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Selling your property? 5 potential pitfalls to avoid

09 Oct 2019

Property News

Brought to you by Property24

Selling your property can be as complex and stressful as buying a property.

Selling needs to be approached with as much care, patience and transparency as buying.

Selling needs to be approached with as much care, patience and transparency as buying. The more organised you are, the easier the selling process is likely to be, says Kim Hogben, Principal at Leapfrog Durban Central.

“We see sellers making the same mistakes time and again. And while it seems like nothing major to the seller, it’s often the little things that hamper the efficiency of the process, ultimately causing frustration and unhappiness,” says Hogben.

Drawing on years of experience, the Leapfrog team have identified the top five factors that add unnecessary stress to the selling process and can easily be either managed or avoided entirely:

1.  Make sure to declare all defects

Much like an embarrassing secret, hidden property defects always have a way of rearing its dysfunctional head. Make sure you’re transparent about any defects the property presents so that it doesn’t come back to haunt you later - which it can.

“While most sales agreements will include a ‘voetstoots’ clause stipulating that the property is sold ‘as is’, there is recourse for the buyer if the seller neglected to declare issues that they were aware of and that could cause a problem,” says Hogben.

She says you can avoid this by highlighting all current and potential defects and adding it to the sale agreement as an addendum. This is a way of ensuring all parties are on the same page when it comes to the condition of the property in question, and so avoid disputes later on.

2. Price it right

Pricing a property is something you need to get just right.

Price it too low and you might lose out and not be able to cover related expenses like the bond settlement. Price it too high and it’s likely to stand still on the market - neither scenario is ideal,” says Hogben.

Start by researching the current property market and get a trusted property advisor to do a valuation to help you establish a reasonable asking price.

See what homes in your street and suburb have
recently sold for, click here

3. Notify the bank of your intention to cancel your home loan

Banks typically require 90 days’ notice of an intention to cancel a home loan

Failing to notify the bank may see you incur penalties. It may also cause delays in the property transfer and registration as the seller could instruct the attorneys to commence with the process only after the lapse of the 90-day period, which will see both parties affected, says Hogben.

4. Appoint a trusted property advisor

The right property advisor will save you time, make you more money, negotiate the legislation and offer you peace of mind.

Hogben says selling a property comes with legal requirements, financial risks and emotional stress, and the most effective way to manage these things is to appoint a trusted property advisor to charter this particular ship for you.

5. Put your best foot forward on show day

Viewings and show days are your property’s day for showing off and attracting the right buyers. Ensure the place looks and feels inviting by making sure it’s clean, the clutter is out of sight, the curtains are open, and the general look, feel and scent are pleasant.

“Buying a property is a very emotional process, and the way a property looks often has a significant impact on a buyer’s psychology,” says Hogben.

“The act of making a property more appealing is known as home staging


At the end of the day, Hogben says it’s rather simple - the seller wants to sell the property as quickly as possible and the buyer wants to get the right property at the right time at the right price, and the interventions listed above can certainly help the process along.

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