In Summary
  • In many cases, a house can sit on the property market for months, if not years, with little to show for the time and effort.
  • There can be many reasons as to why this happens, some of which can be the homeowners’ mistakes itself.

Muhammed Kizito, a real estate manager, says to get the most money out of your property, you have to do everything right when you put it up for sale. He adds that you have to keep in mind that prospective buyers have numerous options to choose from and if you want your house to stand out from the others, then you have to make sure that you avoid the top home-selling mistakes at all costs.

Buying in the wrong area
Kizito says most property developers will buy a house in a place with the hope that it will develop in future. However, sometimes you want to sell but the house is located far from the main road, in a dusty area and with no electricity. This will reduce the price offered because many people will want a discount for the services missing.
“In this business we do not have the luxury of expecting the situation to change. If you are building for sale, the property should be perfect from the beginning,” Kizito says

Showing a dirty house
David Mukasa, a property developer, says first impression matters, especially if you are presenting your house to a potential buyer. You can convince your buyer by saying that the house will be cleaned when they move in, but if they are going to see a messy home when they first enter the house, chances are you will lose them as a potential buyer. “For example, if you own pets such as a dog, ensure the house and compound is clean and smelling fresh before showing it to potential buyers,” he advises.

Pricing
According to iproperty.com, an online portal, although you want to maximise your profit when you get rid of your house, pricing your property at an outrageous rate will immediately turn away potential buyers.
“House hunters would be extremely reluctant to approach the seller if they know the price is way out of their budget, and this might result in your house being on the market for a long time. If you don’t find anyone interested in your property, then it would leave you no choice but to sell your house at a much lower price,” it states. “Buyers are too savvy these days and have a good idea of how much they want to be spending. It is a good idea to get a property valued by at least three estate agents ,” Kizito says.

Compromising quality
Maurine Lumu had lived in the UK for a while. She started building houses in Uganda for sale but in order to save money, her contractors and builders used sub-standard materials and fixtures. She returned to the country last year but soon realised that none of her houses would sell in that state.
“Even if your budget is small, choose appliances, fixtures and fittings because you know they will last, not because they resemble something more expensive. Most people fall in love right at first site, so make the exterior of your house beautiful,” Kizito advises.

The wrong agent
Kizito says not using an agent can be a mistake, but hiring the wrong agent is definitely a bigger mistake. You need to choose an experienced agent with the best marketing plan to sell your property. Most property owners will pick the agent that gives them the highest price. “Hire an agent who has working experience in the area in which the property is situated and have a depth of knowledge on the property market there,” he advises.

Avoid bad pictures
First impression matters. In the age of the Internet, most house hunters will either look for a house online or at least do a quick research at property websites. If the house looks unattractive, they may not even bother drive to the location for a viewing. After all, pictures sell.
So avoid taking pictures in low resolution, dim lighting and awkward angles. Such images can immediately turn off buyers. It’s also important to use a good camera and if you have the budget, try hiring a professional photographer.

snakirigya@ug.nationmedia.com