Real estate agents in the Fourways region point to overpricing as the number one reason for property staying on the market for longer than it should, says Dieter Harck, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX One Hundred, whose office services Fourways and surrounding northern suburbs of Johannesburg.
He notes that sellers in the area are listing their homes for various reasons such as downscaling, upgrading, divorce and relocation. Although their reasons for selling are vastly different, Harck says that the challenges presented by the current market are similar for each seller.
“A property can be on the market from anywhere between two weeks and four months depending on numerous factors that are associated with the current market. However, the reason that is most frequently the cause of a home sitting on the market for an extended period of time is overpricing. The problem with homes being on the market for some time is that the perceived value of the home tends to drop the longer it remains on the market. This then widens the gap between the original asking price and the price achieved at sale. Ironically, getting the highest possible price for your property is not achieved by listing it at an excessive price and negotiating down, but rather setting a market related price in the first place,” says Harck.
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that overpricing is not a localised issue and RE/MAX agents across the country have pointed to the importance of sellers correctly pricing their home to ensure a sell in a reasonable period of time. “An over-ambitious price will simply push buyers away before they have even seen the property,” he says.
Harck says that another element that sellers should keep in mind when wanting to sell their home within a reasonable time frame is presentation. It is important for sellers look at their property objectively and see what can be done to improve the chances of the sale of their property. “Small touches such as having the carpets professionally cleaned will add appeal to the home and leave it smelling great. Buyers want to buy a house that is clean and well maintained. A property needs to look its best on show day. This means making necessary repairs and ensuring that everything works and looks presentable. If a home is not clean and tidy, potential buyers will more than likely be distracted by the mess rather than the features of the home. Figures suggest that buyers are willing to pay more for a home that has been looked after as opposed to a home that is in need of repair and attention,” says Harck.
He advises that it is also important for the seller to be working with the right agent who has experience in the specific area in which the property is situated. “The agent must be from a reputable company, which will have the support of a large network. It is also vital that the agent is someone that the seller feels comfortable to work with and feels they can trust. This is because the seller will need to be able to give the agent regular access to their property, sometimes without the seller being present,” says Harck. “An aesthetically pleasing home that is well-presented and priced correctly will appeal to far more buyers than an over-priced home in need of attention,” he concludes.