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Tips for seller’s in a buyer’s market

By Alina Hardcastle

Wanting to offload your home onto the market? Sellers, hold your horses. A recent survey conducted by First National Bank (FNB), indicated that the tables might be turning in the favour of home buyers.

Unfortunately for many, who are in a financial rut, riding out this difficult economic period is not an option. Justmoney explores how sellers can maximise their profits in the current market.

At the beginning of July, FNB’s property barometer revealed a number of challenges that homes sellers may be facing. These include:

  • A decline in viewers per show house - The average estimated number of viewers per show house has declined from 11.6 (previous quarter) to 9.64; and has dropped considerably since the second quarter of 2013, which was at a high of 16.69.
  • The average time period of homes being on the market has increased – The time span of homes being on the market has increase from 11 weeks and one day to 13 weeks and four days.
  • Initial asking price for homes has dropped - The estimated average percentage of asking price where the price drop is required to make the sale was –9%, slightly more than -8% of the previous quarter.

Consult a knowledgeable estate agent

The above information provides reason why it may be more beneficial to refrain from putting your house on the market at present. But for many who are struggling financially and are needing to downgrade, Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa offers a guiding hand. He suggested sellers get in touch with a reputable and experienced estate agent who has specific area knowledge.

This is a good resource for sellers to use in order determine what buyers have recently or are willing to pay for property within the seller’s area.  He added: “Estate agents will have records of how much properties with similar offering to the seller’s home have recently sold for in the last three to six months.”

Duration of show house

Timing is everything, once your property is on the market it’s important to sell it within a certain time frame or else potential buyers will start to question why the home hasn’t been sold yet.

“There is often a negative association with a property that has been on the market for longer than the average time, which can lead to it eventually selling for below its actual value,” noted Goslett.

He added that if a property is inflated by around 10% above its market related value, it is less like to sell within 30 days of being on the market, compared to one that is priced within five percent of its market value.

At the end of the day the asking price is solely the seller’s decision but make sure you have done your research to ensure that your market price is correct in this challenging market.

Handy tip: If you need a home loan, you can apply for one through Justmoney

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