September officially marks the first days of spring and, just like the birds and the bees, a lot of property buyers are likely to start becoming more active. For sellers whose properties have lingered over the winter months, or those of us looking to hit the market with the first rays of summer sun, now is the perfect time to do a bit of strategic spring sprucing.
“Spring is traditionally a fairly active time for the property market,” says David Jacobs, Regional Sales Manager for the Rawson Property Group in Gauteng. “There’s something in the air at this time of year that makes the idea of a fresh start very appealing, and we tend to see a lot of new buyers start to explore their property options.”
To take advantage of this activity and stand out of the crowd of other listings, Jacobs suggests spending a sunny weekend shaking off the last of the winter cobwebs and bringing the freshness of spring into your home.
Clear away the winter clutter
Boots, coats, scarves and bulky bags are all winter necessities, but the onset of spring weather means their days of usefulness are numbered. Packing away your warmest woollies can do wonders for tidying up the entrance to your home, but don’t fall into the trap of just shoving them into a cupboard to be forgotten until next year.
“Most of us have a collection of seasonal items that we don’t actually use or wear,” says Jacobs. “Taking a moment at the end of winter to weed those items out and donate them to worthy causes not only feels great, it also makes your closets look more spacious to prospective buyers.”
Ready to take things one step further? Why not vacuum pack or box your winter-only outfits and store them in top-level cupboards or attic spaces until you need them again next year.
Primp those outdoor spaces
After a long, cold winter, there’s nothing more appealing than the thought of sunny days outdoors. For this reason, Jacobs says welcoming outdoor spaces can be a springtime seller’s secret weapon.
“It’s definitely worth your while to make braai areas, pools and patios as appealing as possible,” he says. “You want buyers to be able to imagine themselves living their best, summer lives in your home.”
Try giving your paving, awnings and outdoor furniture a scrub-down to get rid of any moss or mildew, and check under your pool cover to make sure the water hasn’t turned to pea soup over winter. Jacobs also suggests raking up stray leaves, trimming back any overgrowth, and boosting your garden beds and lawns with a bit of all-purpose fertilizer.
Once those chores are done, you can move on to the fun stuff like adding colour with a new set of cushion-covers for your loungers or patio chairs, or some cheerful spring-blooming flowers in nearby beds, pots or planters.
Remember: water-wise plants require less care to stay healthy in our dry South African climate and can be just as spectacular as thirstier varieties. Vincas, petunias and gazanias are popular options, but your local garden centre will have plenty of options ideal to the growing conditions near you.
Add some curb appeal
Another secret weapon in a smart seller’s arsenal is curb appeal – one of the most frequently neglected areas of a property.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of curb appeal when selling a home,” says Jacobs. “It’s not just about creating a positive first impression – although that is important – it’s also about showing off your attention to detail when it comes to home maintenance. A drab exterior doesn’t inspire confidence, but a stylish and well-looked-after property boundary implies the rest of the home is in great condition, too.”
To boost your curb appeal, make sure your boundary wall is uncracked and freshly painted, and that any grass, gravel, paving or flower beds are neat and clean. Boring curbs can be instantly lifted with the addition of a row of matching pots or planters, or a stylish border of succulents, indigenous grasses or verge-friendly trees.
“Don’t forget to check your mailbox, gate and doorbell either,” says Jacobs. “Nothing says shabby like a year’s worth of junk-mail or an intercom that doesn’t work.”
Let the outdoors in
Fabulous outdoor spaces are big sellers in spring, so why not maximise their impact by blurring the lines between outdoors and in? Jacobs highly recommends polishing up those glass doors and windows glass to keep the views crystal clear, and tying back your curtains and blinds to flood your home with natural light.
“Spring is all about freshness, light and joy, and the more you can do to highlight that in your property, the more likely buyers are to fall in love with it at this time of year,” says Jacobs.
For more tips on how to show off your home to its best advantage, get in touch with a Rawson Property Group neighbourhood expert at a franchise near you. Alternatively, book a complimentary home valuation and comparative market analysis and see exactly how your property measures up to the competition.