Consumer Information

Author : Homeloans SA

The Best Time to Sell a Property is when Media Reports, refer to the Property Cycle, as a “Sellers Market”. The Principle of “Supply and Demand” directly influences the situation. The Shortage of Saleable Property, in a Market Place where there is a High Demand, will result in Higher Prices being attained.

When to Sell Property?

“Location, location, location!” is one of the most frequently quoted real estate truths regardless of whether you live here, in South Africa, or anywhere else in the world. But then – you may wonder -, what about the truth of “Timing, timing, timing!”?

In real terms, you should always be able to sell a property in a sought after location – regardless of where the market is at. That it is why location is quoted as the Number One real estate wisdom. But, selling a property in a sought after location for maximum profit, demands that you get your timing just right. This probably makes timing the Number Two – albeit equally important – real estate wisdom.

Sell when Everybody Else is Buying…

The best time to sell – and your estate agent will confirm this – is during the upward phase of a property market cycle, and preferably as close as possible to the peak of the cycle. The upward phase in a property market cycle is commonly known as a Seller’s Market. A Seller’s Market is characterised by low repo rates, low inflation, sound global and local economic growth, as well as a demand for property that exceeds the available supply.

Because there are less property sellers than property buyers during a Seller’s Market, sellers have all the clout they could possibly need. This means that you can drive a hard bargain with a prospective buyer and rake in neat profits as a result.

Sell when Spring has Sprung…

The size of your gains can be further augmented if you sell during the ‘right’ time of the year. As any agent will tell you, spring not only sees blooms enthusiastically opening their petals, but also buyers more willing to open their wallets a little wider. All things being equal… a spot of spring cleaning, a fresh coat of paint and a general garden tidy-up during August could well see you finding an open-handed buyer during the months of spring.

Be that as it may. We were in a Seller’s market for many years – from around 1999 to the end of 2004 when an unprecedented month-on-month house pricing growth of approximately 35% was recorded in the average housing property class. After these two record months, the scale tipped. House pricing growth started contracting, repo rates started increasing and inflation started to rise. This downward phase in the property market cycle is called a Buyer’s Market – and this is the market where we are still finding ourselves in, right now.

Sell when survival is at stake…

In an ideal world, you will patiently hang onto your property during a Buyer’s Market. In a real world, things are very different. There are many property owners who, faced with the financial burdens associated with higher debt repayments and a higher cost of living, have to down-scale in order to continue meeting their obligations. Naturally – when survival is at stake – any time will simply have to be a good time to sell.

In a saturated market – especially in the residential property classes – , there are a few things you may want to do to speed up your sale while maximising your price:

Use an agent. Now is not the time to experiment with DIY private selling.

Price realistically. Testing the boundaries could see you becoming a long listing.

Clean up outside. A well kept garden and a fresh coat of paint will contribute to your home’s sidewalk appeal.

Clean up inside. Untidiness and unnecessary clutter in a house clutters a prospective buyer’s decision making process. Mostly for the worse.

Pay attention to detail. Oil the gates and doors, and fix the dripping tap. Small irritating things you no longer notice may well be noticed by the buyer.

Be polite. That speaks for itself.

Calm the household. When prospective buyers are calling, ensure that the children and pets are reasonably well behaved.

To conclude

It is important not to overextend yourself financially when the chips are up, because when the chips are down, the overextension is guaranteed to hurt your pocket. Rather do as the successful investors do: Be patient, circumspect, and realistic. This could see you weathering the few-and-far-in-between market slumps, while gaining the luxury of selling to the right buyer, at the right price and at the right time.