Selling your home - facts versus fiction

A property sales transaction can be a complex process, especially for buyers and sellers who have never been through it before.  These days there is a world of information at our fingertips, and of course, the well-intentioned family and friends who are eager to give advice, but receiving from so many sources can lead to more confusion and uncertainty.

Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, says that while there is a plethora of information available to buyer and sellers, it is not always easy to discern between which information is worth taking note of and which isn’t.  As a result, there is a number of home-selling myths have become commonplace in the property market.

Goslett provides a few truths and facts to expose the fiction and steer sellers in the right direction:

Fiction – The property’s selling price is determined by sellers

Fact – While it is the seller who will make the final decision as to what their property sells for,  the selling price of the home will largely be determined by several key aspects such as its location, size, condition and the market.  If buyers do not perceive the home to be priced at fair market value they will not be interested in purchasing it. Buyers in the market will have a large influence as to the selling price of a property. If the home is in demand it will fetch a higher price than if it is not. The initial asking price of the home can vary greatly from the actual selling price.

Fiction – Overpricing leaves room to negotiate

Fact – Often overpricing will have the opposite effect to what the seller intended. Instead of leaving room for negotiation, overpricing drives buyers away, especially if they have researched homes prices in the area.  Inflating the home’s price will alienate buyers pools, in that buyers who could perhaps afford the home at its true market value will overlook it. Equally, those who can afford the inflated price will soon realise that the home does not compare to others in the same price bracket. As a result, the home could stagnate on the market and sell for far less than what it may have sold for if listed at the correct price from the start.

Fiction – It is not necessary to make repairs and prepare the home for sale

Fact – There is no doubt that there is a market for buyers who are looking for a property they can renovate themselves; however, most buyers are looking for a home that is ready for them to move into. A home in ill-repair will generally be far less attractive to buyers than a home in pristine condition. While largely dependent on the seller’s budget and time frame, it is recommended that all major repairs are seen to before the home is listed. The property will be viewed as move-in option, and the agent can also mention the repairs as a selling point in the marketing material. If any defaults are found during an inspection, the seller can then discuss options with the buyer regarding additional repairs or dropping their asking price.

Fiction – All renovations and home improvements pay for themselves

Fact – Although certain renovations and home improvements will increase the home’s value, it is seldom that the seller will receive all the money back that they have invested in the project. Therefore, before deciding on any project is best to get expert opinions on what should be fixed or changed and what kind of return can be expected as a result. 

“Knowing the facts will assist homeowners to get the most out of their property sale. If ever uncertain of any aspects relating to the sale, sellers can seek guidance from a reputable real estate professional who will be able to navigate them through the process,” Goslett concludes.

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