7 tips to ace a property sale in any market




30 June 2023

Selling a home is always an emotional prospect, but tricky market conditions can really up the stakes. According to David Jacobs, Regional Sales Manager for the Rawson Property Group, however, there’s no such thing as a bad time to sell if you follow these seven simple tips.

  1. Keep your emotions in check

“Home is where the heart is, but when it’s time to sell, try to keep your heart as far out of things as possible,” says Jacobs. “Instead, channel your inner salesperson and try to treat your listing as a purely financial transaction. It makes it a lot easier to make objective decisions when you focus on the figures and don’t let years of memories or preconceived expectations cloud reality.”

  1. Pick the right agent

While the tools exist to sell a home DIY-style, the results of using a qualified agent speak for themselves.

“When market conditions are tough and property values lower than sellers hoped for, it can be tempting to try to cut costs by doing a private sale,” says Jacobs. “Unfortunately, the vast majority of private sales still underperform those handled by qualified agents, both in terms of sales price and time on market.”

As such, Jacobs highly recommends working with a qualified agent – preferably one with extensive experience in your neighbourhood and a personality that gels easily with your own.

“You’re going to be working closely with your chosen agent for several weeks at the very least,” he says. “Choose someone you can trust, who understands – and cares about – your needs and input, but has the skill and confidence to guide you through tough decisions to achieve the best possible results.”

Did you know? Sellers can appoint multiple agents to sell their property. This is known as an open or shared mandate, but it’s seldom the most effective option – here’s why.

  1. Set the price right

Price is a perfect example of a tough decision for sellers. According to Jacobs, almost all sellers come to the table with preconceived ideas of the value of their home. It can be difficult to hear that these expectations may be less realistic than you had hoped.

“Setting the right price is pivotal for any property sale,” says Jacobs. “Too high and you risk stagnating on the market indefinitely. Too low and you could be leaving literal money on the table.”

Having an agent you trust to help you through this process can make it a lot easier, but don’t fall into the trap of relying on their word, alone. 

“Always get at least three valuations,” says Jacobs, “and make sure to ask for a comparative market analysis from each agent. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, either. The more you understand about current property market conditions, including buyer trends and local competition, the better your chances of a favourable sale.”

  1. Time your entry to market

According to Jacobs, there’s no wrong time to hit the property market. However, each season has pros and cons that may be of greater benefit to certain properties than others.

“Many people recommend waiting for spring or summer to sell,” he says. “It’s true that the weather is warmer, houses and gardens tend to look more attractive, and buyer activity often picks up at this time of year. That said, you’re also likely to be facing more competition in summer, as all the sellers in your neighbourhood follow the same advice.”

Bucking the trend to sell in wintertime can offer a less competitive landscape and an opportunity to show off your home’s cosier side.

“Sunshine is magical, but so is a crackling fireplace, or a cosy living area showing off its comforts while the rain pours down outside,” says Jacobs. “You know your home best – if it’s a haven of happiness in winter, that could well be your perfect season to sell.”

  1. Get your compliance in order early

Getting compliance certificates is nobody’s favourite chore, but Jacobs says delaying the process can seriously backfire on sellers.

“Compliance has become quite a process, with most homes needing at least some remediation due to changing regulations,” he says. “Getting that work out the way early saves nasty surprises down the line that could seriously delay or otherwise impact your sale.”

  1. Choose the right legal team

In South Africa, sellers typically appoint the conveyancing attorney who will handle the legalities and facilitate the registration of the sale. According to Jacobs, this is not a responsibility to take lightly.

“Good conveyancers can make a real difference to the ease and speed of a sale once an offer has been accepted,” he says. “Most real estate agents will be able to recommend conveyancers they’ve had good experiences with in the past, but feel free to consult friends and family for word-of-mouth recommendations, too.” 

  1. Focus on presentation

Jacobs’ final tip is by no means the least important. When it comes to selling a property, presentation can make or break your chances.

“First impressions are powerful,” he says. “You want to do everything you can to make them positive. That doesn’t just mean fixing flaws and sprucing up gardens and paintwork, it also means creating a space in which buyers can picture their own lives.”

That, Jacobs explains, means removing as much clutter and as many personal items as possible to create a neutral space that lets the property – rather than its residents – take centre stage.

“It’s not a fun process but, if you get it right, you shouldn’t have to do it often,” he says. “A well-staged home, priced right, and backed by an experienced team of property professionals should find a buyer relatively quickly, regardless of market conditions.

Time to make a move and sell? Find out what your property is worth, get a free no obligation valuation, email marketing@rawsonproperties.com or visit www.rawson.co.za

David Jacobs

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