Business

Tips for prospective sellers from a seasoned property expert

The selling price of the property you want to sell is determined by the estate agent together with you — the owner, says Mariette Rossouw

Mariette Rossouw lists and sells property.
Mariette Rossouw lists and sells property.
Image: Supplied/Mariette Rossouw

Over the past three decades, I have received numerous calls from buyers and — even more often — sellers, for advice on property sales and wisdom when things go wrong.

Here are a few of my tips and suggestions.

When you decide to sell your property, you should invite at least three estate agents to view and assess your home. It’s preferable to choose senior agents who specialise in your suburb. Do some light research and get feedback from previous sellers.

The selling process can be quite challenging if you make the wrong choices. 

What to consider:

  • When calling consultants for an appointment, set enough time to receive each one at home. While introducing your property to them, ask general questions or what you consider important to know. You can tell how well the agent knows the area if you check what they say with your own information on schools, businesses and so on. General knowledge about what your suburb has to offer can build trust in the marketing and selling process.
  • On listing your property, you can expect detailed information from the agent on the marketing strategy of the agency. This should not be read to you, but rather shared as part of the conversation. This interview should include how their marketing strategy will be personalised for your property — in a personal and custom-made marketing plan that’s realistic and efficient.
  • If your agent is passionate and driven, the sale will already be a battle half won. Still, it’s important to consider their know-how and negotiating skills. The latter is earned over many years of experience, not through theory and training.
  • Ask the agent about the different marketing options offered. Successful agents like working together as they have learnt that it’s not just about the money. They understand that giving top service can bring a smooth, pleasant sale and that will always stand them in good stead. 
  • Be aware of the persuasive techniques and strategies of some agents to obtain mandates, for example overpricing, misleading truths, or using emotional and personal issues. Once you’ve weighed up all the options, you can make an informed business decision for the best agent to list your property with. 
  • When discussing the pricing of property in the present market, three things determine the price: the current market, terms and conditions that are important to you, and the timing (that is when you can vacate). So it’s not only up to the agent to price your property; you can do it together.

Various “values” for a property to take note of:

  • total replacement value;                              
  • insured value (plot excluded);
  • dream price of the seller;
  • advertised price;
  • selling price: the price a willing seller accepts from a willing purchaser; 
  • bank value for bonds — depending on the applicant, even 90% of the price;
  • forced selling price (3Ds — death, divorce, departure, which means you need to sell fast); and
  • auction price (in residential SA, often the lowest, and the highest in Australasia).

A valuator can also value your property, especially when you’re selling a business. In any stipulated value determining the selling price of a property, the professional fee is generally included in the price. 

An experienced agent will help you finalise the price of the property for advertisements.

Next steps ...

  • Complete the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica) info sheet, check the information on the agreement, and also list the defects of the property and fixtures not for sale. Any other requests or needs are listed, as well as details of good points (why you bought it) and bad points (the prospective buyer’s objections) of the property. 

  • The property is advertised and a brochure for your property is prepared. Take time to check the information on it, not only for validity but also whether the wording and images best represent your property. 

  • Expect your agent to regularly report back to you after visits, showings, and the process of the sale. A senior agent may have prospective buyers ready to bring for viewings before it’s advertised.
  • The seller can be held responsible for up-to-date approved plans for the property (including all additions and outbuildings) by the municipality on or before registration of transfer, so it’s advisable to arrange for these plans beforehand.

Feel free to contact your agent whenever you’re not sure about something, or if you have a query or complaint. Contact the sales office with inquiries and suggestions to assist in marketing. 

Mariette Rossouw lists and sells property. For more advice or information, call +27 (0) 82-801-2801. 

This article was paid for by Mariette Rossouw.

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