How long it takes to sell a home in SA

How long it takes to sell a home in SA

Private Property South Africa

The sale of a property involves multiple steps and can be a lengthy process. Sellers must allow time both to find a buyer who will make an acceptable offer, as well as time for the transfer and registration process to be completed.

According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, finding the appropriate buyer for the home will depend on several factors. He explains that the average time on market will differ from suburb to suburb and will depend on demand for the area as well as the price and condition of the home itself.

“Our latest National Housing Report reveals that homes priced between R800,000 and R1,5 million account for 28% of all transfers. However, homes priced over R3 million accounted for just 6.8% of transactions. Because demand is much higher for homes priced below R1,5 million, it will be much quicker to sell these kinds of homes compared to homes priced over R3 million. Homes that are move-in ready and do not require any repairs or renovations also tend to sell quicker than fixer-upper properties,” he states.

On average, Goslett explains that a well-priced home in good condition in an active market should be sold within three months or less. The FNB Property Barometer for October 2021 stated that the average time on market was 8.6 weeks, or 62 days. “On average, properties listed on were marked as sold in just 61.2 days last year,” says Goslett.

Goslett adds that, unless market conditions have caused a scarcity of buyers in the area or there are greater macro-economic factors at play, if a property is on the market for more than six months, then the seller should assume that either the home has been priced too high, repair work might be required, or the estate agent might not be the best fit for the job.

Once a home has been sold, the transfer and registration process begins. Sellers can allow for roughly three months for this all to go through. “It can take a while to get all the necessary documents in place, but once these are received by the Deeds Office, sellers should allow for roughly 10 to 15 working days for the Deeds Office to process the transfer of the property, cancellation of the existing bond, and registration of the new bond,” he explains.

Owing to COVID, Goslett warns that there have also been several backlogs and delays caused by Deeds Office closures. “The transferring attorneys should keep the agent and the seller abreast of any delays as and when these occur,” he states.

The reality is that selling a property is not a short process. Those who are in a hurry to sell should price the home at fair market value from the start and involve an experienced real estate professional who can seal the deal quickly.

“The fact is that there is not much a seller can do to hurry along the transfer and registration process, so partnering with an agent who can find a suitable buyer within the shortest possible timeframe will be a seller’s best bet when it comes to selling a home fast,” Goslett concludes.

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