Advice for Sellers


hoome selling tips
Mistake 1 — Failing to “Showcase”
According to a survey conducting by almost half of all buyers knew whether they will buy a home the moment that they stepped into it. When attempting to sell your home to prospective buyers, do not forget to make your home look as pleasant as possible. Make necessary repairs. Clean. Make sure everything functions and looks presentable. A poorly kept home in need of repairs will surely lower the selling price of your property and will even turn away some buyers. (See our HOMESTAGING FROM THE EXPERTS section for valuable assistance).

Mistake 2 — Priced Too Low/Priced Too High
One critical reason to find an experienced professional real estate agent, is to make sure the property is priced appropriately for a timely and profitable sale. Every seller obviously wants to get the most money for his or her property. If the property is priced too high it will sit and develop the identity of a problem property and cause some prospective buyers to lose interest before even seeing your property. If it’s priced too low it could cost you considerable profits. Your Real Estate professional will justify the price he sets for your home by providing statistical evidence of prices of homes sold in the immediate area.

Mistake 3 – Hiring an agent who is not a trained marketer
If you ever browsed through a property website or magazine and found yourself commenting on some of the shocking photographs of many of the properties, you will know just how widespread this mistake is. Your agent needs to be an informed marketer who understands trends and how to adjust to them, how to photograph your home to give it the very best opportunity to sell; how to master the science of language to describe the house in such a way as to be irresistible to buyers.

Mistake 4 — Mistaking Re-finance Valuations for the Market Value
Unfortunately, a re-finance valuation may have been stated at an untruthfully high price. Often, lenders estimate the value of your property to be higher than it actually is in order to encourage re-financing. The market value of your home could actually be lower. Your best bet is to ask your agent for the most recent information regarding property sales in your community. This will give you an up-to-date and factually accurate value in a direct comparison with homes similar to yours.

Mistake 5 – Not making your home easily accessible for viewings
Accessibility is a major key to profitability. Have you ever wanted an ice cream, struggled to find a shop selling your favourite and then changed your mind? (Agents call this “cooling off”).
Home buyers are the same. Many of them are driven by impulse and sentiment. They see a house on the internet (or drive by the board) and want to see it as soon as possible. The more accessible your home is, the better the odds of finding a willing and able buyer. You never know if the one that couldn’t get a viewing and changed their minds was the one that got away. By developing a trusting relationship with your agent, he or she will show the home with your best interests in mind.



It can take the simplest adjustment to create a spectacular symphony between light, flow and space.
Home-staging is simply marketing at its finest hour. And in tune to human nature, all marketing works according to the laws of attraction.

It is an industry fact that Home-staged homes achieve higher prices in a shorter selling period.
Apart from the 2 critical essentials of de-clutter and let in the maximum amount of light, the following items are all vitally important HOME-STAGING components.
• Mow lawn and trim edges
• Paint exterior walls
• Repair/replace broken tiles

• Paint if necessary
• Replace any broken tiles

• Paint front door
• New door mat
• Spruce up pot plants
• Ensure doorbell is working

• Replace unsightly toilet seats
• Remove acid, rust & lime
• Clean tiles and fittings
• Check that taps work
• Re-grout tiles and clean showers

• Ensure bricks/paving are in good repair
• Sweep and clear clutter

• Clean and clear clutter
• Clean sink and stove
• Clean top of fridge

• Keep garage as uncluttered as possible
• Good illumination
• Paint door if necessary

General – Wash/Clean/Vacuum
• Carpets
• Floors

General Repairs in
• Gutters and fascias
• TV aerial
• Sagging fence
• Leaking taps
• Creaky doors
• Broken windows
• Loose door handles
• Remove rusted garden furniture

Swimming Pool
• Ensure pool is sparkling clean
• Clean outdoor furniture and enhance with bright cushions

• Keep well watered in summer
• Weed regularly & rake up leaves
• Prune bushes & trees
• Turn flower beds before show house
• Cut grass

• Create space where possible
• Plants – the bigger the better
• Keep stairways clear
• Put away laundry
• Varnish woodwork
• Repaint where necessary
• Tidy cupboard and clear counter-tops


It is understandable that many people do not want to think about moving house until the time to move looms near. However, this seemingly massive operation can be simplified by dedicating some time to planning your move.

The key to successful moving is to start planning early. Break your tasks into “bite-size” fragments by assigning them to these schedules:
• Eight weeks before the move
• Six weeks before the move
• Four weeks before the move
• Three weeks before the move
• Two weeks before the move
• One week before the move
• Moving day
Trevor’s Tip: if it fits in your car, take it yourself. You can save a few rands by packing and moving small personal items yourself.
Eight weeks before the move:
• Decide whether you will use a professional mover or move everything yourself.
• Set the date for your move. Consider timing your move to coincide with “off-peak” moving periods. Generally Mondays, Fridays and first and last days of each month are the busiest times for professional movers and truck rental.
• If using a mover, obtain estimates from at least three professional moving companies, as well as recommendations from friends before making your selection.  If moving yourself, obtain estimates for the hire of removal trucks, etc. Make a booking to hire your selected vehicle/s for the moving day/s.
• Sketch a floor plan of your new home. Photocopy this plan and then draft onto it the layout for your furniture. Will everything fit? Perhaps some furniture may need to be sold or given away.
• Start using up food from your freezer to save it from spoiling during the move.
• Clean out clutter. Perhaps hold a garage sale or donate items to charity.
• Start developing a list of all the people who will need to learn of your new address. As mail is received, check that the sender is on your list of people to inform. This will include friends, relatives, banks, any subscriptions or catalogs, etc.
Six weeks before the move:
• Discuss the moving details with your mover, including all costs and insurance cover. When you are completely satisfied with the details, book the mover for the day of the move. Also collect as many packing boxes as the moving company is willing to provide.
• If you are moving yourself, start collecting boxes. You could gather used boxes from supermarkets or friends but make sure these can withstand the rigours of moving.Alternatively, buy or hire sturdy moving boxes from professional moving companies.
• Develop an inventory of all your possessions. This will come in handy not only for organizing your move but also as a record of your assets for insurance purpose.
• Arrange for the transfer of your children’s school records to their new school.
• Send out furniture or drapes to be cleaned.
• Start notifying others of your forthcoming change in address. This is especially important for any businesses you may deal with as it can often take time to update your address on their systems. Why not produce a moving notice and photocopy this for distribution?
• Fill in a form at the post office to have your mail redirected. You should elect to have your mail forwarded to this new address for at least two months following your move.
Four weeks before the move:
• If you need to organize storage, do this now.
• Using your inventory list, start organizing how you will pack your possessions. How many boxes will you need? Which items should be packed last and unpacked first?
• If you have pets, consider how these will be moved. Perhaps ask your vet to recommend companies who specialize in the safe transport of pets.
• Arrange for final readings of your services, e.g. gas, water and electricity, to be performed just prior to your move. Also organize for these services to be connected in your new home prior to your arrival.
• Make sure that your telephone is connected at both your new and old addresses during the move. This will allow for communication between the two placed should this be necessary. Alternatively, borrow two mobile phones if you don’t already have them.
• If you are going to need temporary accommodation, make the necessary hotel/motel bookings.
Three weeks before the move:
Gather together all the packing materials you will need. This includes:
• Packing tape / bubble wrap
• Styrofoam “beads”
• Old newspapers
• Scissors
• Utility knife
• Packing string
• Rope, labels, marker pens
• Hand truck and/or dolly
• Plenty of boxes

Start packing the items that you will not need over the next few weeks, e.g. extra linen or spare crockery.

Trevor’s Tip: Be aware that items you pack yourself are unlikely to be insured for breakage. Therefore, it is a good idea to leave the packing of fragile items, such as glass and china, to the professionals.

Two weeks before the move:
• Transfer all your bank accounts to new branch locations.
• Cancel all deliveries, e.g. newspapers, milk.
• Check on the arrangements for the new telephone service and other connections.
• Consider storing jewellery and valuables, including certain legal documents, at your bank during the move. Alternatively, set these aside to carry with you on the day of the move.
• Ensure your possessions will be fully insured during the move. If not, arrange for extra insurance cover.
• Contact the council where you are going to reside to find out about garbage pick-up, local regulations and other information.
One week before the move:
• Return all library books and rented dvd’s. Also, don’t forget to collect any dry-cleaning, shoes from the repairer etc.
• If necessary, arrange a babysitter for the day of the move.
• Tidy up the garden and outside area.
• Arrange for new locks to be installed on the house you are moving into.
• Defrost your refrigerator and freezer.
• Finalise all packing. Number each box and take notes on their contents. Also, keep items from different rooms in separate boxes.
• Keep in mind that heavier items deserve smaller boxes.
• Mark any items that should be handled with care.
• Pack bags of clothing and toiletries to take with you rather than send with the mover.
• Have the carpet steam cleaned.
• Also put together a box of items which could be useful for the day of the move. This might include such items as scissors, a utility knife, paper plates and towels, toilet paper, drinks, cups, soap, plasters, headache tablets, tea towels, rubbish bags and small toys for children.
Moving day:
• Remove all remaining food from your refrigerator and freezer.
• Clean out cupboards, sweep the floors and ensure the house is tidy for its next inhabitant.
• Double check rooms, cupboards, drawers, shelves, outdoor areas and the garage to make sure you’ve taken everything.
• Turn off all services, including the mains switch and taps.
• Lock all windows and doors securely.
• Leave the old house keys with the real estate agent for collection by the new inhabitant.
• Check to see if all the services are on and appliances are working in your new home.
• Check of each box as it comes off the truck.
• Register for voting in the new electorate.
• Visit your new post office to see whether they are holding any mail for you.