Apart from baking cookies prior to viewers stopping by, making sure all the lights are on and finding a super-savvy real estate agent to back you up, there are a few other, lesser-known and more creative ways to make sure your house gets ‘SOLD’.
- Get snap-happy when doing online listings. A recent real estate study showed that listings with more than 6 pictures are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers compared to listings that had fewer than 6 pictures.
- Post a video love letter about your home on YouTube. Walk through your home and down your street telling prospective buyers about your favourite places in the area and your favourite parts of the home. Buyers like to know that a home was loved and looked after, and it might help them to picture themselves in your shoes.
- If you know of a local message board or you belong to a neighbourhood email list, send a link to your home’s online listing to your neighbours. Invite your neighbours to your open house and let them talk to prospective buyers, they might even invite some house hunters they know who have always wanted to live in the area.
- Use Facebook. Facebook is the great connector – you know how quickly a popular video can go viral, now imagine how far word of your great house can spread if your friends, and your friends’ friends start talking about it.
- Include some other assets in the deal. This can make your house stand out in the mind of the buyer, especially if it is relevant to the property or something coveted by the buyer. Think custom fitted drapes, new kitchen appliances or a mounted TV in the bedroom.
- Keep up the condition. Make sure your house looks as good as you can afford to keep it. Get rid of any pests, make sure that none of your windows are broken, the paint is fresh and the doorknobs are new.
- Stage your home and your garden. Real Estate Agents know how important it is to ‘stage’ a house so that others can imagine living there. For example, put a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter, clean cushions on the patio furniture and fresh cut flowers in the lounge.
- Pretend you are moving out and take all the things that make your home ‘yours’, this includes family photos, memorabilia and tacky collectibles. Buyers want to visualise your house being their house – and it is difficult for them to do that when there are reminders of your life everywhere.
By entering the Competition and/or accepting any prize, all entrants and winners agree to be bound by the terms and conditions below.
- How to Play – The BetterBond Home Improvement Competition (The Competition) commences on the 11th December 2012 and ends on the 11th January 2013, 17h00 (“Period”), inclusive of both dates. The winners will be personally notified telephonically or via email weekly with exception of the the winners on the 21st and the 28th of December and the 4th of January, who will be notified after the 7th of January.
- To qualify as an entrant in the Competition you must be a citizen or permanent resident of South Africa, currently residing in South Africa and be in possession of a valid South African identity document, and be 18 years old, or older, at the date on which you enter or, if a minor, you must be assisted to the extent necessary by a parent/legal guardian.
- To enter the Competition you must visit the BetterBond Facebook page on http://www.facebook.com/BetterBond and click on the competition app tab on the page. By submitting your details at login and entering the competition you agree to allow BetterBond to use your name on related Facebook competition posts, and also to contact you regarding any prize that you may have won.
- Entrants must submit original photographs of their home or the home of a friend or family member. ‘Unoriginal’ images (i.e. downloaded, copied, scanned or replicated from the original source in any way) will not be considered valid entries. These photographs must be voted for by other Facebook users and the pictures at 17h00 on the Friday ending of the first four (4) weeks will be eligible for the weekly prize of R1 000 in Yuppie Chef or Builder’s Warehouse vouchers. The photo with the most votes at 17h00 on Friday 11th January, 2013 will be eligible for the grand prize of R10 000 in Yuppie Chef or Builders Warehouse in-store account.
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- Prizes – Entrants stand a chance of winning one (1) Grand Prize of a R10 000 Yuppie Chef or Builders Warehouse in-store account or one (1) of four (4) secondary prizes of R1000 in Yuppie Chef or Builders Warehouse vouchers.
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So you’ve booked your flights, your accommodation and your activities. Maybe you’ve even started packing your suitcase in anticipation of the December break- but no matter where you’re heading off to at the end of the year, remember: You might be on holiday, but criminals aren’t.
Here are a few things to keep in mind in the next few weeks to protect your home from theft:
- Make your home look like someone is living in it, e.g. don’t close your curtains. In daytime this shows your house is empty. If you have an automatic timer that will turn your lights on at night, that’s great, otherwise consider paying a house-sitter you trust or a neighbour to check in and make your home look occupied while you’re away
- Cancel all your mail subscriptions- or get your friendly sitter to pick up your mail. A pile of unopened envelopes on the stoep is a sure sign there’s no one home
- Avoid discussing holiday plans where strangers may hear details of your absence from home
- Try not to take a taxi to the airport. If you do, use a taxi company you can rely on, don’t discuss your holiday plans and make it sound like you have a house-sitter, whether you do or not
- Cut the lawns and trim back any plants on your property that thieves could hide behind
- Leave important documents and valuable items with other family members or a bank. Alternatively lock them in a safe
- Avoid discussing holiday plans on social networking sites – if your posts are publicly visible, burglars can use any information you post on there to their advantage
- Do not put your home address on your luggage when you are travelling to your holiday destination. A house number and postcode will suffice if you want to label your luggage
- If you normally leave valuable bicycles or similar items in your shed, consider putting them in the house. Garden implements and tools can also be used by criminals- so consider locking up your shed while away
- Make sure that you lock all outside doors and windows and set your burglar alarm if you have one
- Ensure that you are completely covered by your insurance company for all forms of theft, fire and damage which could occur while you are away.
To ensure that you have the right home contents insurance policy at a premium you can afford, be sure to contact BetterSure on 0860 006 001