Selling tips

Private Property South Africa
Cathy Nolan

Although generally speaking, properties are taking a lot longer to sell than before, some properties are simply never going to sell in the current market. Although there may well be a number of reasons for this, overall, the most likely reason is that the property is overpriced.

There are numerous sellers out there who are not in a rush to sell and can afford to bide their time. Unfortunately there are also large numbers that do not have the luxury of time on their side and who start to become desperate when a property remains on the market for an extended period of time.

There are a multitude of reasons that people want or need to sell their homes. It may be for financial reasons, they want to downscale and move into something smaller, they have been transferred, they don’t like their current home, or there have been changes in the neighbourhood that don’t appeal.

Regardless of the reason, most people want to move out as soon as possible once they have decided to sell and when this doesn’t happen, quickly become frustrated. Selling property is an emotional experience and although we all want to get as much out of the deal as possible, we have to remain realistic. There is a reason that buyers are not attracted to the property and it is imperative for sellers to identify and act on those reasons as quickly as possible. Houses that stay on the market for long periods of time tend to garner a somewhat bad reputation, even if the stigma is not true. Buyers have become far savvier and are very often aware of not only what is on the market, but exactly which properties are not selling. Generally speaking, buyers tend to avoid these properties like the plague.

Sellers need to be objective and remember why they want to sell in the first place. If the motivation to sell is urgent then obviously, something needs to be done. Sellers should consider asking themselves the following:

• Is the property being marketed correctly? In other words, are the agents or agent you have mandated to sell your home doing their job? Are you listening to what they say and have you priced your home according to their valuation?

• What is the overall condition of the property? It is highly unlikely that buyers will give a run-down property more than a passing glance, unless it is priced correctly. Repainting a home or tidying a garden can make a huge difference.

• What have the people who have viewed the home had to say? Asking you agent for feedback from potential buyers is very important. If you don’t know what their concerns are and more importantly if everyone is raising the same issues, it may be time to rethink your selling strategy.

• What else is selling in my price range? Sellers who are struggling to sell need to see what they are up against. Do an Internet search in the area in which you live and take an objective view of what else is available. If your home is of a similar ilk to other properties for sale, but you are expecting to sell it for far more than other similar homes in the area, it may be time to rethink the price.

If, on the other hand, you are in no rush to sell, perhaps it is wiser to remove the property from the market and wait for market conditions to improve before you stigmatise the property as the home that no one wanted to buy.

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