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Sellers need proper advice

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Avoid costly mistakes by using a professional agent who understands the selling process

Making the decision to sell your home is a big deal and the entire process can go horribly wrong.

As with so many undertakings in life, forewarned is forearmed, says Mike Greeff, chief executive of Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate.

The first thing to do is to enlist the services of an reputable agent. Not having an agent, or even having the wrong one, could result in sellers making costly mistakes, such as over-pricing.

“While your home may be priceless to you and filled with wonderful memories, it has a quantifiable market value. Be sure to price your home realistically as an overpriced home may languish on the market. An overpriced home will discourage buyers from considering it and you may be forced to lower your price repeatedly, giving your property a reputation for being a ‘hard to sell’ home.”

Greeff says price reductions also give potential buyers the feeling that there might be something wrong with the house which has led to the price reduction.

“This could add elements of doubt in the potential buyer’s mind and result in a missed sale.”

Sellers should not have unrealistic expectations of timelines and costs, Greeff says. Most sellers expect a property transaction to be a speedy, effortless process and often become frustrated by the time and administrative processes involved.

“Sellers should always keep in mind the time required for the transfer of ownership to take place. This could be anything from six weeks to four months depending on the complexity of the sale, the number of parties involved and, if applicable, the bank’s approval of the buyer’s bond application.

“Before a home can be sold certain costs will be incurred by the seller.

“Certificates of compliance must be obtained by the sellers, at their cost, for electrical, plumbing, gas, beetle and electric fencing. These certificates are a mandatory requirement and a prerequisite for the transfer process to be completed,” he says.

A seller with a bond on their property, and who intends to settle the balance of the bond with the proceeds of the sale, will have to pay a bond cancellation fee. It is “imperative” that this is done at least a month before as it saves time and effort.

“All sellers, irrespective of their having bonds or not, might be liable for capital gains tax if the property is their primary residence and the profits resulting from the sale are greater that R2million,” Greeff says.

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