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How to turn a buyer’s market to your advantage when selling

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A buyer's market is not necessarily bad news for sellers. After all, the better position buyers are in to purchase a home, the better a sellers’ chances are of finding credible buyers.

Bond approval rates have risen, and lending criteria appear to be slacking, says Just Property’s Paul Stevens. This makes property finance more widely available to people.

Furthermore, “you sell low, you buy low”, says Lew Geffen Sotheby’s Lew Geffen. “Upgraders will not lose anything by selling. In fact, when the market turns, the proportional value gained by upgrading will be greater than if you did not upgrade at all.”

Offering advice to current or soonto-be sellers, Greeff’s Tim Greeff says the first offer they receive on their property “is always your best offer”.

However, he adds: “Always have a reputable agent at your side to negotiate for you. Your property needs to be realistically priced.” There is currently “a good demand” for homes in Cape Town, he says.

“Homes around schools and amenities remain top choices, such as Bergvliet, Claremont and Newlands.” It is vital sellers understand the market nuances in the area in which they live, says Claude McKirby of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s.

“Only an agent who knows and understands the market conditions will be able to help you to make an informed decision.” He says agents should make sellers aware of their property’s competition in their own suburb and neighbouring or surrounding suburbs, as well as recent selling prices of comparable properties in the area. Median and percentile sales levels in your suburb are also indispensable in the correct price positioning of your property, McKirby says. 

Craig Mott, Western Cape regional sales manager for the Rawson Property Group, offers this advice for sellers:

  • Get your property market-ready. First impressions are important.
  • Get advice from a trusted real estate agent to help narrow down a few key areas around the home that should be updated or fixed.
  • Once you’ve found the correct agent, look over their mandate agreement and make sure you’re comfortable with their marketing approach, cancellation policies and timelines.
  • Sole mandates are highly recommended for the best sales experience and results.
  • It’s essential a seller prices property according to current conditions, preferably with the help of a comparative market analysis conducted by that experienced estate agent.
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