Summer is the time to sell

Private Property South Africa
Martin Hatchuel

The bougainvillea is blooming, the shade from that tree you planted all those moons ago is deep and satisfying, and your thoughts have turned to selling. But is summer the right time for that?

The estate agents agree: it definitely is.

“Although it’s one of the most hackneyed pieces of wisdom from residential estate agents, it nevertheless remains true that spring and early summer are ideal times to sell,” said Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group.

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And: “Summer is better because the house projects better at that time of year,” said Lizette Monk, of Jawitz Properties, Knysna.

Kerb appeal

Lizette said that kerb appeal – your first impression when you draw up to the kerb at a potential new home – is fundamentally important, so it makes sense for sellers to pay attention to making the house and garden look as neat and as attractive as possible.

“As they say – spend a little to gain a lot.”

Again – this is something that the agents all agree on.

“It’s exceptionally important, and sellers cannot be reminded too often that every Rand spent on smartening their home will be a good investment in the long-term,” said Bill.

“Such initiatives as replanting the garden to give it more colour, upgrading and cleaning the swimming pool, and, inside the house, cleaning all carpets, curtains and tiles can and do make a huge difference to visitors’ impressions.”

And there’s another benefit to summer, too: “The good weather and long evenings make it easier for people to get out and look at homes and to meet estate agents,” said Bill.

Turnover

Lizette said that the figures prove the truism – “We sell more properties in summer than in winter” – but that, for her agency, the long, warm, sparkly days of summer are only part of the reason for this.

“Summer is also the busiest time of year in Knysna. This is when the town receives the largest influx of overseas visitors and South African holidaymakers, and many of them are looking to invest on the Garden Route – which is an extremely attractive investment destination.”

Bill pointed out, though, that almost everyone selling their home in the present climate should find that they’ve been able to achieve “above inflation growth on their home’s value” – and that you’ll probably find yourself “in a position to make a significant profit.”

Consistent price growth

He said that Absa’s house price indices report for November showed that prices of medium- and large-sized homes have returned a “more-or-less consistent growth path since early 2012” – despite a slowdown during 2014.

“Average prices in these two categories are now R1 173 000, and R1 818 000 respectively” – which represents nominal growth increases of 7% and 8% an annualised basis.

“When you compare these prices to those of a decade ago, the old message is reinforced – investing in a home for your family to live in is the wisest move anyone can make,” said Bill.

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