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Aspects to know about the neighbourhood before selling

As the market transitions and more inventory becomes available to buyers, sellers will find themselves in a far more competitive environment, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

“For some time conditions have favoured sellers, with high demand and a low supply of inventory, however the market is slowing shifting as buyers are adopting a wait-and-see approach to the market. As a result sellers now have to be aware of the competition they face in their own neighbourhood, before they decide to list their property,” says Goslett.

He provides a few aspects that sellers should consider about their neighbours before they list their home:

Who is renovating?

If possible, it would be advantageous to tap into the neighbourhood grapevine and see who is renovating their kitchen and upgrading their bathroom fixtures. These upgrades generally add value to a property and attract buyer’s attention. Goslett says that a real estate professional who specialises in the neighbourhood will be able look up the listing and sale prices of those homes to find out if the updates made a difference to the bottom line.

How long are homes sitting on the market?

Before listing, sellers should keep an eye on how long it takes for a home to be sold in the neighbourhood. This will give some important insight into how they can expect their home to be sitting on the market and plan accordingly. The FNB Price Index indicates that on average a home is on the market for around 12 weeks before it is sold. “Depending on the neighbourhood, properties available and buyer demand in the area, it could take less time or in some cases a bit more. It all depends on the specific circumstances that surround that particular trading environment. Other factors can also come into play such as pricing the home correctly at what is perceived to be fair market value for the area,” says Goslett.

Take stock of the available inventory

Goslett says that it can be difficult to obtain a competitive price when inventory is high and buyers are few. “All the sellers in a particular neighbourhood will be competing against one another for the same pool of buyers. If there are several homes for sale within a relatively small radius, it might be worthwhile to wait for a while before listing the property,” advises Goslett. “An experienced agent will be able to provide vital information with regard to the current market trends and the best time to list the property.”

Stay up-to-date on any area planning and zoning news

While buyers want to purchase a property that is within proximity to amenities, they won’t want to stay there while major construction is underway.  Sellers should keep au fait with any upcoming public projects that could impact their property listing timing. If there are any potential projects, the seller can discuss a selling strategy with their agent to work around possible issues.

“A real estate agent with extensive working knowledge of the local market will be able to put all aspects into perspective when considering selling. Sellers will benefit from using an agent that has an understanding of the unique dynamics surrounding their specific neighbourhood,” Goslett concludes.


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