Adding value to your kitchen when selling your property

Mar 12, 2018 8:00:00 AM Share this:

Kitchens are widely touted as a room of a house that can add value when it comes to selling your property. But not all kitchens are created equal. What can you do to yours to catch a potential buyer’s eye and persuade them to make a good offer?

As with any pre-sale renovation or spruce up, keep a tight rein on budget. Talk to your agent about what your asking price should be before and after a kitchen makeover. Then set your budget at a portion of that difference that you’re comfortable with. You don’t want any makeover plan to eat too far into that financial gain or there is no point at all in doing it. Your agent will also be able to give you a good idea of some quick changes to your kitchen that may help. You may find very little financial outlay can make a huge difference; avoiding anything that involves changes to plumbing and electrical wiring is another way to keep costs down.

Here are a few ideas:

Freshen up cabinetry, and walls with a coat of paint and new cupboard or drawer handles. Chat with paint retailers for advice on trending colors. As a rule, if you want to create the illusion of a bright, airy, spacious kitchen opt for light neutrals. You also want to keep the palette fairly neutral so potential buyers feel they can stamp their own personality on it. Don’t get too hung up on decorating to your own personal taste.

Decluttering and cleaning is another cost-effective way to spruce up a kitchen. Keep open shelves, cupboards, and pantries looking orderly and functional instead of crammed full of your own belongings. Make sure all surfaces are clean and unmarked. If benchtops are looking old and marked, consider replacing them if you can afford it. There are a huge range of different options available these days for benches, in a range of prices. You don’t have to choose the most expensive. A new, unmarked cheaper option will still be better than older, stained or chipped surfaces.

The same is true for flooring and wall tiles. If you can, replace or at least repair old, stained, worn flooring or cracked tiles, and make sure tile grouting is looking clean and fresh.
Look up. Don’t forget about ceilings and lighting. Kitchens should be well lit to be at their most functional – but good lighting can also make them seem bigger and brighter. Don’t forget to at least clean the ceilings, or preferably paint them.

Think about flow. Can the way you move around the kitchen be improved by shifting the dishwasher, fridge or oven? Do doors clash? Is the fridge in the wrong place? If there’s something about the way you use your kitchen that has always irritated you, it may well irritate buyers as well. If you can change it within your budget, it is worth doing.

Sinks are not as sexy as some kitchen essentials to replace but can make a big difference. A good size sink makes a big difference to kitchen functionality – particularly if you currently have an older kitchen which often have small sinks. Tapware should also be well-maintained and clean.

Replacing ovens should probably be a last resort, simply because of the cost. A cutting edge new oven in an old, tired kitchen will be far less likely to add value than an older oven in a sleek, tidy, light kitchen.

Before you start make sure you know exactly what you want to do to your kitchen and why, and stick to it. It’s very easy for a kitchen makeover to turn into a personal project – a chance for you to do add all the things you’ve ever wanted in a kitchen and suddenly you find your budget is blown. Thinking about what you’d like in a kitchen is a good place to start, but don’t fall into the trap of making it too personal to you. Thinking about big picture, general improvements such as space, storage, functionality and whether the design matches the rest of the home. Make your plan around achieving these as cost effectively as possible and stick to it.

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

How long it takes to sell your home in South Africa’s 5 major metros right now

May 9, 2017 6:47:17 PM Share this:

New FNB data shows the average time homes are currently on the market for across South Africa’s five major metros.

The latest FNB House Price Indices for the country’s major regions revealed that for the the summer quarters of 2016/17, the estimated time on the market in Ethekwini was
the longest of the major metro regions – 17.29 weeks

This was followed by Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape at an estimated 16.64 weeks.

The best performer, according to FNB, and by some margin, is Tshwane Metro, which although not having significant house price growth appears to have a vibrant market.

Tshwane Metro’s 10.14 weeks beats Cape Town’s estimated 13.14 weeks.

The Western Cape region however, continue to have by a significant margin the fastest average house price growth in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the rest of the country’s major residential regions, FNB said.

However, mounting affordability challenges in that province are believed to have caused some slowing in its house price growth in recent quarters.

FNB reported last month that the number of homes being resold at values below their previous purchase price has climbed in recent months.

Given that most homes are resold a good number of years following their original purchase, the large majority (87.7%) of total properties as at January 2017, sold at above their previous purchase price, FNB said.

  • 73.6% at 110% or more than previous purchase price
  • 8.6% at 105%-109% of previous purchase price
  • 5.5% at 100%-104% of previous purchase price.

The bank pointed out that it uses deeds data property transfers registered by individuals below the value of R10 million to obtain a residential-dominated data sample.

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Topics: Selling your Home, fnb

What millennials are looking for in a home

Apr 3, 2017 11:31:42 PM Share this:

Millennials is the term used to describe people born between the early 1980s to around the year 2000.

Recent research reveals that within three years, over 40% of home buyers will come from this generation, as many reach their peak income-earning years.

Many millennials view property differently, because they often manage strict budgets, and can therefore be more price sensitive.

Millennials are generally fluent with accessing and analysing the massive amount of information about property and investing available on the Internet, and know how to find properties that offer value for money and the prospect of capital growth.

Many millennial buyers understand that they need to start with a smaller property or unit as a stepping stone, or buy in a suburb or town where prices are more affordable.

So, what are millennials looking for in a property?

Technology and modern design elements have undoubtedly influenced what millennial buyers find attractive in a home.

Wireless internet coverage and/or fibre optic connectivity, as well as “green” features and innovations are all likely to be included in the consideration-set for millennials.

If you are selling your property in a geographical location with a high demand from millennials there are certain features this demographic are enquiring about, and to make your property stand out, you could consider making improvements that appeal.

Internet/broadband coverage – whether wireless or fibre optic, is a top-of-mind consideration for this generation. A young family buying into a long term commitment want to know that access to the internet will be fast, reliable, and also open to competition between providers, and such information can be included in your property’s marketing.

Evaluate plugs and nearby shelves in bedrooms that could double as a home office. The trend for many millennials is to include a work station at home and many are now also based full-time at home offices.

With work and homework high priorities, these buyers want to know how easy it is to set up tech hubs in certain rooms of the home. With a few touches of technology or by adding connections, you could make your garage easily adaptable as a second or third office if needed.

Open plan lounges, kitchens and outdoor entertaining areas are popular with young buyers. Make every effort to present these spaces as great for entertaining friends.

It is important to add that in the late-20s to mid-30s category buyers are often starting a family, or plan to start in the near future. Therefore, the interior and exterior areas must seem applicable to young children and pose no safety risks.

In that regard, it is always an advantage to be located close to neighbourhood parks and other amenities appealing to young families, and your Harcourts Sales Consultant will no doubt highlight these features to prospective buyers.

Lastly, the emphasis on building a sustainable future is a sentiment often expressed by millennials, and more and more enquiries about renewable energy and solar-powered facilities are being received.

If you have solar power installed, external lighting powered by the sun, or harvest rainwater, then this is something you need to include in your marketing material.

More importantly if you’re thinking of making these additions it is a step into the future for you and potential buyers.

Millennial buyers are a force to be reckoned with in the local property market, and many sellers are realising the potential of penetrating this market.

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Topics: Selling your Home, 2017

When not to renovate your property

Nov 15, 2016 10:44:36 PM Share this:

When not to renovate
If your property needs repair or you’re considering a few renovation projects to get it ready for sale, there are a few things you need to consider first.

Although well-planned, cost-effective renovations can add value to a home, there is always the risk of over-capitalising. That’s why it pays to consider the types of renovations that add value and appeal to potential buyers. So, when you’re looking to sell, when shouldn’t you renovate?

Remember, renovating for your own personal use and renovating to attract a wide range of potential buyers are two different things. It all comes down to your return on investment or ROI. Basically, you’ll want to ensure the amount you invest in the renovation is less than the value you’re adding to the property, and the sale price you’re likely to achieve.

Here we explore some of the situations where we wouldn’t recommend renovating if you’re looking to maximise your sale price.

Check your margins
If your property isn’t in desperate need of repair and you’re confident you have a decent amount of equity existing in your property, renovations may not be necessary. Especially if after crunching the numbers, you’re not confident you would be increasing the sale price by that much, and remember a return on investment can never be guaranteed.

A general rule of thumb when it comes to renovating a property for profit, is to spend no more than 10% of the property’s value on the alterations. So, the first step would be to ensure you have an up-to-date valuation of your property, undertaken by a professional.

The next step would be to work out a budget, and ensure you add a buffer in case of unforeseen additional expenses. Using the 10% rule, this means a home valued at R500,000 would have a total renovation budget of R50,000. Any more than this, and you risk

Do you need a quick sale?
Most renovations take time, to plan and budget for as well as to be completed. So, if you’re looking to sell soon, renovations may not be possible. Remember too, that renovations often go over budget and can take longer than anticipated so factor all these considerations into your decision.

Who are you renovating for?
Some renovations appeal to most buyers, such as a kitchen or bathroom upgrade, but others are personal to you and your needs, taste and style and therefore won’t appeal to the largest number of potential buyers.

This can include adding extensions such as granny flats, converting bedrooms into specific-purpose rooms like a media room or library, and separating rooms by adding additional internal walls.

Who are you selling to?
This is where research is key. What is the demographic of your property’s neighbourhood? Mostly singles and couples? Mostly retirees or mostly families? Finding out who the neighbourhood is likely to attract will help you determine suitable renovations and not so suitable ones.

For instance, if your local market is likely to attract families, think carefully before adding stylish but potentially hazardous staircases, or ornate glass features. Or if your potential buyer is most likely an investor, keep renovations to a minimum as they will almost certainly have their own plans and your changes may add no value to them at all.

Ask if you’re unsure
When planning a renovation, don’t shy away from asking your local real estate sales consultant their opinion on the condition of the property, the type of buyer the home is likely to attract, what similar homes in similar condition are selling for and any renovations they would recommend. You may be surprised, if your home isn’t in need of massive renovations your sales consultant will tell you and you may save yourself a lot of hassle, time and money.


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Topics: Add Value To Your Property, Selling your Home, Renovations