Guide to selling property in South Africa
A brief summary of the course of action for a successful sale
Selling your property can be a nightmare if you don’t understand the various ins and outs of property sales. You can do without the stress and problems this may cause. Property is a huge financial asset and you want to do the sale right the first time. So have a look at our easy to understand ‘Guide to selling property in South Africa’, and be prepared for a successful sale.
The first step to selling your property successfully…
Are you going to use an Estate Agent?
Some other options include using an online or low commission Estate Agent or selling your property privately. Not too long ago, the most common way and the only way, was to sell property using an Estate Agent.
What are good qualities for a great estate agent?
- The Estate Agent should be able to make the entire process easy and stress-free
- The agent should be able to help and be available to answer any questions
- Marketing should be second nature to the estate agent
- Negotiating skills are very important
- Managing of the entire sale process, from start to finish
As with all business, there are those Estate companies who fail to provide these essential qualities. They provide poor services and leave you more frustrated than ever, and on top of that, you still have to pay them if they eventually do sell your property. Many have experienced this type of bad service and therefore go the private route when selling their home.
Selling property privately has two main advantages:
- You save on commission you would have had to pay towards the estate agents.
- This way the owner is in control of the entire sales process
Many of the private sellers have gone through the sales process and understand what to do and expect. They have enough self-confidence to show the house to prospective buyers. But there are some challenges to selling privately.
- To market and advertise the property effectively, keeping to a budget
- Having the self-assurance to communicate professionally with potential buyers
- This is the most difficult challenge; understanding and knowing all the legal requirements
In the past, everybody only had these two choices for selling property. Today, with access to technology, computers, websites, there is another way. There are the online or low commission estate agents. This is the new way of buying and selling property, which puts all the control in the hands of the consumer.
You can sell your house online by choosing from different package options, which starts off with a basic listing and moves up to adding professional photographs or even videos of your home. You as the seller pay no commission or a lower commission pay-out. All you have to do is show the potential buyer around your home.
Choosing the correct property price
The second step to selling property successfully is determining the price. Selling property quickly is great, but you also want to know that you’re selling at a competitive price. Determining a good sales price can rest on a number of factors.
Home staging your property
- The location of the property
- What future development plans are there in the area
- If you still have a bond on the house, you must take this into consideration
- Make sure to get a current municipal valuation
- If you are using an Estate agent, the commission should be added to the price
The third step is creating an attractive and appealing space for potential buyers. This not only includes the times when buyers come to actually view your property but also in things like photographs and videos. This is critical in getting the attention of interested buyers.
A few keys points:
Marketing your property
- Make sure the garden is neat
- Don’t have garbage bins or other clutter lying around
- Fix any cracks or obvious problems in and around the house
- The home inside should be neat and tidy, you can even add some flowers around the house
- Create an inviting atmosphere, roasting coffee is always a winner
Step four involves effectively marketing your property, or nobody is going to know about it. You need to stand out from the crowd. This includes methods that use print and online marketing. By making sure of the details, such as professional photos, which should be of good quality.
Completing the Sale Agreement
Please note: what is written here is advice only, seek out a professional conveyance attorney for any legal information or guidance.
The last step in our guide to selling property in South Africa involves the Sale Agreement. First off, the buyer who has decided to purchase a property will be required to sign an Offer to Purchase. This eventually becomes official when all those involved have also signed off, it then becomes known as the Sale Agreement. Because you are selling a major asset, it is wise to get the opinion of a conveyancing attorney before signing off, especially if it is a private sale.
The offer of Purchase includes:
- The price that the buyer will pay
- Included in the document will be any conditions that may apply, for instance, it may only apply if the buyer can obtain an approved bond.
- One of the important things to add is things not included in the sale of the house. Most people know that permanent fixtures are always included, but things like satellite dishes and other items can cause issues. These specific areas should be addressed clearly in the agreement.
Sometimes the buyer who is interested in a property might have some problems obtaining a bond from the bank. This is where the estate agent comes to the rescue by using a mortgage or bond originator, who will send a bond application through to different banks. By doing this, it may speed up the whole sales process and the estate agent may even receive a small commission on approval. South African banks can cut out the ‘middle man’ or bond originator by offering buyers who come to them directly, a more affordable deal. Most buyers, who don’t really have time to deal with all the legal requirements, will stick to using a bond originator or consultant.
Having a professional conveyance attorney is important to a successful property sale. There are so many aspects in finalising a sales agreement that you need somebody who knows what they are doing. For instance, there are different lawyers handling different aspects of the sale. You can have different lawyers who handle the seller’s bond cancellation and buyer’s bond registration. There is a lot going on, so having a good conveyance attorney is a must.
Interested in learning more?
The above was only a short guide to show what is involved in selling your property in South Africa. To get more information on how you can save on your property commission, make sure to contact us.
Read more about property in South Africa in our articles section