How to get the most when selling your property in South Africa

 ·9 Aug 2023

Many South Africans want to get the best value when they sell their property, but deciding if a value is fair can be difficult.

“We all want the best possible return on investment,” Cobus Odendaal, CEO of Lew Geffen Sothebys International Realty in Johannesburg and Randburg, said.

“Whilst it’s tempting to hold out for a better offer, it is crucial to not lose out on a good deal and to balance expectations with market realities and also individual circumstances.

“Determining whether you are getting a good price for your home requires careful consideration of various factors and, of course, the knowledgeable advice of your estate agent.”

Odendall said that there are many things that have to be considered when deciding to accept or reject an offer.

Market research

To find the value of their home, sellers should research the local real estate market.

They can look at recent sales of comparable properties in their area to get an example of the average selling price.

Sellers should consider the location, size, condition and amenities to make more accurate comparisons, as this information will provide a benchmark when evaluating offers.

Look at buyer motivation

Sellers should also consider the motivation of the buyer when looking at an offer.

If the buyer is interested in the property and has made a competitive offer, this could indicate that the property is selling at a fair price.

On the other hand, if the offer seems low or has numerous contingencies, this could mean that the buyer is less serious and is looking for a bargain.

Understanding the buyer’s motivation can help the seller understand the chances of receiving better offers in the future.

Market conditions

Sellers must consider current market conditions when looking at an offer.

In a seller’s market with high demand and low inventory, the seller may have larger negotiating power.

Sellers could receive multiple offers and holding out for a better offer is a possible option.

However, in a buyer’s market, with growing supply and declining sales, it can be a challenge to acquire higher offers hastily.

Odendall said that understanding the overall market conditions can inform the seller’s decision-making process.

Time on the market

The time that the property has been on the market can also affect the seller’s decision to hold out for a better offer.

If the property has been on the market for a long time without any major interest or offers, it could show that the property’s initial asking price was too high.

The seller may thus have to re-evaluate their expectation and look at accepting a reasonable offer to prevent further delays and possible price cuts.

Terms and conditions

Sellers should not only look at the price offers but also the terms and conditions given in the offer. Sellers should look at factors such as financing contingencies, inspection contingencies and proposed closing timelines on top of the rand amount.

A lower-priced offer may be better if it has simple or favourable terms.

Buyer Financials

A cash offer or a buyer with strong pre-approval from a reputable lender can deliver more faith in their ability to close a deal.

Offers from financially secure buyers are generally better and warrant more significant consideration, even if the offer price is lower.

“While it’s important to consider these factors, trust your instincts and negotiate when you believe it is in your best interest,” Odendaal said.

“With a thorough assessment and strategic decision-making, you can ensure you are making an informed choice and potentially secure a better offer for your home – or not lose out on what’s already a good deal.”

Read: Some of the hottest property markets in South Africa right now

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