What to do when your property does not sell

    Activity in the property market remains above pre-Pandemic levels and there is ample opportunity for sellers who are keen to sell and in turn take advantage of the favourable buying conditions.

    Are you ready to sell though? Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group says it is often much easier to purchase property than to sell it, especially in the current buyer’s market.

    Low price growth might be one dampener for sellers who might be frustrated that they are not getting offers at a price that they would like to see. That said, Seeff says sellers should bear in mind that not all properties sell the first time they are listed, even in a busy buyer’s market.

    The demand for a particular property and how long it will take to sell depends on a combination of factors such as the price, location and condition, but is also influenced by the prevailing economic climate. The highest interest is usually during the first month and the longer a property sits on the market, the less appealing it becomes.

    If you find that your property has been on the market for a while without selling, it is time to put emotional issues aside and understand why it is not appealing to buyers, says Seeff. This is especially important during this phase of the market where buyers have easier access to mortgage loans and conditions are favourable for buying. Here is what you could do if your property is just not selling:

    Listen to the market. Be objective about the sale of your property as emotions get in the way of the sales process. Your agent will advise of the feedback that he/she is getting from the market about your property, how it is perceived in relation to the asking price and will recommend steps that need to be taken.

    Review your pricing. There is no point in sticking to an unrealistic asking price if you need to or want to sell. Price is arguably the most important factor as it relates to the value perceived by buyers and how it compares to the pricing of peer properties. Setting the asking price at the correct level matters at all times, but especially when you seriously need to sell or during a buyer’s market. Do not waste time by gambling on a high price. Always take actual sales rather than list prices as a guideline.

    Choose the right agent. Use caution when agents promise high prices and be aware that despite the claims made by online agencies, local area agents still sell properties at a faster rate and for higher prices. Local expertise and experience play an essential role, so choose an agent with a track record of sales in your local area.

    Stick to a Sole Mandate. An open mandate is not going to sell your house faster because no particular agent will be focusing solely on your property. A Sole Mandate is a contractual agreement and a proven tool for achieving the best results since the agent will focus their energy and marketing on your property with an end goal in mind.

    Do not dismiss offers too quickly. Many offers can be negotiated up to a realistic price and a sale achieved. A good agent will guide you in terms of whether a particular offer is worth pursuing in terms of a counter-offer. Consider the time-value of money and what the real cost might be for holding out when you could already look forward to your next move.

    Trust your agent. Be upfront about your reasons for selling so that the agent knows if it is an urgent sale and can then give you the right advice for the circumstances. Trust the advice given, whether about the condition of the property, maintenance needs or how it is to be marketed. Your agent only has one goal in mind and that is to sell your property in the shortest possible time for the highest possible price as he/she has a reputation to uphold.

    Author: Gina Meintjes
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