What steps can you take if you’re struggling to find a buyer for your property?
Properties in many parts of South Africa are still very much in a buyers’ market, and it can therefore be very difficult to sell a property. Houses might be listed for months before finding a buyer. However, if the process is taking longer than you’d expected, there are some things you could do to try to make your house more appealing.
The most important consideration is always the price. Check what other, similar properties in the area are listed for and think seriously about how your property is priced in relation to them. If you’re asking above the average, perhaps it’s time to be more realistic.
Even if you don’t think your property is overpriced, consider making a little adjustment. Dropping your asking price by 5% might be a small sacrifice that ultimately makes a big difference to your chances of speeding up the sale. Don’t wait too long before making this change, though, as buyers are more amenable towards price cuts made early in the process. If too much time has passed, they take it as a sign of desperation.
Next, consider your estate agent. If you’ve signed a sole mandate, remember that there’s always a fixed period on that contract (usually three months). If your agent has been unable to find a buyer in that time, you’re entitled to approach others.
You may wish to sign a new sole mandate with a different agent, or open the mandate to more than one agent. There are advantages and disadvantages either way, but often if an agent has been trying unsuccessfully to sell a property for some time, they lose some of their enthusiasm. Having a fresh approach and a new eye may be just what you need to re-inject some energy into the process.
It also doesn’t hurt to re-examine your advertising. Have some new pictures taken and re-word any online or print listings. Work with your agent, and be creative about trying different shots and accentuating different aspects of the house. If you let your advertising go stale, you’ll continue to be overlooked.
Remember that the presentation of your house is crucial. Put yourself in a buyer’s shoes and see what they will be noticing. Don’t go overboard and do hefty renovations, but look for easy improvements that might make a big difference, like re-grouting tiles, putting in a new toilet seat or replacing your welcome mat.
Your ‘curb appeal’ is also vital, as this is the first impression buyers get. Get rid of any clutter, have your outside walls washed with a high-pressure hose, and have some seasonal flowers planted in raised beds.
If interest is still thin, a last resort could be to take a break from the market. Potential buyers tend to start worrying about a property that’s been listed for too long and think that there must be something wrong with it. Taking time out will give the cycle a chance to turn a little, and perhaps a change of season and a new batch of buyers will bring the new perspective that your property needs.
RE/MAX MASTERS – Roodepoort & Krugersdorp
Work Phone: 011 795 1032
Mobile: 079 047 5172