According to research, the majority of home buyers only take a few minutes to make the decision as to whether or not they like a property. Often, there are certain factors that influence a buyer’s decisions before they have even walked through the front door.
According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAXof Southern Africa, most experts within the property sector would agree that, generally, the reason a home would not be viewed favourably is its location.
He says aspects such as the property’s proximity to amenities like shopping malls, good schools and recreation areas has an impact on how the property is perceived to be valued by potential buyers. Ideally, Goslett says the property needs to be within an easily accessible range to these elements.
Adversely, he says if the property is located within proximity to power lines or unsightly mobile phone masts, this will have a negative effect on the home’s perceived value.
Apart from the fact that they don’t look great, Goslett says many people don’t want to live near mobile phone masts because they are concerned about the possible negative health implications. As a result, he says the marketability of homes around mobile phone masts can suffer when it’s time to resell.
Basically, Goslett says anything that could be seen by buyers as an annoyance or eyesore will harmfully impact their opinion of a property. Examples of these things could be a noisy highway or airport in the vicinity.
2. Condition of neighbourhood
Goslett says there are also a considerable number of buyers who take into account the condition of the neighbourhood in which the property is located. 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.
If the neighbourhood has deteriorated over time, the home’s value and marketability will also decrease.
Goslett says regardless of the external factors that could impact the home’s marketability, it is still vital for homeowners to ensure that their particular home has curb appeal and stands out from the competition.
If a buyer has the choice between two homes in the same area that both offer the same or similar features, they are more likely to buy the one that is well-maintained and aesthetically appealing.
If the home’s curb appeal becomes the determining factor – a fresh coat of paint and a mowed, weeded and decluttered lawn could make all the difference, he says.
3. Parking availability
According to Goslett, another factor that many buyers are considering is the availability of parking. Garages and off-street parking are particularly popular among buyers.
In heavily populated metros such as the Cape Town CBD, off-street parking – or lack thereof – can seriously influence the property’s perceived value with buyers. While most properties will have some kind of allocated parking space for residents, some buyers also want additional parking for visitors.
4. Unorthodox home renovations
Although most renovations will increase the marketability of a home, certain unorthodox renovations will negatively impact a property’s value.
Renovations that are specific to the current owner’s tastes or interests, such as a gym or greenhouse, may not appeal to buyers viewing the home.
Unfinished renovations or poor workmanship can also devalue the property. There is no reasonable explanation for below-standard DIY renovations that could be expensive to rectify.
It is also important that if any major renovations have been undertaken, all documentation and permission has been granted by the necessary governing bodies.
If possible, Goslett says homeowners should try at all costs to avoid the pitfalls that could devalue their property. Likewise, he says buyers should do the necessary research to avoid buying a property that could become a financial burden in the future.
Knowledge is an essential key for buyers looking to invest in a property that will appreciate in value over the long term, he says.