Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, explains that the South African property market is shifting away from freehold titles and towards sectional title living. According to Lightstone Property data for the October-December 2018 period, 15,648 sectional title units were sold countrywide, which is 8.1% more than were sold in the same quarter of 2017.
“Across the region, we are seeing an uptake in sectional title sales. With more and more sectional title developments emerging all around the country – particularly in the major metropoles – sellers are going to have to ensure that their sectional title units have enough of a unique selling edge to remain competitive with the units next door,” explains Goslett.
The first place to start is to view similar listings on property portals and get an idea of what buyers could purchase in your suburb or within you complex that are near enough to your price point. “If you discover that there are several options from which buyers can choose, then you need to consider what sets your sectional title apart from the others. If there is nothing that sets your unit apart from the others, then you will need to consider either lowering your asking price or renovating the space to ensure that it sells,” Goslett explains.
One of the best ways to ensure that your unit sets apart is through home staging. “Especially when there are multiple units up for sale or rent within the same apartment complex, sellers will need to ensure that their space is styled in such a way that it makes their property more memorable than others. For a simple example, often one of the main drawbacks of sectional title living is a lack of garden space. Adding a few houseplants can make your unit more appealing than similar units without any outdoor garden space,” Goslett suggests.
If sellers have more money to invest in the property, upgrading certain features can also work to create a unique selling point. According to Goslett, replacing features that come as standard within the complex (such as flooring or kitchen countertops) with more luxurious options (such as marble floor tiles or granite countertops) can go a long way towards bolstering the investment value of a sectional title within a complex.
Apart from home staging and upgrading, sellers should also partner with a real estate professional who has a unique selling edge. “RE/MAX of Southern Africa has a unique selling edge over all of our competitors by being the largest real estate brand in South Africa. Because our network of sales associates outnumbers our closest competitor by close to 1,000 agents, the RE/MAX brand is one of the most recognisable brands in the country, giving any home listed with a RE/MAX agent an unfair selling advantage over similar properties listed through other brands,” Goslett concludes.