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Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

Knowledge of the latest trends and economic factors that come into play when selling your home is invaluable. Some sellers prefer to control this fine balancing act and have a preference for selling without a middle man, particularly when their circumstances dictate an urgent sale with no commission being paid out to a third-party.

This was the case when friends who, during the early 2000s, needed an urgent property sale after their business went belly-up. With Private Property breaking new ground in the Internet property market, this civil engineer and residential builder owner was empowered with control over the sale of his most prized possession. The couple experienced the convenience of a private consultation with a professional agent, who also supplied a signboard and in those days, advertisements in the weekend print media. It also brought the realisation that, as experienced industry players, they were ideally placed to sell the property they had designed and built. Coupled to this was their intimate knowledge of their community of Kommetjie and history of the immediate neighbours, surrounding areas and good schools. Their home fetched the full asking price after two show-houses on one weekend.

Up-to-date industry knowledge

Hatched in 1997, Private Property catapulted from being just a handful of people working out of Justin Clarke’s garage in Durban North to become SA’s favourite property portal, powered by more than 100 experts across the country. It now offers instant financial and industry advice, as well as thousands upon thousands of property options. COO Simon Bray says that entering the market with an informed view is essential. “The knowledge of the impact of economic factors, such as interest rate fluctuations and current market trends helps re-set customer expectations to more realistic levels, and a mind-shift that benefits the whole industry.”

Digital options

Listing options available to sellers comprise a broad base of categories. Specific online features enhance the exposure of each property through varying time periods, virtual tours, and quality photographs. Sellers say that the combination of more leads, as well as broad-based customer support that includes traditional sign boards, quality photographs and virtual tours, improves selling times. (Here’s an example of a virtual tour.)

Preparation for a direct sale, such as determining the correct value of a property is essential, says Manie Maritz who was previously a developer and agent. Property shoppers and advertisers don’t want for anything – from access to real estate agents in a specific area, to a Nedbank bond calculator and links to Rodel bridging finance. Being paired with legal and conveyancing professionals for the finalisation of what can be a complex and confusing administration process is also facilitated, as is information for owners of buy-to-rent investments, who list their properties for free.

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