1. PRICING YOUR PROPERTY CORRECTLY
Properties that are correctly priced sell relatively quickly. Most genuine buyers will see the property within the first two to three weeks of it coming onto the market and usually do their homework well. If the pricing of your property does not compare favourably to similar properties in the same area, they are not going to consider your property. Properties that are overpriced stay on the market longer and often sell under its actual market value.
A correctly priced property should sell within 6-8 weeks at the valuation price and an overpriced property can take as much as a year to sell, by as much as 20% under market value. Also, whilst you are waiting for your property to sell, the cost of ownership such as the payment of interest on your bond, and rates and taxes would be mounting, further diminishing your returns.
2. MAKING SURE YOUR PROPERTY IS IN GOOD CONDITION
First impressions do count. Make sure your property is well maintained, and that the garden is neat and tidy. A lick of paint at very little expense can do wonders for your property. Remember, agents look at your property through the eyes of potential buyers and they should give you an honest appraisal of pricing and the condition of your property when listing your property. Don’t spend money on expensive renovations – your buyer might just want to rip out the expensive tiles that you have put down as it is not according to their taste.
3. MAKING SURE THAT YOU HAVE YOUR ELECTRICTY, WOOD BORER AND GAS CERTIFICATES AT HAND
You do not have to wait for your property to sell for the electrical and borer inspections to be carried out. Call your electrician and pest control specialist for an inspection (or pre-inspection) when you list your property which gives you time to carry out any repair work that may need to be done for such certificates to be issued, at a price acceptable to you.
4. NOTIFYING YOUR BANK OF YOUR INTENTION TO SELL
Most banks do require 90 days’ notice of cancellation of an existing bond. There is no need to wait for the conveyancers to do so upon receipt of instructions from you to attend to the transfer. Once you know you have a serious buyer for your property, you can notify your bank of your intended sale and the cancellation of the bond pursuant to such sale.
5. AVOID COMPLICATED TRANSACTIONS
Most sellers are anxious to sell their property at the best possible price, and would accept offers based purely on the purchase price and not consider the conditions attached to such sale. Questions you may need to ask are:-
- Is there a cash deposit payable? In most instances where there is a cash deposit payable within a short period of time after signature, you will have a firm commitment from your buyer;
- Is the transaction subject to any conditions, such as the sale of another property? In such event you should insist on an ‘escape clause’ in the sale agreement which would allow you to continue to market your property after the sale, subject to such condition. Should you receive an offer on your property with less onerous conditions, you can cancel the first agreement by giving notice to such effect if the condition (such as the sale of the buyer’s own property) in the first sale agreement has not been met;
- Watch out for deals that are 100% cash especially on large deals – insist on a credit check or some assurance from the buyer’s bank that they do indeed have the cash available within a relatively short space of time to come up with the purchase price, otherwise you might be tied down to an agreement where the cash may or may not materialize and you may lose out on other buyers that can and will perform.