Selling a home in South Africa is not as easy as it may sound. For property sellers, especially those doing it for the first time, selling simply means listing the property on relevant advertising platforms and transacting with prospective buyers. To the contrary, selling actually involves a tedious process of prepping the property, listing it, liaising and possibly negotiating with a countless number of interested buyers, as well as working through the relevant paperwork and legal steps of transferring a property.
Here’s a quick and easy guide on how to sell property in South Africa:
1. Decide what route you’ll be taking to sell
Before setting out to sell your property, decide what avenue you’ll take to sell it. You have the option of enlisting a real estate agent or selling privately. Although both options have their advantages and disadvantages, it’s important to note that the value of an estate agent can’t be downplayed, as discussed further in this article.
Selling your home privately puts you in control of the selling process. This means you’ll be able to choose when people get to view your property. Added to this, you’ll be able to provide credible knowledge about the home and area since you’ve likely been living there for a while or have lived there previously, which potential homebuyers will find quite useful. An added benefit of selling privately is that you won’t have to pay anyone commission, so it’s more cost-effective to sell privately.
Should you wish to sell privately, remember that you need to have good communication and negotiation skills to do so effectively. You will also have to aggressively market your home yourself, so factor this into your costs as well.
The disadvantages of selling privately include the fact that it is time-consuming. You have to dedicate yourself to the entire process, which can distract you from your other endeavors and cause stress. Furthermore, you most likely don’t have the expertise and experience that a well-seasoned real estate agent has, so you may make mistakes that can cost you down the line. Marketing your home on your own, screening potential buyers, answering queries, and staging a home sale could also prove difficult, as will the lack of advice from a real estate agent regarding the legalities and administration you have to be privy to as a home seller.
If you’re still keen on selling your home privately despite the above points, visit our Advice Centre for free resources that can make the process much simpler.
Selling through an estate agent
Selling through an agent presents a myriad of benefits. For starters, you don’t have to worry about marketing your home, staging a home sale, or preparing the legal documents required for a home sale. You can rest assured that the biggest financial investment you own will be handled with care by a property professional. Even though nobody likes parting with money, it’s certainly worth paying the commission to receive the guidance and value that an agent provides.
Selling through an agent involves finding the best real estate agent for the job. Before enlisting an agent, you have to interview at least 3 different people. And while it’s okay to receive recommendations from friends and family, that doesn’t take away any responsibility you have to thoroughly vet the agent.
Once you’ve found someone that’s a great match and is knowledgeable about your local real estate industry, the agent will ask you to sign an agreement detailing the legalities involved, including how much commission they will receive.
Find a real estate agent in your area here.
2. Choose a selling price for your property
Listing and marketing your property isn’t enough — it also has to be listed at the correct price. An overpriced property can deter people from showing any interest in your property.
If you’re selling through an estate agent, they’ll most likely know the average selling price of a properly like yours in your area. They’ll be able to use their expertise to set a fair selling price that reflects the current market value of your home.
If you’re selling privately, you’ll have to do this on your own. This will require a lot of research, as unlike an estate agent, you won’t have the knowledge needed to set a fair selling price. When selling privately, remember not to get too attached to your property. It’s not about what you think about your home’s worth, but it’s about the market value and what potential buyers will be willing to pay for it.
3. Prepare your home for sale
Preparing your home for sale involves fixing any issues that your home may have. You may think a potential homebuyer won’t notice that crack on the wall, but little things can actually turn people off from potentially buying your home.
By making the necessary repairs and renovations, you also help speed up the process of selling your home as it reduces the amount of back and forth that can be caused by a home inspector identifying key issues with your property.