realADVICE: How to avoid the sellers’ Big Four


In SA, we are lucky enough to have dozens of game reserves and wild spaces where we can go to marvel at the Big Five – elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, lions and leopards – along with other amazing animals in their natural environments.

However, there are certain creatures most of us just don’t want to be too close to, no matter how incredible they are, like snakes and crocodiles, sharks, jellyfish and all sorts of creepy-crawlies.

And similarly, there are a few major things that home owners who want to sell their properties really need to avoid if they want the transaction to happen fast and run smoothly. These are the Big Four mistakes most commonly made by home sellers:

  • Appointing an agent based on the price at which he or she is prepared to list your home. Good agents will prepare a detailed comparative market analysis, examine your home and size up the competition in the area, and their sale price estimates will most likely fall within a narrow range. Only inexperienced or unscrupulous agents will offer to sell it for a much higher price than the others.
  • Choosing an agent who only advertises in the local market or on one type of platform. To have the best chance of being sold quickly and at a good price, your property must compete successfully for the attention of buyers increasingly exposed to international as well as national advertising in a wide variety of media.
  • Failing to prepare the home for sale. This can include everything from spring cleaning and clearing out clutter to repainting and making repairs, and it’s hard work. But to sell, your home must compare favourably not only with others of a similar age and price, but also with mint-condition new homes in the same area.
  • Refusing to negotiate. You will seriously lessen your chances of a successful sale unless you are prepared to listen to the buyer-feedback from your carefully chosen estate agent, and to at least consider the transaction from the buyer’s point of view.

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