If you are struggling to pay your bond and have reluctantly come to accept
that you will have to sell your property to survive, now is very definitely
not a good time to being holding out for a price that the market is unlikely
to accept, warns Gary Wentzel, Head of Business Development at Rawson

“Although it can be painful,” says Wentzel, “we have in recent weeks had to
advise certain sellers that the best course they can follow is to sell their
property for what the market will now pay and then see their banks about
paying off the shortfall on their bond.”

This course, says Wentzel, is far preferable to hanging in there until the
bank sequestrates the home. Repossessed homes, he says, are usually
auctioned and go for 40% to 60% of their market value - leaving the
bondholder responsible to the bank for far more than if he had sold by the
usual method.

“Many people think that once their homes have been sequestrated their
responsibilities are over, but this is not the case. They will be hammered
by the bank until they meet their debts and this could even result in their
eventually being declared bankrupt.”

When a home is sold voluntarily by the bondholder below the bond value, says
Wentzel, in his experience the banks will usually take a long-term view and
be prepared to do a deal with the bondholder that he will be able to afford.

“It has to be realised that banks have no desire to see a client go under -
it is simply not in their best interest.”

The current depressed market, says Wentzel, will, in his view, see an upturn
by the end of this year. In the meantime, he says, it is benefitting
landlords who have experienced a rise of approximately 20% in monthly
rentals this year. Buy-to-rent investors, he says, are now consequently
returning to the market and he sees this trend increasing towards the

Asked whether agents should not be helping sellers by reducing their
commissions, Wentzel says that is happening and many commissions today are
being “negotiated”.

However, he warns, it can be just as shortsighted to push a hard-pressed
agent into a commission reduction, as it is to demand too high a sales

“Every agent starts each day effectively unemployed. To survive, he will
probably concentrate first on sole mandates, secondly on correctly priced
properties (i.e. those that have the best chance of selling) and thirdly on
those with the best commissions. Sellers must accept that the agent, for
all his skill, cannot dictate to the market what it should pay for a

Loading comments
More news articles
Guidelines to securing a home loan
29 May 2018
Many young South Africans are working hard to achieve their dream of purchasing their first home. However, the process can be challenging due to the daunting application process, which can take up to 2 years and is often enough to discourage prospective buyers.
read more
Things you should consider before upgrading to a new home
23 Apr 2018
The thing about the property ladder is that at some point in our lives we all have reason to want to climb a rung or two higher. Sometimes, it’s because we’ve outgrown our previous dream home, or because we want to be in a better neighbourhood that’s closer to work or to schools. Sometimes it’s because our circumstances have changed, and we’re taking care of elderly parents or relatives. Sometimes, it’s just because we want a property that reflects the financial status our hard work has won.
read more