Residential People spoke to one of the leading real estate agents in South Africa, Leapfrog, to learn their top tips on how you can make selling your property not only less stressful but also conduct the sale process in the most transparent way possible.
Kim Hogben, Principal at Leapfrog Durban Central, believes “The more organised you are, the easier the selling process is likely to be.”
Kim continues: “We see sellers making the same mistakes time and again. And while it seems like nothing major to the seller, it’s often the little things that hamper the efficiency of the process, ultimately causing frustration and unhappiness.”
We spoke to the Leapfrog team who narrowed down and identified the top five factors which either should be managed or avoided by the home seller.
1) Declare any defects with your property
It is best to be as transparent as possible about any defects or issues with your property. While many properties include a ‘voetstoots’ clause that dictates that the property is to be sold ‘as is’, failing to disclose serious underlying issues could potentially result in a legal dispute between yourself and the buyer.
Hogben adds: “Avoid this [disputes] by highlighting all current and potential defects and adding it to the sale agreement as an addendum. This is a way of ensuring all parties are on the same page when it comes to the condition of the property in question, and so avoid disputes later on.”
2) Don’t price yourself out
Correctly pricing your property is key. Pricing your property too low means you miss out on potential extra money and pricing too high means less attractive buyers for your property. Ensure that you are looking over the market for similar properties as this will initially give you a good indication of price. However, always ensure that you have a professional property advisor to provide you with a more accurate up-to-date valuation before listing the property on the market.
3) Notify your bank in advance
Banks in South Africa typically require 90 days notice for you to cancel a mortgage bond. “Failing to notify the bank may see you incur penalties. It may also cause delays in the property transfer and registration as the seller could instruct the attorneys to commence with the process only after the lapse of the 90-day period, which will see both parties affected,” Hogben explains.
4) Select a professional property advisor
Many people skip this step thinking they have enough knowledge or can use resources online to help them. However, not only does the right property advisor save you time, but they can also make you more money as they know precisely how to negotiate. “Selling property comes with legal requirements, financial risks and emotional stress, and the most effective way to manage these things is to appoint a trusted property advisor to charter this particular ship for you,” Hogben points out.
5) Presentation is key
When it comes to preparing your home for viewings, ensure you have left no stone unturned. Remember, for many people a dream home is visualized, so to ensure you meet that expectation and capture the imagination of your buyer, you should ensure you at the very least do the simple things like keeping the curtains open, declutter the house and have a pleasant scent around your home. “Purchasing a property is a very emotional process, and the way a property looks often has a significant impact on a buyer’s psychology,” Hogben advises.
Kim Hogben of Leapfrog Durban Central, concludes: “The seller wants to sell the property as quickly as possible and the buyer wants to get the right property at the right time at the right price, and the interventions listed above can certainly help the process along,”