Words: Candice Botha | Image: Shutterstock
Selling a property is a complicated process and there are several reasons why a home may not sell quickly. “Focusing on selling your property for the highest value possible in a reasonable amount of time is the winning recipe, but that’s complicated,” says Richard Gray, CEO, Harcourts South Africa.
Price is an integral factor. Motivated buyers do their research regularly and homes that are overpriced relative to their neighbours don’t sell quickly. “It’s critical to look at what the current competition is, what similar properties have recently sold and what direction the local property market is heading,” says Lee Ellis, director, Tyson Properties.
Gray adds that even if you have the luxury of time, you shouldn’t be tempted to overprice your home. “Houses that have been on the market for a long time tend to get a stigma, and buyers who’re looking for reasonably priced properties may be put off.”
The selling price itself is important. Ellis advises listing your home for a round amount. “It’s extremely common for a property to be listed at R2,999,000. Most real estate websites and portals have price bands that end in whole numbers, so buyers looking from R3m to R3,5m wouldn’t see this home in that search.”
First impressions are important and taking the time to declutter and allow your agent to take professional photographs is helpful. “Poor home maintenance is often a major concern,” says Gray. “Having to spend extra money on painting, fixing leaking gutters or broken doors is an understandable problem for a buyer.”
Ellis agrees, adding that if you want the full asking price, you will need to ensure that the house is in a condition that warrants it. “Sellers should always do what they can to make their home available to view, within reason.” He says the key to selling a house seems to be patience. “It takes some time to locate the perfect buyers. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes – strategy meetings, digital marketing, print marketing, buyer matches, database contacts – so be patient and continuously engage with your agent.”
Work with your agent to sell your home by:
- Awarding a sole mandate
- Decluttering and tidying up
- Allowing them to take professional photographs and a video
- Making your property available for viewing regularly