Top Tips for Sellers in a Buyer’s Market

Top Tips for Sellers in a Buyer’s Market

Private Property South Africa
Cath Jenkin

The South African property market in 2020

Long before the lockdown, the South African property market in 2020 was already a buyer’s market. As annual house price ratios dropped during 2019 and heading into 2020, a buyer’s market was emerging. The national lockdown led to a halt in trade throughout the property market. Now that the levels of lockdown are changing, however, the South African property market is reawakening. We were set to be in a buyer’s market for 2020, and that’s where we’ll stay, post-lockdown too.

What is a buyer’s market?

Despite what you may think, a buyer’s market is not bad news. Instead, a buyer’s market comes to be when there are more properties for sale, than there are buyers. As we’ve navigated tough economic times, supply outweighs demand, presenting unique challenges for sellers, and interesting opportunities for buyers.

The affordable property market

The busiest sector of the South African property market falls within the affordable property range. That’s no surprise, considering the exceptional growth and demand within the affordable property range, and it has meant that more buyers are available for affordably priced properties. Further government support mechanisms, including a FLISP subsidy and other initiatives, has spurred this market development on.

Now is not the time to pull your listing

This development, along with the emerging buyer’s market, may make you feel disheartened as you consider selling your home. Take heart, sellers: a buyer’s market does not mean you should pull your property off the market. Property, at its core, is a robust, long-term investment, and a buyer’s market could help you find the perfect buyer for your home. As interest rates drop, and the levels of lockdown lift, you may find yourself the perfect buyer for your home. If you are in the process of selling your home, remember these tips for surviving, and thriving, in a buyer’s market:

  • Everyone is online: Under lockdown, South Africans are confined to their homes, except for attending to their work, fetching the essentials, and accessing medical care. And, as the global population does, we’ve all turned to the online world in an effort to bolster our social lives. In short: we’re spending more time online.

  • Everyone online is an opportunity: As part of everyone staying home and logging on to their favourite websites and services, prospective property buyers are spending more time online. That offers you, as a seller, a unique opportunity to stand out. Virtual viewings, excellent listings, and other types of online marketing for your property are not only essential; they’re an opportunity.

  • It’s time to stand out: Take some time to consider your property’s online listing, and compare it with others in your suburb, price range, or similar variables. It may be a buyer’s market, but finding the right buyer for your home always starts with how you present your property. Your online marketing efforts matter, so make sure your listing offers potential buyers everything they need, with a little extra.

A market of eager buyers

A buyer’s market is not something you should be scared of, as you sell your home. Instead, owing to interest rate drops and variable economic circumstances, it could help you find the right buyer for your home. If you’re concerned about selling your home in a buyer’s market, think beyond the current circumstances: pundits predict that the property market will be busy in the near future. You just need to ensure your property for sale can be found by the right buyer.

Top tips for sellers in a buyer’s market

When confronted with a buyer’s market, there are several things you can do to ensure the sale of your home. Our top tips for sellers in a buyer’s market include:

  • Price to sell: Setting the selling price for your property is an important decision, and consulting with the right agent for your home is vital. Ensure your property is priced to sell, and not listed at an inflated value.

  • Do your research: Before you sign with a particular estate agent, ask them to provide you with a comparative market analysis. This will help you ensure your property is priced correctly, in terms of market conditions and similar properties.

  • Get the right help: Finding the right buyer for your home is often dependent on finding the right estate agent to help you sell your home. An experienced, qualified, estate agent who knows your region,and the market well, is a necessity.

  • Consider every offer: The process of selling property is rooted in negotiation. That’s why it’s important to consider every offer that comes your way. If your property is priced right, the right buyer will come to you. In a buyer’s market, it may feel like the buyer has an advantage, but the true winner in a buyer’s market is negotiation.

  • Adjust your listing: If you haven’t yet considered how your home could be adapted for a work-from-home lifestyle, now’s the right time to do so. As global concern centres on navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for more homes that offer work-from-home space and facilities will rise. The guest room you’ve listed as part of your home for sale could become a beautiful office. Adjusting your home’s facilities and updating your online property listing could help you sell your home to the right buyer.

  • Look for opportunities: If you’re selling your home to invest in buying another, now is a great time to get buying. Many people put off making long-term financial commitments in times of crisis, but property investors know that this is the perfect time to buy property. Take advantage of the time on hand: If you’ve been delaying on finalising renovations, or had to curtail a revamp of your home, now’s the time to get it done. As the property market comes back to life, it will take time to process transactions that had stalled during lockdown, and that means you’ve got time to give your property for sale a more competitive edge.

  • Enjoy the buyer’s market: Finding the right buyer for your property is a process you can enjoy. Sharing your love for your home with interested buyers should form part and parcel of the experience. A buyer’s market will lead several interested buyers towards your home and online listing - the right buyer is out there.

For more top tips for sellers in a buyer’s market, visit our Advice Centre.

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