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3 common mistakes to avoid when selling your home

21 May 2019

Selling your property requires considerable thought and planning ahead of the transaction, and only once the correct steps have been taken can you successfully begin the process.

When the owner of the property allows themselves to be immersed in the process, they run the risk of putting emotional price tags on the property, as well as taking it personally when a buyer makes an offer lower that they might expect.

Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate, says when selling your property you have to ensure that you have done all that is necessary to facilitate a successful sale. “There are definitely things which can be done to improve your chances of success and could decrease the number of days the property spends on the market.”

“With that said, there are still many people who end up making avoidable mistakes due to improper planning at some or other point during the sale process. This could be true for many reasons, but regardless - it is worth noting that it can be avoided.”

According to Greeff, the following oversights should be avoided in the process of trying to sell your property:

1. Not having reputable advice to guide you through the sale

Real estate agents are known for being the go-between for the buyer and seller and are hired to ensure the process goes smoothly. Their job function in the process of selling your property is an absolute necessity for the success of the sale. This is even further highlighted when the sale of a property becomes a bit tricky, especially with regards to the paperwork involved and the all-important element of negotiating.

2. Not representing the property adequately through listing photos

This can take place in so many ways and will absolutely negatively affect the sale of your property.

Once the seller has agreed to give an agency a mandate to sell the property, the agency in question needs to provide the owner with assurance that every possible marketing avenue has been fulfilled and has been used effectively. This will include ensuring the photography of the property is fulfilled and up to standard and that the photographer chosen is able to capture the essence of the home through its interior and exterior images.

If the property company has an in-house photographer, this will be good way to ensure the marketing of the home remains first priority. The importance hereof is even further highlighted when the property is listed on online portals for exposure.

If a prospective buyer is browsing and comes across the property online, he or she will initially be most impacted by the photos of the home. Ensure the property listing photos used on the online portals are up to standard as the first impression of the home will forever be present in the memory of the potential owners. If this aspect is not painstakingly seen to, the marketing of the property could suffer tremendously.

3. Getting emotionally involved

The onus here would fall on the seller, and it is vitally important that they do not get emotionally involved in the pricing or negotiation process.

Estate agents are acutely aware of just how emotional this process is, and know first hand that the experience in itself is incredibly taxing on those involved in the selling of the home.

For this reason, this would be the most opportune time to make use of an estate agent, putting the responsibility fully on him or her. Not allowing the owner to have any influence over the prospective buyer’s decision at the end of the day is the most logical and rational way forward. When the owner of the property allows themselves to be immersed in the process, they run the risk of putting emotional price tags on the property, as well as taking it personally when a buyer makes an offer lower that they might expect.


Selling your home could be one of the most stressful decisions and process you may ever undertake. Avoiding as many of the pitfalls as possible will stand you in good stead when embarking on the sales process.

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