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First time sellers: How to not sell your home

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First time sellers, you probably didn’t make the decision to sell lightly, and chances are that you have a long list of to-do’s before listing your property for sale. But have you considered the don’ts of property listing that could affect the time it takes for your property to sell or even the price your property reaches.

“Just as most people require assistance when navigating the property purchasing process, the same can be said about those who find themselves listing their first property,” adds Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. “Pricing the home correctly and marketing it to the right target audience are all vital in achieving the best possible price in the shortest possible time frame.”

But, says Goslett, first time sellers should keep the following list close-by as these are the things sellers should avoid when listing their home.


These are the questions every first time seller should ask before signing a mandate


Don’t make too many improvements

Preparing the home for sale and ensuring that it is in good condition will improve the seller’s chance of selling the property and increase their possible return on investment. Updating certain aspects and replacing anything that is broken is a great idea. However, it is important not to over improve or make improvements that are extremely specific to a certain taste. Not everyone wants a home gym or built-in bar. It is best to stay neutral and make improvements that will appeal to the greatest number of people.

Avoid over-decoratingOver-decorated home

When it comes to decorating – less is more. Much like over-improving, over-decorating should be avoided. Stick to a simple decorating style that is universally palatable. Steer clear of adding too many items to a room, as it will make a space appear smaller and cramped. If the home is not cluttered, it leaves the focus on what’s important – the home’s features.

Leave the showing to the agent

If the agent calls to say they are bringing a prospective buyer to view the property, while not always possible, it is best to be out of the home. Buyers want to imagine themselves living in a home; this isn’t easy if they are constantly confronted with the seller.  Having the seller and their family at home can make it uncomfortable for buyers to view the home. If going out isn’t possible for whatever reason, at least sit outside to give buyers the opportunity to envision themselves living in the space.

It’s not personal

After living in a home for some time, it is natural to be emotionally attached. It is easy to get wrapped up in the fact that many memories have been built up in the home, however, while these are heartfelt stories, they will not win over buyers. It is important to bear in mind that buyers won’t be viewing the property with the same emotional response. While it can be difficult at times, it is best not to take things personally.

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