Summer is a great time to take your property to market; your home is looking great, the sun is shining, the pool is blue, and the garden is green. It’s also the time when South Africans start scaling back and thinking about what lies ahead in the coming year—a new school for the kids, a new baby on the way, or maybe a new job. Anyone of these might require a change of address.
However, summer is also the time when the most properties are on the market, and it’s therefore even more important to stand out from the crowd and make the best possible impression on buyers. Though the normal home showing tips like cleaning and finishing repairs remain true (for more information see our “What you need to know about showing your home” booklet), we’ve got some additional tips on how to show your home in the best light during summer.
Make the outside look great
Joburg has the best weather of any city in South Africa (in our opinion, at least) and us Joburgers love to spend time outside braaing, swimming and kicking a soccer ball around. Now that summer is here in full swing, you should use this to your advantage.
Clean up your stoep or re-seal your deck to make sure your outside area looks inviting with comfortable outdoor furniture, complete with ice-cold lemon water and glasses. Set up your (clean) braai so that buyers can imagine themselves entertaining there. Mow the lawn and pick up the dog poop, and if you have a pool, put some towels out. Even leave a soccer or rugby ball or cricket bat on the lawn; all of this creates a festive and entertaining feel.
Shower your home with colour
This summer looks to be the hottest on record (!), which presents significant challenges to creating curb appeal. If you have a borehole, make sure your lawn is well watered and green, and create an inviting front garden by planting beds of colourful flowers. To spare water, plant indigenous succulents or put colourful flowers in pots, and arrange them strategically outside your front door. Keep it local if you can.
Keep it light and cool
In this incredible heat, a warm home can be an immediate turn-off for a potential buyer. Open the windows and doors to create a draught throughout the house, and use fans in spots where it’s especially hot. If you have air conditioning, make sure to run it for a couple of hours before the showing so that the colder air drifts through the house. To create a bright (and cool) atmosphere in your house, use white curtains and linens on the beds.
Show your home at sunset
With days getting longer and people leaving work before 7pm, let Joburg’s natural light do the work for you. By showing your home in the sunset hour you’ll avoid the warmest time of the day and get to use the sunset’s ambience alongside warm white bulbs in your light fixtures to create a relaxing, inviting atmosphere.
Research conducted in Switzerland in 2012 concluded that simple scents have an immediate impact on the success of selling a home. Use scents like lemon, cinnamon, green tea, cedar, pine, vanilla, and basil, or anything that has a combination of spices that to give the impression of being at home (like apple pie). If you have a great outdoor space, pick fresh lavender and mint from your garden to mimic the scents of the outdoor lifestyle you’re trying to sell.
If you didn’t know it by now, this summer is HOT. By the time a buyer reaches your home, they may be sweaty and tired from a long day’s work. Treat potential buyers as guests by greeting them with cold lemon water and a slice of watermelon. This makes potential buyers feel appreciated and interested in spending more time at your home. The longer they stay, the higher the chances they’ll be interested in making an offer!