Many sellers consider the option of trying to sell their home privately – and most to their regret. Sadly, the envisioned savings of going it alone are lost through many factors not considered.
The average home in South Africa is now going in the region of R750,000. Would you consider going to court on your own for a R10,000 tax fine? Would you get into the stock exchange for R100,000 without using a broker’s advice and services? Why risk your greatest investment without the services of a professional?
While there are many “Private Seller” type sites out there, it is well worth your while to actually look at real activity. I recently had a browse through three such sites and on average, of what little they had to offer, 95.4% were NOT private sellers but agents and auctioneers using the platform.
Agents being paid to market someone’s property as broadly as possible and using the opportunity. Some of these sites are actually aware of the practice and in fact encourage it! Simply because if they did not, they would have nothing to list.
The truth of the matter, is that there are hardly any private sellers out there – because it just does not work.
Do you anticipate selling privately in order to pocket the "savings" by not paying commission? If you do, then please first ask yourself the following questions as well as reading the article on Saving with an Agent.
  • Under what conditions will strangers be permitted to enter your home? At what times and who will screen them so as to ensure your security?  
  • Who will "Show" your home? Will you be able to emotionally remove yourself from negative comments? Who will get your home “Show” ready? Have you considered that agents have studied human behaviour and know what tone to set, what music to play and exactly how to approach each visitor. You might just be your own worst enemy! 
  • How much will you budget for advertising? Have you considered the major cost of print media? Do you have access to a variety of other electronic media such as internet sites, property referral web pages, Multi Listing service networks. Do you have a dedicated Facebook page with thousands of “friends” – all in the property business? 
  • Who will write the adverts for your property and place them?  
  • Will you hire, make or buy signs? Do you know that your local Council has restrictions on the when and how of signs and that you could get penalised? 
  • When will you advertise, and how often? How long will you continue for – bearing in mind, the longer your property is on the market the lower offers are going to be – proven statistics. How many thousands are you prepared to spend before saying enough is enough? 
  • Buyers today buy by comparing other homes. Who will discuss these other homes with the buyers? Or will you risk them walking away because you never had an opportunity to counter offer and negotiate. Perhaps it was something small that made them decide on another property – but you will never know. 
  • Buyers will be reluctant to tell what they don't like about your home for fear of offending you. How are you going to ensure they are being forthright as opposed to just walking away? How would you deal with any objection they may have? Are you familiar with “Subject to” clauses so as to allow you to negotiate? 
  • Buyers need to be followed up. How would you do this without appearing anxious to sell? How often? 
  • Can you assist the buyer in advising them how you property relates to historic sale sin your area and provide evidence of this so as the make them feel assured of value. Can you counter any valuation they give with hard evidence of what your property is worth – prepared by a professional. Do you have any negotiation skills – not the R2 reduction on a bundle of wood at the roadside type – but real professional skills that allow you to confidently talk values of R100’s of thousands? 
  • What special conditions do you want? Will you pick up an off the shelf agreement to use? Or consult and pay a lawyer for drafting a contract? Legally, how is the property described and where are the title deeds located?  
  • How will you qualify the buyer financially? Can you assist the buyers with obtaining the best financing solution available? There are many options available these days and securing great finance might just mean closing the deal. Do you have any negotiating power with the banks due to business you give them. How long will you give them to secure finance? 
  • What will the buyers monthly payments be? Their transfer costs? Their other costs? Can you assist them in giving them clarity on this as well as indicative ongoing costs. Can you reassure them of affordability by means of sitting with them and budgeting? Will they even be prepared to disclose financial information to you – you might use it against them.
These are only some of the considerations you must make if opting for the private seller route. If you have already gone this route and like many others are now calling an agent - give us a try. It will take special effort to revive the marketing making it look fresh and new and we have the skills to do so.

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