Six steps to achieving property sales success

It cannot be emphasised often enough that the correct pricing of a property is critical to its success in selling for the best price in the shortest time. 

“Those properties which are not correctly priced are known to sit on the market for anywhere between four to six months and often end up selling for less than what the seller had asked for anyway,” says Debbie Justus-Ferns, manager of Renprop Residential Resales.
However there are also many other factors for sellers to consider when putting their home on the market.  Justus-Ferns says that sellers have a lot to take into consideration in today’s market in order to perfectly pitch their price and ensure a successful sale within a short time frame. Justus-Ferns outlines six key areas for sellers to focus on:
1.   Sole mandates are the best way to sell

Sole mandates with a reputable and professional real estate agent or company are the best way to secure a sale in the current market conditions. “Sellers often think that the more agents working on selling their home, the more buyers they will be able to attract. This is not often the case, as the buyer pool is only so big. A sole mandate allows for one agent to focus more time and marketing resources on selling the property, which minimises the logistical hassles of dealing with a number of agents.”
2.   The quality of the offer counts

It’s not only the price that counts when sellers receive an offer on their property, but also the terms and conditions attached to the offer as well as the quality of the buyer. “The first offer sellers get is more often than not the best one. Sellers must also remember that the banks are more risk averse, meaning that they need to see the value in the property. This is why correct pricing is so essential. Cash offers, although few and far between, and clean offers with no terms and conditions are by far the best.”
3.   Don’t test the market

Serious buyers are looking for serious sellers, so don’t test the market. “Sellers who just want to see what the market is like are really just minimising their chances of actually selling. There is a very short window period after listing a property for sale, which is usually the first four to six weeks, where it is critical to have the right pricing to attract the serious buyers.”
4.   Divulge your reason for selling

Justus-Ferns says that providing the agent marketing the property with a reason for selling is important as it will give them an indication on timing and the urgency of the sale, as well as other factors. Pricing is absolutely critical for any home being sold for one of the five ‘d’s’ as they are commonly referred to: death, divorce, departure, debt or dollars.
5.   Newspaper adverts and show houses don’t sell homes

While hosting a show house is a key component of any property marketing strategy, the fact is show houses do not sell homes. “Sellers are mistakenly convinced that adverts in leading newspapers or in pamphlets sell their homes. However buyers these days no longer drive around from one show house to the next in search of their perfect home. These days they do their house hunting and comparisons online and if they do drive around to show houses, it’s to view the properties they have already pre-selected from their online research,” says Justus-Ferns.
In fact, 70% of today’s buyers who go to show days are drawn to the property from their online research, while just 20% respond to newspaper adverts and 10% to the ‘On Show’ boards. “Therefore online property listings are essential. The way the property is showcased online from the description to the quality of images is of paramount importance.”
6.   Consider the buyer’s costs

Due to their current risk-averse stance, banks need to see the value in a property before they grant a bond for it. Therefore correct pricing directly influences a buyer’s chance for bond approval. But monthly bond repayments are not the only costs buyers will have to budget for.
Justus-Ferns points out that sellers need to take the buyer’s costs into consideration as it all impacts upon their ability to afford the property. “Transfer costs, for example, make up a large portion of the transactional fees a buyer will have to pay. The higher the house price, the higher the transfer costs and the less affordable the whole transaction, especially if the property is overpriced to begin with.” Then there are rates and taxes, deposits as 100% bonds are not very common these days, levies and other municipal costs buyers have to cover. Moving costs can also be quite substantial and are also an expense that factor into a buyer’s budget.
In order to set the right price, sellers need to put themselves into the buyer’s shoes and from their perspective determine whether or not the house is priced right for its condition and the area in which it is located.
“An experienced real estate agent who specialises in the area can greatly assist sellers when it comes to determining the correct, market-related price of a property. Professional real estate agents are there to offer sellers sound advice on how best to showcase and market their property, which includes attracting serious buyers through correct pricing,” Justus-Ferns concludes.

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