Research shows that it will take the average home buyer only a few seconds before deciding whether or not they like the home. In fact, certain factors, often outside the control of the owner, influence a potential buyer’s decision even before the buyer has walked through the front door.
One of the most important factors is the location of the home. Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that an ideal property would be located within an easily accessible range to amenities such as schools, shopping malls, and recreation areas as this increases the perceived value for the buyer.
The value of a home can also be negatively impacted by some external factors that may or may not be outside the direct control of the owner. Goslett says that proximity to unsightly mobile phone masts or power lines will affect the perceived value of the property negatively. These elements not only impact on the aesthetics of the environment but also make certain buyers weary of the property due to perceived health risks from living so close to mobile phone masts. “The marketability of a property can be impacted by anything that could be seen by buyers as an annoyance or eyesore, “explains Goslett. “This includes things such as being too close to a noisy highway or an airport in the vicinity.”
The condition of the neighbourhood in which your home is located will also influence the decision of potential buyers. An area with subpar service delivery that is rundown and poorly maintained will push buyers away, even if the property itself is well looked after.
Regardless of these external factors it is still vital for an owner to ensure that a property has curb appeal essentially increasing the homes marketability. Ultimately, if a buyer has a choice between two homes in the same area that offers similar features, the buyer will opt for the home that is well-maintained and more appealing. “If the home’s curb appeal becomes the determining factor, a fresh coat of paint and a mowed, weeded and de-cluttered lawn could make all the difference,” says Goslett.
The availability of parking is another important factor that adds value to a property. In metros such as Cape Town CBD, the lack of off-street parking can seriously influence the perceived value for prospective buyers. While most properties will have allocated parking space for the residents, value is added when there is additional parking space available for visitors. Adding a parking bay to your property, if the garden area allows for it, is therefore likely to add significant value to your property.
Most renovations will increase the marketability of a home, however, certain renovations should be very carefully considered as it may have the exact opposite effect on the home’s value.
- Not all buyers will find a gym or greenhouse appealing. Renovations that are specific to your eccentric tastes or interests will always be a risky undertaking.
- If a renovation is below standard or unfinished it will likely cost a pretty penny to finish. There really is no good explanation for DIY-jobs that will just devalue the property.
- Before undertaking any major renovations you must ensure that all documentation is in place and that you have obtained the required permission from the relative governing bodies.
Owners should essentially avoid the pitfalls that may devalue the property. At the same time, however, it is important that buyers do the required research and ask the right questions to avoid buying a property that could become a financial nightmare. Knowledge is essential in any property transaction to ensure value generation over the long-term.