Advice and Opinion

How to make the best choice when selling your property

Scarborough Home, Jawitz
This property in Scarborough marketed by Jawitz Properties is ideal for self-catering opportunities, and is listed at R7,950,000.

Despite our volatile political landscape and the uncertainty of the Rand, investors are still present and keen to buy property.

“Investors are seeing the value in placing their money in bricks and mortar in areas with a rising market, which may be seen as a more stable investment than putting money offshore or into other asset classes,” says Harold Kolnik of Jawitz Properties South Peninsula.

“Property is generally speaking, a several year-long investment, and the amount of interest we are seeing from buyers indicates that this medium-to-long-term asset is an appealing and viable option, despite any macro-economic uncertainty.”

There are still opportunities for good returns on investment, be it selling in a few years for a profit, or in the form of enjoying a passive income when renting property out. “This is very popular. ‘Airbnb’ has actually become a verb – home owners are saying they want to ‘Airbnb their properties’, and there is substantial appetite from investors to be on the property ladder to do just the same,” Kolnik says.

So if you are sitting on the fence about selling, be assured that now is still a good time to sell as demand is still influencing favourable prices. “But be prudent about how you go about selecting an agent to list and market your property,” he adds.

Your home is often your biggest and most valuable asset, so it is imperative to approach this process with great care when the time comes to sell. The fool proof way to go about it is to firstly use a reputable agent with a proven and successful track record who you can trust implicitly to have your best interests at heart at all times throughout the entire process.

There are many chancers and fly by night agents and agencies who set up business in a buoyant market promising the earth and a very low commission. Be very wary as this should be your last consideration when appointing an agent or agency.

“Successful property practitioners do not need to cut brokerages to attract clients and usually have great traction and market share in the areas they serve. They will also have the necessary skills and required legal knowledge to safeguard your most valued asset. Their broad marketing capabilities will encompass a large database of buyers, a proven effective marketing network that is both web and print based, as well as a trusted, recognized brand name with years of successful experience,” Kolnik says.

Working with a top agency might involve slightly higher fees, but often your home will be sold much quicker and usually at a higher price because of the agencies superior infrastructure and the agent’s expertise in negotiating and closing the deal. “This service will also include knowledgeable pricing of your home in line with what the market will actually pay.”

A common ruse used by non-ethical property practitioners is to significantly overprice your home to lure gullible sellers into granting them long mandates. This practice often stigmatises the property and could delay the sale by as much as six to nine months before the correction finally takes place. The Consumer Protection Act insists on full disclosure of all latent and patent defects, yet using an inexperienced agent could expose you as an ill-informed seller to costly litigation and the cancellation of the sale.

“Because of these factors we always advise sellers that an exclusive mandate is the best route to take. This tried and tested method is the way most property in South Africa is successfully sold,” Kolnik concludes.