Your property should be one of your biggest assets, and some people may want to explore the route of selling their home privately, as opposed to using an estate agent. But, selling a home isn’t a simple process, and you need to make sure that you do your homework thoroughly.
“When it comes to selling your home, the most common course would be to assign an estate agent,” says Calvin Ndlovu, Head of Operations at FNB Home Loans. “It is possible to sell your home privately, but you need to be very careful to ensure that you don’t lose money in the long run.”
These are the main issues to keep in mind when selling your own property
Setting the correct price
You will need to do research into the correct pricing of your home before going to market. “There are many free property reports to help you set the right price,” says Ndlovu. “If you set the price too high you may end up with a situation where your property doesn’t sell, and too low will mean that you lose out.”
Marketing your property
When marketing your property you will need to assign a good photographer and write up a suitable description. Once you have both of these you will need to find an appropriate place to market your property. “You can market your property on private selling websites or you can even use your local classifieds,” suggests Ndlovu. “But you are at a disadvantage in this instance as agents have databases of people looking in various ranges for different properties.” You must be prepared to show buyers around the property, which can happen any time of day or week. So you need to be flexible.
Selling the property
Once you have met prospective buyers and they are looking to make an offer, there are some legal and contractual requirements that you need to be aware of to protect yourself and the buyer.
“Remember you aren’t just negotiating price, but also the terms and conditions of the sale which can be tricky,” says Ndlovu. At this stage, you can contract a conveyancing attorney, who can help you through this process. Make sure that the conveyancing attorney has a good reputation and remember they are working for both yourself and the buyer.
Before you sign
There are a few essentials to take note of before you sign any type of offer. You as the seller need to make the buyer aware of any defects, and these need to go into writing. This is to protect both parties. “You also need to know where the money will be coming from,” says Ndlovu. “This includes funds coming from overseas as well as what are the SARS ramifications? It is also important to check whether a buyer is getting a bond or do they need to sell another property.”
When you sign?
There are legal documents available on the websites; however your conveyancing attorney can help you draw up the documents. “You will need to be familiar with all the terms and conditions of the document, these include latent and patent defects, occupational rent and recourse for breach of contract,” says Ndlovu. The document will also need to outline the different timelines, especially if it is subject to sale of the buyer’s property. The conveyancing attorney will guide you on other aspects such as electrical clearance, municipality notice and any other requirements.
“Selling your own home can work, but you will need to do your homework and be patient. If you are unsure it is better to go with an estate agent who has the industry knowledge and sales network,” concludes Ndlovu.