How to achieve a faster sale in relocation season

“But in order to make the move,” says Harcourts Africa CEO Richard Gray, “most of them are first going to have to sell their existing home – preferably in a quick and clean transaction.


“When you are trying to settle into a new job, for example, you don’t want the additional stress and anxiety of waiting months and months for your home to sell, especially if you are now working in a different town. And time and time again we come back to the fact that the ‘right price’ is what will attract potential buyers and get your home sold.”


However, he says, most homeowners really don’t know how to determine the right price, and will end up asking for too much, which will put buyers off, or asking for too little and losing out on the deal.


“This is of course where the help of an experienced agent with a good knowledge of your local market and recent selling prices can prove invaluable, but even before you call one in, there are several factors to consider which should put you in the right ballpark.”


The first of these, Gray says, is the location of the property. “You should consider how desirable your neighbourhood is and try ‘selling’ it to yourself as if you were a buyer. How safe is it? How close is it to schools, shops, hospitals, churches and other facilities buyers may want? Is it on a public transport route? Is it run-down and getting worse, stable or getting more trendy by the day? Are most residents homeowners or are they tenants just passing through? This will help you work out what type of buyer is most likely to be interested, and so what income bracket you should target.


“Secondly, you should honestly assess your home in relation to those of your neighbours. Even the best looking house is likely to command a lower price if the other houses in the street look shabby. Similarly, your flat may be in top condition, but if the building looks run-down, you probably won’t get as much as you would have in a better building. In fact, a decline in your immediate surroundings or neighbourhood may be one of the reasons you want to move, especially if you have a young family, and that is absolutely fine as long as you don’t expect fireworks when it comes to price.”


The third factor to consider, says Gray, is the home itself. “And here buyers need to know that value has nothing to do with the municipal value on which rates and taxes are calculated, or with the amount for which the property is insured in the event of disaster, or with the price of any new home they are thinking of buying.


“Mostly, it has to do with size, condition and design. Your target buyer will initially just be looking for a certain number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and reception rooms, preferably of a good size. Then will come concerns about condition, which is when renovated kitchens and bathrooms could come into play, for example, and only then will come thoughts about the floor plan, with buyers trying to work out where they would place their own furniture and whether they can ‘see’ themselves living in this home.


“So once again, your aim should be to pitch your price at the right level for the average income of your target market, whether this is first-time buyers, families, retirees or investors looking for rental properties. And then you can fine tune your ideas with the help of your agent.”



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