Selling your property can often cause your hands to get itchy, as it is one of the biggest financial assets you will deal with.
But more often than not, rushing into the sale of the property leads to choices you’ll regret later. Several points need to be remembered once you’ve decided to take the plunge and dive into the property market.
The first step to take is to have your property evaluated. A seller’s greatest mistake is often overpricing his/her home. You need to keep the selling price in line with the houses sold in the comparative market. The evaluation is however not only to help you determine your property’s market value, but it will also help you identify the areas where your property needs improving. Before you even think about going any further, it is advisable to complete any necessary maintenance and make improvements that could increase the value of your property. This phase will not only allow you to increase the property’s selling price, but it will also allow you to improve its attractiveness to buyers. A fresh coat of paint and clean surroundings will contribute as much to attracting possible buyers as the actual features of the property.
Even though it may seem daunting, the sale of your property is not a journey you have to go on alone. An estate agent can be more than a middleman during your property sale – their expertise can help you avoid unnecessary pitfalls while helping you direct your attention to where it matters from the beginning. An experienced estate agent will be able to help you screen the interested parties early on, ensuring you spend the least amount of time with those who will not continue with a purchase later on. They can also help you through the unforeseen circumstances that you may not have been able to handle on your own. The experience here is of importance, as it will ensure the highest level of knowledge in the technical field.
Although it is sometimes tempting to advertise with as many real estate companies as possible to get maximum marketing exposure, it may not be the best choice. Having one firm handle your listing from beginning to end will ensure the smoothest process possible when buyers become committed. It will also allow you to create a closer relationship with your real estate agent, having them as a partner in your endeavour and not part of a competition to see who can sell the property first.
Having the assistance of an estate agent doesn’t mean that you have no responsibilities, though. Making sure the property is well-maintained (having made the necessary improvements after the evaluation) and is as presentable as possible, is on your shoulders. In reality, homes don’t look the way they do in property magazines or on television shows – it takes effort to make a home look both lived in and picture-perfect. Clear out as much as possible from the property while leaving essential items that create a sense of homeliness. One book on a bedside stand will do – you don’t need to impress potential buyers with all the books you’re planning on reading next. Finally, even though it’s a part of everyday life, no one needs to see your dirty laundry or dishes. Make sure your home is (and looks) clean at all times.
The final touch: ambiance. A bouquet of fragrant flowers (such as lavender, roses or geraniums) will create a welcoming aroma as buyers enter the property as well as being a functioning part of the decoration.
Once you’re ready to start with the listing process it’s important to notify the bank. If you currently have and outstanding mortgage loan over the relevant property to be sold, you have to notify the bank in writing of your intention to do so. Every bank’s internal policies differ and is it is therefore important for the seller to confirm when such notice should be given and the implications thereof. This step will avoid any unnecessary delays in the transfer process once the sale is complete.
As selling your property entails the process of the property to be transferred from your name into the name of the purchaser, it is equally important to procure the services of a conveyancer. The conveyancing process is specialised and complex and it is therefore essential to obtain the correct advice and assistance in order to ensure a seamless sale. The conveyancing attorney is usually appointed by the seller; however, the transferring costs need to be paid by the purchaser. After the sales agreement has been concluded and an instruction received, the conveyancing attorney will attend to, and process all the legal paperwork involved in the relevant transaction.
Now, be prepared to receive multiple offers if your property is well priced. One should not ignore any offers, even if you receive an insultingly low offer on the property. You are to negotiate the offer made by proposing a reasonable counter offer. You should also not be afraid to make a
full-price counter offer if your selling price is competitive and market conditions warrants it. Once you and the potential purchaser have agreed on a price, the terms of the agreement need to be reduced to writing, called the “Offer to Purchase”. This property sale agreement is the primary document stipulating the essential terms and conditions of the sale and the requirements of the process to be followed in order to effect the sale. If anything should go wrong, this will be the document to fall back on. This agreement is anything but standard and should be carefully drafted by a competent attorney. Once the agreement has been signed, the transferring process may begin.
On the contrary, no matter how much effort has been put in, or how perfect your listing is, sometimes properties just don’t sell. At these times it’s important to keep calm and try again. Though, maybe not immediately. Recessions, political angst, a looming tax season – all of these events and many more can cause the property market to grow a little stagnant. Potential buyers may hold back on purchases to see how the dust settles. Our advice: do the same. Remove your listing from the market, avoiding it being around too long and becoming part of the scenery, so to say. Once the market picks up again, re-list your property, allowing it to be seen with new eyes. In the interim time, you may consider renting out your property if you will not be staying there yourself.
Selling a property demands meticulous work, but following these easy steps with the necessary guidance will make it a walk in the park.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)