ARTICLES - CURRENT

Author: David Jacobs
Gauteng Regional Manager for the Rawson Property Group
9 July 2021

Valuing your property for sale? 4 key things to ensure it sells (fast!)

One of the most critical elements of selling any property is getting the listing price right. Price too low and sellers lose out on profits. Price too high and the property may not sell at all.

The resounding advice from property experts is to use a professional real estate agent to value your home before settling on a listing price. But what are those agents actually analysing to arrive at the numbers they recommend?

1. The location and its buyers

“Every neighbourhood has its own set of micro trends and influences,” says Jacobs. “These affect how a property will be received by buyers and contribute to its market value,” says David Jacobs, Gauteng Regional Manager for the Rawson Property Group.

While sales statistics form part of this picture, Jacobs says getting inside the mind of local buyers is equally important.

“An agent who works in an area on a daily basis will have hands-on knowledge of what its buyers are looking for, and how these features may affect a property’s value,” he says. “This isn’t the type of knowledge you can find in databases, and it changes from season to season and year to year, which is why it’s vital to work with an agent who is active in your area.”

Property24’s Trends and Statistics allow you to check seasonal and long term changes in property prices and sales for South Africa. Simply enter the area in the search field on the Property24 Trends and Statistics page, to see the average and individual sold prices.

The annual sale and listing trends are based on the number of sales registered in the South African deeds office, and include the average selling price and asking price of all Property24 listings for the same time period, since 2012.

Agents have access to extensive amounts of in-depth market and sales information, particularly when they’re part of a major brand like Rawson Properties with award-winning technology and valuation platforms at their disposal, says Jacobs

“This information is used to assess not only active listings in an area – a property’s direct competition – but also previously sold and unsold listings.

“Sold properties are used as a benchmark for successful pricing, while unsold listings are usually a sign of overpricing,” explains Jacobs. “Agents will measure the seller’s property against these, as well as active listings, to find a reasonable price range that reflects current market conditions.”

2. The property

While virtual valuations are available, Jacobs says the most accurate property price estimates can only be achieved when seeing a home first-hand – preferably with the seller as a tour guide.

“Only someone who has lived in a home really knows all of its pros and cons,” says Jacobs. “That information can make a big difference to a sales price and is very important to share with your valuing agent.”

Jacobs urges sellers to highlight as many positive elements of their property as they can, but also resist the urge to hide their property’s flaws which will need to be disclosed to buyers during the sales process anyway.

“It’s far better to be upfront and take any major issues into account in your pricing strategy than to give buyers a chance to use them against you during negotiations,” he says.

Charlene Nolte-Joubert, partner of law firm Henkes Nolte-Joubert and one of the founding members of the Attorney Realtor Hub (The Hub), says getting a home presentable and ready to sell sometimes takes a little time and care, in that it’s not just tidying up and a superficial clean: the home might need to be decluttered or depersonalised, painted or deep cleaned so that buyers see it at its potential best.

Before putting a home on the market, ensure that the list of faults is attended to. If there are leaking taps, cracks in the plaster or broken window latches, for example, repair these before buyers start viewing the property, says Nolte-Joubert.

3. The seller’s requirements

A property’s listing price doesn’t only need to reflect its market value, however. It also needs to meet a seller’s personal requirements.

“Some sellers need to meet a particular financial target,” says Jacobs, “while others need a quick sale. A good agent will create a pricing strategy to support these goals where possible, and advise sellers if market conditions are unlikely to support the results they need.”

According to Leadhome Properties CEO, Marcel du Toit, there are two historic lows in play right now.

The prime lending rate, and the increased number of buyer viewings completed per accepted offer to purchase.

“Our data shows that the number of buyer viewing appointments that need to be completed for every offer accepted is currently sitting at 15.3 viewings; compared to 20.6 viewings in August 2020 and an average of 20 in 2019. We are at a historic low!” says du Toit.

This reinforces the need to price correctly.

4. The proposed plan of action

Marketing strategies can also influence (and be influenced by) a property’s price.

Jacobs says a good agent will make marketing recommendations as part of their valuation services, even including a proposed marketing strategy to show the exposure and service they plan to provide.

“This is a good indication of the value a seller will get for the commission they will be paying,” says Jacobs, “and, together with high-quality valuation documentation, makes for a far more reliable way to select a capable agent than simply going with whoever provides the highest valuation.”

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