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How to sell property long-distance.

The sluggish property market may present problems when you have to move to another area before your existing house is sold.
It is more difficult to sell your home long-distance, explains Richard Gray, CEO of the Harcourts Africa property group. “Not only do negotiations with prospective buyers pose challenges because of the distance involved, but keeping the property clean, attractive and secure is more difficult.
“And an empty house may not be as attractive to potential buyers as a tastefully furnished home,” he says.
However, there are a number of things sellers can do to improve the chances of selling quickly. Gray offers the following advice:
*Try not to leave the property empty. If a spouse or family member cannot stay in the house until it is sold, it may be worthwhile to arrange for house sitters. If that is not feasible, leave some furnishings in the home and curtains in place – a home that looks lived-in is more attractive to buyers and less attractive to vandals or thieves.
* If you do have to leave the home empty, carefully inspect finishes and repaint or install new carpets if necessary – a bare room quickly shows up poor paintwork and threadbare carpets. It may also be a good idea to leave a portfolio of photographs showing the house fully furnished.
* Leave burglar alarms in place. Let your rapid response company know that the property is vacant and supply your new contact numbers.
* Timed lights that automatically switch on when it gets dark will also help to create the impression that the property is lived in.
* Arrange for a garden service to keep the lawn cut and garden tidy.
* Cancel all deliveries such as newspapers, and arrange with your estate agent to collect any straggling post delivered to the old address.
* Review your insurance policy to make sure that the property will remain covered even if you are not in residence.
* Stay in close contact with your estate agent and get regular updates of how many people viewed the property and what comments they made. Address any criticisms as soon as possible to improve your chances of selling quickly.