Things to Avoid when Selling

When it comes to placing a home on the market, avoiding costly mistakes is crucial as this can have a massive impact on a seller’s financial well-being going forward.

To help sellers conclude successful transactions that pave the way for future financial security, RE/MAX of Southern Africa has compiled a list of some of the common mistakes that sellers have made in the past, to help sellers avoid making the same mistakes in the future:

Going the “private sale” route

There is more to selling a property than listing it on a portal and waiting for the right buyer to come across it. It can be a complicated and intricate process that can land sellers in some serious legal trouble if handled incorrectly. Having a real estate professional on hand to negotiate with the buyers and manage all the contracts and paperwork can prove invaluable.

While it might be tempting to go it alone to avoid an estate agent’s commission, working with a trustworthy real estate professional will ensure that the home is sold for the best possible price within the shortest possible time. The longer a home stays on the market, the lower it ends up selling for. While doing a private sale might save you tens of thousands in commission, it could end up costing you hundreds of thousands off the asking price.

A professional agent from a reputable brand will add substantial value to the transaction. Among other things, they will provide a valuation, advice and all the additional data you need to ensure the property is correctly priced to sell. They will also market the property to the correct type of buyer from their database of potential buyers.

Leaving room for buyers to negotiate

Many sellers overprice their home from the outset in an attempt to counteract buyers trying to negotiate the price down. However, instead of giving themselves a cushion, inflating the price chases away buyers and has the home sitting on the market for longer than necessary. Buyers who could afford the home at its true market value will overlook it at its inflated value because it falls outside of their budget. Likewise, those who can afford the inflated price will soon realise that the home does not compare to others in the same price bracket. A savvy agent can help the seller set the best, most competitive price for their home based on other recent sales and local market trends. They will also negotiate on the seller’s behalf to ensure that buyers put their best offer forward.

Forgetting to consider the bigger picture

When selling a property, it is important to keep things in perspective. While it might be easy to get stressed out by the costs of the pre-listing repairs and upgrades, these costs will be insignificant against the full profit once the home is sold.

On the other hand, it is also easy to falsely believe that the full listing figure will be in the seller’s bank account once the property is sold. Sellers should, however, do a quick calculation to work out how much profit will be left from the sale after the various selling costs are covered (e.g. agent’s commission, Capital Gains Tax, bond cancellation fees, etc.) as well as the initial capital outlay is subtracted from the eventual selling price. The home might have sold for R2 million, but the seller’s profit on that might only amount to R500,000.

“While selling a home can be daunting, avoiding the above mistakes will help to ensure that the process of selling the home is less stressful and that the end result will bring about greater financial prospects for the seller,” concludes Adrian Goslett.

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