When the decision to sell has been committed to, homeowners will need to find the right agent to market and sell their home, says Knight Frank’s Lisa Connellan.
This is best done by checking to see which companies have listed and sold most properties in the area. “Very often it will be different companies that successfully list versus sell.” Sellers should then “interview” agents in the area, visit their show days, ask questions and interact with them.
“You need to have a good relationship with your agent and trust their guidance. Once you’ve found the best agent for the job, you will then need to agree on a marketing price and get the property ready for the marketplace.”
Once two or three agents are identified, sellers should “call each one in to give a presentation on how they would market your property”, but not to discuss price, says Chris Cilliers of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s.
“This cuts out the possibility of agents pricing the house high to get the mandate.” Buyers are savvy to market fluctuations and it’s often the correctly priced properties that sell faster than inflated ones, says Greeff’s Mike Greeff.
A correctly priced house will help attract potential buyers within the first few weeks of being on show, notes FNB’s Buyisile Maseko. “Every seller should know what their property is worth. Researching values of comparable properties can be a useful benchmark.”
While there is a lot of information available in the marketplace and sellers (and buyers) are more informed than in the past, much of this relates to properties currently in the market, and they may be overpriced and not selling, Cilliers says.
“The best way is to use the info and see what “sold” boards are up in your area. Look for an active, reputable agent who can give you an overview of what has sold in the area, and what these homes offered, as well as what is currently in the market and why the properties are priced as they are.”
How long a property sits on the market is directly related to the pricing and how well a seller related to the feedback from potential buyers, says Connellan.
“The most active buyers in the market will view your property within two to three weeks of listing and will be the best indicators.” Location can also affect the sale, Greeff says, adding that Propstats data reveals that it takes, on average, 182 days to sell a property in the southern suburbs.
“Keeping this in mind, a property may take longer to sell if it’s at a higher price point and, realistically, will be sold for less than the asking price.” If the property is marketed well, in good condition and priced in accordance with an honest valuation from an experienced agent, it should attract good interest, says Cilliers.
Connellan says she would only advise a seller to take a property off the market for a period if it had been on for longer than six months and they were unwilling to adjust the selling price.