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The sooner you list, the sooner you sell

It seems hard to believe but in two months’ time we will be celebrating the start of a brand new year – and if you want to move to a new house early in 2015, you should list your existing property for sale as soon as possible.
 
That’s the word from Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group, who notes that the latest FNB research shows that the average time it takes to sell a property at the moment is 81 days, so if you list this week you should be able to sell your home before the end of January.
 
“But we are finding that listing times can be much shorter than this in sought-after areas, so if you act fast and your home is priced correctly, you might well be able to sell by the end of December.”
 
However, he says, you will need to choose the right estate agent – “that is, one who is properly trained to help you decide on the right asking price with the help of accurate and up-to-date market research and information about recent sales in your area, and then to ensure that your home gets maximum exposure to the highest number of potential buyers with the help of the latest marketing technology.”
 
Writing in the latest property Signpost newsletter, Everitt says sellers should also be sure never to award a sales mandate to an agent who says he or she has “ways and means” of getting them a much higher price for their property than the current market research indicates.
 
“This is an old trick that certain agents use just to get mandates, but it will inevitably mean your property goes ‘stale’ in the market, that your sale takes much longer than it should, and that your holding costs will be higher.”
 
Your second move as a seller, he says, is to quickly get your property ready for viewing because first impressions on prospective buyers really do count. “There may not be time for major renovations now but don’t underestimate the value of weeding the front garden, washing the windows, painting the kitchen or packing away items that make your home look cluttered.
 
“Buyers are always be more attracted to homes that look fresh and clean and ready to move into, so whatever you can do to give it that inviting feel will undoubtedly pay off in a quicker sale and/ or a better price.”
 
Meanwhile, you should also get together all the documents that will be needed for the property to be transferred. These include your latest municipal account, electrical and plumbing compliance certificates (and a gas certificate if applicable), and the property title deed or a copy if you have it. Most buyers will also appreciate it if you include an approved plan of the property and any guarantees relating to recent work done such as waterproofing, painting or roofing.
 
And speaking of buyers, Everitt says, your agent should start to bring the first prospects to view your home and hold your first show day within about three weeks, so if you list now there is still a good chance that you will get an offer to purchase by the end of the year - and that your first New Year’s resolution for 2015 will be to find your own new home.


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