Getting It Right

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Whether it is greed, ignorance or plain denial, some homeowners simply refuse to listen to expert advice and despite the evidence, refuse to market their homes at a market related price. While overpricing may not be a major problem during a boom period when buyers are vying to own a home the situation changes radically during a downturn.Knowing what a property is realistically worth is one of the most important factors in selling a home. Get it right and the property should sell fairly quickly – get it wrong and the home could end up sitting on the market for months if not years.The real estate industry has undergone radical changes in recent times. The experienced agent of today is both well qualified and has a clear understanding of market trends. In the past, agents relied on personal knowledge of what had been sold for what price. These days, statistics highlighting the highest and the lowest prices achieved, the numbers of properties sold as well as the average selling price in an area are readily available on the Internet. Any agent worth his salt will base his valuation on fact not fiction and using these tools will be able to supply any seller with clear evidence of how he has determined the correct selling price.It stands to reason that most sellers will listen to the agent who gives them the best news. However, unless the agent concerned can back up the valuation with solid data, sellers should treat this valuation with caution. If in doubt the seller should ask how the agent arrived at the figure, particularly if the value given is substantially higher than that presented by other agents. The costs associated with holding on to a property while you wait for it to sell mount quickly. Although this may not be of concern to a cash flush seller, the situation can prove disastrous for a financially stretched individual. Factors such as bond repayments, rates and taxes, maintenance as well as the stress of living in a home that you can no longer afford all need to be taken into consideration. Even the best priced homes are taking longer to sell, buyers are obviously going to consider those long before they look at something that is clearly overpriced.The buyer of today is far more aware of property trends and it is unlikely that a person who has unrealistic expectations of what his home is going to sell for will be able to pull the wool over a buyer’s eyes. The Internet has revolutionised the way people buy property. The days of buying a home sight unseen via the web may, to a large extent, be a thing of the past; however, the educational benefits that the technology has brought remain firmly in place. The buyers of today have more financial savvy than those of yesteryear; they are far more informed about property trends and will simply overlook a home where they cannot perceive value for money.

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