

If in doubt, seek advice from your Harcourts Sales Consultant.

There is a distinctive difference between repairs and renovations, with repairs being regarded as restoring something back to its original condition, while renovations are improvements or upgrades.

So what are the repairs to consider before selling a property?

Paint

  • All exposed nail holes, stains and imperfections in your wall’s paintwork should be fixed
  • Paint door trims and all areas showing wear and tear
  • Remove older wallpaper by steaming and give the wall a fresh coat of paint
  • Avoid creating bright or darker coloured features walls, because colours are an individual choice
  • Consider painting over old-style dark, wood panelling, which can create a gloomy atmosphere in a room
  • Always choose neutral or lighter colours, which make rooms appear bigger, and are acceptable to more buyers (creative buyers will add their own colour touches).

Lighting

  • Make sure all switches and lights are working properly
  • Install brighter bulbs in gloomier rooms.

Kitchen

  • Make sure all draws and doors are working properly
  • Bench top needs to be pristine, with no chips or cut marks. If you need to replace a benchtop considering installing a granite top which will generally add value
  • Absolutely no leaky taps, or leaky anything else
  • Consider replacing old plastic door handles with metallic handles.

Bathroom repairs

  • Replace or repair leaky taps
  • Clean grouting between tiles, and if missing, repair
  • Replace any chipped tiles

Curtains and window furnishings

  • Replace damaged curtains or blinds

Floors and ceilings

  • Consider removing old carpet on wooden floors and polishing the floor boards
  • Remove textured ceilings and paint with flat paint (beware of asbestos)

When considering what to repair, put yourself in the shoes of the potential buyer and work out what would cause you to have second thoughts about buying, and for peace of mind, repair whatever is a potential deal-breaker. 


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Topics: DIY, Repairs, Tips on selling your home, Harcourts Real Estate

Response to mid-term budget: "It is time for action"

Jan 14, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

During yesterday's mid-term budget speech by newly appointed Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, key factors putting a lot of strain on our economy were addressed in a more aggressive stance. However, the time for talk is over, and we need to see the results of policies and implementation plans otherwise economic stagnation will continue to remain a major concern. 


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Topics: Harcourts Real Estate, Richard Gray, Finance, Financial Advice

Colour Psychology: How to Make Your Home Feel Good

Jan 7, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

Ready to paint? A little colour psychology may be just what you need to create soothing and productive moods. The colours of the rooms in your home are a direct reflection of your personality. While most of us may not spend a lot of time thinking about that, it affects us every day. Colour can influence our moods and our thoughts.


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Topics: DIY, Home Tips, Harcourts Real Estate, Advice

Settling into your new neighbourhood

Dec 31, 2018 8:00:00 AM Share this:

Buying a new home often means moving to a new suburb, city or even country. It may be a new location you chose simply because you loved it, or it maybe it’s where you need to be for work or family. Whatever the reason for your change in location, it can be a little daunting finding ways to get to know the neighbourhood and have it start feeling like home.


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Topics: Harcourts Real Estate, buying property, Tips for buying, Real Estate Agents

Bring your bathroom up to date

Dec 24, 2018 8:00:00 AM Share this:

Bathrooms are one of the rooms in your home that can add value for buyers. The team at Resene have some great ideas for bring out the best in your bathroom.

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While it’s often one of the smallest rooms in your home, that doesn’t mean bathrooms need to be bland and boring.  Use the right colours together, add the right materials and that poky little bathroom space can easily become an oasis of calm.

Look to nature
Nature has always had a strong influence on choices and never more so than now.  Natural, botanical schemes are trending throughout the home right now, including bathrooms.

“Think crisp whites, creams, forest greens and natural, organic materials,” says Resene colour consultant Rebecca Long. “Earthy greens such as Resene Paddock and Resene Rivergum would look very sophisticated in an earthy bathroom. For a daring look, try a navy such as Resene Coast.”

Open up the space with glass
Back-painted glass splashbacks have become an extremely popular kitchen feature in recent years, and now they’re starting to make an appearance in bathrooms as well, particularly in soft blues and greens.  Try restful pastels such as Resene Half Escape or Resene Breathless teamed with crisp white trims for an instantly soothing palette. This pairs well with the chalky pale mineral blue and green tiles that are a popular pick for their soothing properties.

Embrace technology
Traditionally technology isn’t something that has been associated with bathrooms, but built-in televisions and speakers are the perfect accompaniment for long luxurious soaks in the bath.  New, mirrored flat TV technology can be installed anywhere – on the wall, on the ceiling, behind artwork, or embedded in a bathroom mirror. You need a waterproof version, of course, where the electronic compartments are completely sealed off from any moisture.

 

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Keep it simple
The move towards minimalism and simplicity is becoming more popular and brings with it sophisticated concrete finishes. Walk-in showers are popular.

Banish the clutter by allowing for plenty of storage.  Clean vanity tops and surfaces will make your bathroom seem more spacious.

Add colour
“Paint is such an affordable way to update your space,” says Rebecca Lord, Resene Colour Expert.  You only need a few litres to completely transform the space.

Watery blues and greens are always popular choices for a bathroom as they feel clean and fresh and help to make a small space feel larger.  Recent trends have seen more soft greys and blue greys, such as Resene Silver Chalice and Resene Duck Egg Blue, coming into the bathroom space also teamed with off white.

If you’re stuck with existing tiles that limit your options for decorating but you can’t afford to replace them, consider painting over them.  Many tiles have a glossy surface so use Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer first to give the topcoats something to grip on to.

“While a well-ventilated bathroom has a lower risk of damage, it's still important to use the correct paint,” says Rebecca. “I recommend Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom, which is a waterborne enamel for a hard wearing and washable finish. Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom also has a mould inhibitor, which reduces the risk of mould growth.

 

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Topics: DIY, Home Decor & Furnishing

Positioning Your Property in the Market

Dec 17, 2018 8:00:00 AM Share this:

When your property first enters the market as a new listing, this is the time it will receive the most interest and enquiry. We call this your premium price opportunity. At Harcourts we believe it is all in the preparation. We can advise you on possible improvements that could increase the value of your property and will have completed through research to help you establish an expectation of price. We will make sure we have prepared every detail of our marketing strategy ready to launch your property to the market at its best during this critical time.


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Topics: Property Markets, Buyers and Sellers, Harcourts Real Estate, Real Estate Agents

Harcourts Foundation has donated half a million Rand to South African charities this year

Dec 13, 2018 7:25:35 PM Share this:

The Harcourts Foundation, Harcourts Real Estate's charitable arm, has donated half a million rand to South African charities this year. We're really humbled by the stories of those who benefited from our fundraising. And are so proud we were able to assist.  


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Topics: South African Charities, Harcourts South Africa, Harcourts Foundation, Love Story, Leva Foundation, Down Syndrome Association, Nga Tshilidzi Old age home, Jumping Kids Prosthetic, CANSA Fundraiser, Huis Immergroen, The Tygerberg Hospice Trust