List for the right reasons

This is according to Francois Venter, Jawitz’ Regional Sales Manager for the Western Cape.

“Too many property owners are going on fishing expeditions, hoping to get the kind of prices they might have three years ago. They flirt with the idea of selling, only to wind up getting lower offers than they want and overexposing their property in the process,” says Venter.

He says property owners should make sure they’re selling for the right reasons, or take their properties off the market. “The old cliché still holds that if you don’t need to sell your home, don’t.  If your motivation isn’t death, divorce, debt or departure, think hard about why you’re selling,” he says.

In today’s market, property owners need patience to realise the value of their investment.  Buyers have become more astute, and aren’t wiling to pay prices that aren’t in line with the market, Venter says.

“Start by establishing what the market will pay for your home before discussing what the market won’t pay. Every seller wants to sell at the highest possible price, while every buyer wants to buy at the lowest possible price that he can.  That’s the central contradiction in residential real estate.”

Often, the first offer a seller receives is the best they’ll get, and holding on for another, better offer can result in lower offers or none at all.  “You’re more likely to get an offer when the property is new to the market, and your agent is actively generating buyer interest and activity, particularly if it’s priced correctly from the outset,” says Venter.

There is a window of maximum opportunity when selling a home, and once that window starts to close, and momentum is lost, so interest and activity start to dwindle.

In any market, the asking price is the key ingredient, but especially when it’s a buyer’s market, as it is right now. “Homes that are overpriced and don’t sell become the basis for comparison for competing homes that offer better value and that will sell in a shorter time period.  This rule applies to almost any location and any price level.”

If a home isn’t selling, buyers aren’t rejecting the property, they’re rejecting the price.  When a home has been on the market for a while, sellers need either to adjust their price or take it off the market.  “Alternatively, move to a cheaper property and rent your home out until the market turns.”

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