As more and more areas experience inventory shortages, demand for property is expected to continue rising. This, coupled with the fact that many areas have seen a positive price growth over the last few years, could be swinging the property market in the seller’s favour.
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says although the market conditions are slowly giving the seller the advantage, there are still a few key elements that they’ll need to adhere to in order to ensure that their property is sold for the best possible price, within the shortest period of time.
He says while fewer properties on the market make it a much more competitive environment for buyers, and they could soon see sellers in a far better position during negotiations, this doesn’t mean that they should sit back and wait. When it comes to getting the optimum result from the property sale, he says sellers still need to apply some basic but vital principles to the property sale process to achieve the best possible outcome.
Goslett offers top five tips to help sellers achieve the best result when selling their home.
1. Research your agent options
According to Goslett, many home sellers often make the mistake of choosing an agent that offers them the lowest commission rate or the highest price for their home. While these elements are a consideration, they should not be the only factors that the decision is based on as they can negatively weigh on the transaction in the long run.
He says it is advisable to choose an agent that has experience in the specific area in which the property is situated.
He says another aspect to take into consideration is the agent’s company. Is it a well-known, reputable brand with the support of a large network? It is also vital that the agent presents the seller with a market plan providing the seller with steps as to how they plan to get the property sold, he says.
2. Don’t forget the small print
Goslett says it is important that sellers are fully aware of what they are legally binding themselves to. For this reason, he says sellers should go through each and every point in their contract with their real estate agent and discuss any issues or aspects of the document that they are unclear on.
“There are various mandate options, each of which have prescribed responsibilities for both the agent and the seller. Being unaware of the terms and conditions in the contract and what the seller is responsible for in a property sale transaction could be a costly lesson to learn.”
3. Don’t push up the price
Possibly one of the most vital elements of any property sale is correctly pricing the home.
Goslett says the irony is that over-inflation of the property’s price will more than likely result in the seller settling for a much lower price than what they may have if they had priced the home according to fair market value in the first place. He says overpricing will drive buyers away from the property and towards others in the area that are priced correctly. If a buyer can get a property in the same neighbourhood for less money, they will opt for that property over the more expensive one as they will feel like they’re getting a bargain, he says.
He notes that homes with inflated prices take far longer to sell, which can negatively affect the perceived value of the home. The estate agent should provide sellers with a Comparative Market Analysis of the area, which will help them gauge the correct price the home should be marketed at.
4. Showcase the home at its best
It goes without saying that a well-kept, tidy home will be far more appealing to potential buyers than one in need of care and attention. The focus should be on the property and the features that it offers, rather than the items lying around the home or dishes in the sink, he says.
“Presentation is a key factor that rests on the seller’s shoulders. Part of this would include making all the necessary repairs and ensuring that everything is in good working order.”
5. Skip out on show days
Goslett explains that regardless of whether the seller is friendly and accommodating, having the seller present on show days could make buyers feel uncomfortable to explore. With the sellers not at home, buyers feel free to roam through the property and ask the estate agent questions. It is therefore best to leave the hosting to the estate agent.
Applying these principles will assist the seller in achieving the desired result of selling their home for a fair price, within a reasonable time frame, he says. Looking at the property objectively and seeking the advice of an experienced real estate professional as to what improvements can be made to the home will also add to the seller’s chance of success, he explains.
Goslett says a home that is correctly priced and well-maintained will find the right buyer in today’s market.