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Putting your home up for sale? Get professional help

Published Nov 14, 2021


Putting your home up for sale is almost always stressful, regardless of the state of the market. Not only are there difficult decisions to be made regarding prepping your home for sale and pricing it correctly, emotions come into play and can negatively affect your sale process.

These are among the reasons why it is advisable to appoint a real estate professional to handle property sales.

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Experts offer the following insight and advice:

Pricing Adrian Goslett, chief executive of Re/Max of Southern Africa, says when it comes to correctly pricing your home, a real estate professional should do an analysis of the market. In this process, they will look closely at the sales of similar homes in your neighbourhood, that have closed in the previous90 days, and take the number of listings into account when recommending an asking price.

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“Sellers should lean heavily on these insights when agreeing to a listing price.” Goslett also highlights the importance of a seller’s market debut – listing your home correctly from the get-go in order to secure a quick sale. “New listings are called ‘hot’ for a reason – buyers get excited about them. “Most buyers screen available homes on the internet and new listings get far more web traffic than older listings.

"Showings are likely to cool off noticeably after the first 30days on the market. If your home is priced too high when it hits the market, you run the risk that active, qualified buyers will scroll right past it.”

Interestingly, he notes:

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• Homes that are in a good condition and have failed to attract a buyer in a reasonable period (roughly three to six months) are usually overpriced.

• Foreclosures or sales under market price in your neighbourhood can affect your home’s market value.

• It doesn’t pay to set the price too high. Most buyers will need financing and the bank will generally use an appraisal based on recent sales to justify the loan amount. If your asking price is above the bank’s appraisal value, then the buyer will probably not be able to afford to purchase it.

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Additional Costs:The price that a seller gets for a property is not the only financial consideration they need to bear in mind, as a successful sale also brings with it a number of costs for the sellers.

Absa’s Geoff Lee says sellers need to be aware of the costs they are liable for, such as:

• Costs of clearance certificates for the property before the sale can be affected. These include certificates of compliance for electricity, gas, electric fences, beetles and plumbing.

• Advertising costs for your property.

• Commission to the estate agent if you are using their services.

• Moving costs once you have sold your property.

• Capital gains tax on the sale of a property that is not a primary residence and where the gain is greater than R2 million. If a homeowner sells their property before the bond is paid off, they will also need to pay early termination and bond cancellation fees, he says.

Get ready for viewing

Space is often buyers’ number one consideration when choosing a new home, with most people looking to move to a bigger one.

So, whether they are first-time buyers coming from rental property with a lack of cupboards, entrepreneurs looking for more home office space, or parents looking for more bedrooms for a growing family, space is important, says Gerhard Kotzé, managing director of the RealNet estate agency group.

“However, just having a bigger home to offer isn’t enough.“ You will need to show them how much of that space is accessible and usable and the key to that is to declutter your home really thoroughly before putting it on show.

"This includes clearing out the garage, tidying all bedroom and kitchen cupboards so that they don’t look over full, and removing all extraneous furniture, toys, ornaments, photos and appliances even if it means you have to put them in a storage unit.“

The hiring fee for this unit will be easily recouped in a good offer to purchase from a buyer impressed with how spacious your home feels and the great amount of living space and storage they will be able to enjoy,” Kotzé says.

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