The property market and your biggest financial asset
Category Top Property Tips
Although many are pinning their hopes on an upswing following the May Elections, economic and property analysts continue to caution that there is no "magic bullet" and it will take time to return to a phase of prosperity.
In the meantime, we take encouragement from the latest FNB Property Barometer which shows that the residential property market appears to be relatively stable, although demand levels and price growth remains flat. It also takes longer to sell as buyers remain hesitant, both in terms of actually committing and the price that they are willing to pay. There is a market out there for serious sellers, but the focus remains on market-related asking prices to ensure you attract a good offer.
At the same time, it is important for sellers to note that real estate transactions are becoming ever-more complex with well over 20 pieces of legislation governing various aspects. The list grows daily, the latest being the Property Practitioners Act which, while a much needed update of the old Estate Agency Affairs Act, brings an added burden for sellers to disclose all defects to potential buyers. It also establishes an Ombud, giving unhappy buyers an easy redress without having to go to court.
Errors and omissions when selling property can be costly in time and money. Mitigating the risks associated with selling your biggest financial asset, is just one of the many benefits of using an experienced local estate agent. Here's why:
With such risks around the condition of the property and possible defects, a skilled agent is best placed to advise on essential maintenance and other aspects which need attention before putting the house on the market.
Pricing too, is a risk in this market. While pricing too low runs the risk of underselling and not maximising your profit, the biggest risk, is actually pricing too high. An overpriced property will mean that it sits on the market for longer than what it needs to. Buyers are well-educated on current market conditions and prices, and at the end of the day, the value of a property is determined by the price that buyers are prepared to offer, not the seller's desire or needs.
Mandates too can be risky. Not understanding that a mandate is a legal contract can bring the risk of double commission or put a deal at risk. A sole mandate with an experienced local agent with a proven track record, is always the best option to mitigate these risks.
A buyer will always want to offer as low as possible while a seller wants an offer as high as possible. These competing interests require the intervention of a skilled agent to negotiate the best possible outcome and mitigate the risk of losing out on a sale. The agent will also verify the buyer and offer to ensure it is legitimate and not a waste of time.
Often, your first offer is your best offer and we are finding that properties end up selling for less than the first offer received and turned down by the seller under the misconception that they could get more. An experienced local agent will provide you with an informed view of how your property should be priced and marketed to achieve the best results.
In a challenging economy and legislatively complex environment, you should choose to work with an agent who provides the best advice, documentation and procedures which protect your interests, from the Mandate and Offer to Purchase right through to the transfer process. As one of the top real estate brands, Seeff offers a state-of-the-art operational platform and administrative backing to all sellers to ensure an efficient sales process.
Home is our Story and property our passion.
Author: Gina Meintjes