There is No Catch to Selling Privately

Private Property South Africa
Julia Hinton

Private Property was started in a garage in 1998, with the objective of helping private

sellers to sell their own homes privately by advertising their properties on the Internet.

The main premise was to cut out the middleman by allowing the buyer and seller

to interact directly with one another, thereby saving the seller thousands of

rands in estate agent's commission. Private Property became synonymous with 'no

commission' and the idea began to attract more and more interest. Sellers

realised that they could pay a small once-off listing fee, do some of the work

of selling their homes themselves, and save loads of money.

Today, sellers using the Private Property system pay a listing fee of between

R1000 and R3200, depending on the value of their property. Private Property has

the busiest property website in South Africa with over 400 000 user sessions and

6.5 million page impressions per month. For someone who is considering selling

their home, this means that Private Property provides a very effective vehicle

for marketing your property. The real key is the database of over 160 000

registered buyers who are actively looking for property. These buyers have

search profiles and have signed up to receive alerts of new property listings

that match their search criteria.

Recently Private Property invited a mixed group of people who had successfully

sold their homes through Private Property to a 'Think Tank' evening. "We wanted

to get feedback from buyers on their perceptions of our business and services,"

said Marketing Manager, Sue Clarke. "We were really pleased to get very positive

feedback on the whole, but the one question that everyone is still asking is

'what's the catch?' - people still said they felt it was too good to be true

even though they had gone through the process of buying their properties and

getting a bond through us."

'What's the catch?' has been a question that gets asked over and over again

usually followed by 'how do you make your money?' "We realised that perhaps this

could still be a concern to some people who are selling their homes and are for

the first time considering the non-traditional alternative of selling privately.

Most people would rather save the around 6% in commission that is normally

charged by an estate agent, but if they think that it is 'too good to be true'

they might still use an agent just because it seems safer and more familiar,"

says Clarke.

The answer is that there is absolutely NO CATCH. Sellers pay only the once-off

advertising fee to list their property on Private Property's website. The

service includes much more than just the web listing. It starts when a Property

Consultant visits you at your home. The Consultant explains the whole process to

you, gives you a For Sale Board and On Show boards, and answers your questions.

Then they will take exterior and interior photographs and write a detailed

description. The website listing will go live on the Internet within 24 hours

and matching buyers in the database will be sent SMS and email notifications.

Your property will also appear in one issue of the Private Property Magazine and

Private Property also advertises in local newspapers, on radio, flyers, etc.

Although Private Property Consultants are not estate agents, almost all of them

have passed the Estate Agents Affairs Board Exam, so they will be able to 'hold

your hand' through the entire process. When you put your house on show, your

Consultant will assist and explain what you need to do, as well as send out show

day notifications to matching buyers.

So, by now you may also be wondering why sellers get so much for such a small

fee. The answer is that Private Property earns substantial income from

advertisers who advertise on the website and in the Private Property Magazine.

Private Property also assists buyers in securing home loan finance through any

of the four major banks. This service is free and convenient for the buyer and

has the added advantage of giving the seller the peace of mind that the buyer

does in fact qualify for the loan, thereby avoiding any unnecessary delays.

Although not every buyer does their home loan finance through Private Property,

many do choose to because it is quick and easy and relieves them of the hassle

of having to go about finding out how to apply themselves. Some income is earned

from providing this service, but it doesn't cost the buyer or seller a cent.

Private Property's vision is to be 'the people's champion' and although this

might sound simplistic, the company continues to strive to provide a

professional service to both sellers and buyers of property - there is no catch,

no middleman and no commission.

Looking to sell your home?
Advertise your property to millions of interested buyers by listing with Private Property now!
Find out more

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