Top five tips for selling property in Africa
1. Check the photographs
We’ve all seen the dismal photos some agents insist on putting on the web. Dirty (or clean) laundry on a bed, unflattering angles, pictures of toilets (every home has one and unless yours is made of solid gold, we suggest you don’t post a photo of it), kitchens with seemingly a week’s worth of washing up in the sink and the like do not show the home in a positive light. Sadly, estate agents are generally not known for their photography skills and it is highly advisable that you take a look at how the agent plans to showcase your most prized possession. Go through the pictures and pick the ones that you believe show the home to its best advantage.
2. Clean up
We know this is an obvious tip, but sellers often seem to lose sight of this. Let’s make something very clear here – selling a home is hard work. Potential buyers don’t care that you had a party last night and that the guests got just a little out of hand. Likewise, they may not appreciate your child’s artwork on the walls or understand that your dishwasher broke down three weeks ago. Keep the house clean at all times. Murphy’s Law holds that agents will want to pop round with a buyer at the least opportune times. You know that tired old cliche ‘first impressions last’? Well, it’s particularly true when it comes to selling your home. Clean up the verge and the garden.
3. Leave the agent do his/ her job
You are going to pay someone a great deal of money to sell your home. While the urge to follow potential buyers around the property, pointing out the benefits of the home may be incredibly strong, interfering with an agent while he is doing his job can have dire consequences. No one likes a pushy salesperson and sellers who adopt this approach may inadvertently dish out the wrong sort of information. For example, informing the buyer that they ‘christened’ the kitchen worktop when they first moved in generally doesn’t conjure up the right mental images.
4. Search and find the right agent on Propertyend.com
There are excellent, good, bad and incredibly bad agents around. Do your homework and find out which agents sell the most property in the area. Consider giving a top agent a sole mandate for a limited time. Allowing several agents to market your home may seem like a perfect idea,' however, studies have shown that the right agent with the right skills often enjoys the most success.
5. Price it right
Insist that each and every agent called in to value your home supplies you with a comparative marketing analysis. This important document shows what similar properties have been sold recently, and at what price. Overpriced homes do not sell and adding a couple of hundred thousand onto the price in order to ‘test’ the market is a recipe for failure.
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If you keep your wits about you (and a broom in your hand) your property will sell at the right price in the shortest possible time. Lose the plot by overpricing the property or not keeping it in showroom condition and you could well be living there for a lot longer than you anticipated.
* Lea Jacobs is a journalist.
This article first appeared on the Change Exchange, an online platform by BrightRock, provider of the first-ever life insurance that changes as your life changes.