Make sure it is priced right

Sellers who want to sell their home within a reasonable amount of time and for the best possible price will need to ensure that their asking price is market related from the start.

On the market for R2.1 million, this fully furnished, architecturally beautiful, bushveld home offers three bedrooms and two bathrooms with outside showers.

This is according to Annie van den Berg, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Wildlife Properties, whose office services the Hoedspruit and surrounding areas.
She notes that one of the biggest mistakes that sellers make in today’s market is setting the price outside of market-related values. “Unfortunately many sellers have unrealistic expectations when it comes to setting a price for their property due to the emotional attachment they have to their home. However, a buyer will not have the same view of the property and will rather be looking at the property’s location and the features that it offers. While sellers may think that inflating the price will give them room for negotiation, what they are actually doing is just pushing potential buyers away and reducing their chances of sellers their home in the best possible time period, if at all,” says Van den Berg.
She notes that all that overpricing does is make other homes in the area that offer similar features look far more appealing. “If two homes are situated in the same neighbourhood and both offer the same or similar features, then in the buyer’s eyes the only thing that separates the two would be the price. In fact, some buyers may not even bother taking the time to view the more expensive home, if they feel that the asking price is not within a reasonable market value.  Essentially what the seller has done instead of opening the door to possible negotiations is make correctly price properties look like a bargain,” says Van den Berg.
She points out that homes in Hoedspruit are currently selling on average for around 20% below their initial asking price and are on the market for approximately six months before being sold.
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that the importance of correctly pricing a property from the start is crucial to both the time the property will spend  on the market, as well as the actual selling price. “According to statistics, the longer a property is on the market, the wider the gap between asking and selling price. Homes on the market for longer than 24 weeks usually end up selling for 10% less than their asking price, on average.”
Van den Berg says that an experienced real estate agent that specialises in an area will be able to assist a seller with correctly pricing their home in line with the current market value.  “An experienced area specialist will also be able to provide the seller with data that they would otherwise not have access to, such as the prices of homes that were sold in the area over the last six months. This information can be used by the agent to provide the seller with a comparative market analysis, which will assist them to correctly price their home,” she says.
According to Van den Berg, once the home is priced correctly, there are a few things that sellers can do create a good first impression to improve their chances of a quick sale. These include a fresh coat of paint and keeping the garden neat and tidy. “Ensuring that the home is marketed at a fair value and having it look its best on show day will assist the agents and thereby the seller in finding the right buyer for the home in the shortest possible time,” she concludes.

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