By Lucy le Roux – local property marketing specialist at Illuminate Home Staging

Have you reached the point where your current home is no longer working for you? Like most sellers you are probably tempted to start the process of selling by looking at new listings and visiting show days. This is the last thing you should be doing.

One of the main mistakes that people make when selling their homes is to let their goals for their next property get in the way of an appropriate marketing strategy for their current one.

Many sellers find themselves in the trap of finding a new home before their current home is ready to be listed. This puts both time and financial pressure on them to sell their home at a less than optimal price to secure their new property.

If you are thinking of selling your home give yourself at least 4 weeks before you even call an estate agent or start looking at new properties. Your first step should be to start preparing your current home to sell.

If you are like most busy families your home most likely has a fair amount of clutter, unfinished renovation or DIY projects as well as some wear and tear that needs to be addressed. While a month of Sunday’s addressing these issues is certainly less fun than browsing show houses, it is far more likely to result in you selling your house faster and for more.

As South Africans, property ownership is one of our primary sources of long term saving and investment. It makes sense to make all those years of bond instalments pay off by making sure your home is ready to impress before listing.

Top pre-listing tips:

Sort out wear and tear and repairs: A well maintained house and garden assures buyers there are no hidden surprises.

Eliminate dirt, odours and clutter: Remove anything that will make buyers not want to live in your home.

Let the light in: Light, bright and airy houses sell faster.

Love your house: Make a few changes that will make you and others fall in love with your home, whether it’s adding trendy accessories or installing contemporary light fixtures.