You’ve made the decision to sell your home, but don’t really know how to go about it. In our step-by-step guide, we touch on how to get the best price for your home, who you can rely on to expedite the sale and how the property sales process unfolds.
Step 1: Make your home look stylish
Before you put your home on the market, we recommend you spend a bit of time and money on making it as appealing as possible.
Repair or replace broken or chipped tiles, faulty fittings and old or worn fitted carpets, and give the rooms that need it a fresh coat of paint. Also clean up the garden, pool and outdoor entertainment areas.
When people are due to view your home, put fresh flowers in the living rooms and bedrooms, and ensure you remove sources of any unpleasant odours.
Top tip: One easy way to improve the impression your home makes on potential buyers is to store all unnecessary clutter, personal items and items of furniture that have seen better days in a self-storage unit, while your home is on show.
Step 2: Choose your sale season
Sell your home when the surrounding environment is at its beautiful best. Spring and autumn are usually the ideal seasons for selling property in South Africa. The weather is moderate and gardens are visually appealing.
Avoid windy and rainy months, and don’t be tempted to sell your home over the festive season. It’s a notoriously slow period for the real estate market.
Top tip: Based on market activity, the best time to sell property in South Africa is in spring or early summer.
Step 3: Pick your sale partner
These days, you can sell your home privately, through an estate agent or by using internet-based real estate portals that operate exclusively online.
The most cost-effective option is to sell your own home by showcasing it on popular property apps and websites. Once you have a firm buyer, you can contract a conveyancing attorney to take care of the legal aspects of the sale.
If you do go it alone, you’ll have to have plenty of time on your hands to create the marketing material, liaise with potential buyers and show folk around your home.
Top tip: If you opt to use the services of an estate agent, ask people in your neighbourhood for recommendations.
Step 4: Set a price
Ideally, you want to get the highest possible price for your home. But if you set the price too high, your property will probably be on the market for a long time.
It’s a good idea to get your home valued by at least two different estate agents. You can also get an idea of the prices other properties have fetched in your area by searching for property values online.
Top tip: If you don’t want to be harassed by over-zealous estate agents, tell them you want your home valued for capital gains tax (CGT) purposes.
Step 5: Market your property like a pro
Make the effort to market your home properly. Don’t just take snaps and post them anywhere online. Use a decent camera to show off your property in the best possible light.
Highlight the neighbourhood’s standout features and list important amenities – schools, clinics, police stations, parks, recreational areas and shopping malls – in close proximity to your dwelling.
Top tip: Drone photography is a unique and affordable way to show how close beaches, golf courses, nature reserves and forests are to the property you’re selling.
Step 6: Close the deal
A legally binding document, known as the Sales Agreement or Deed of Sale, has to be signed by both the buyer and seller to formalise a property sale.
Once all the conditions outlined in the agreement have been met – such as a successful bond application and/or the sale of the buyer’s existing home – the agreement is sent to a conveyancing attorney who:
- requests a Rates Clearance Certificate from the city council or municipality
- conducts a deeds search to verify the details of the property
- requests that the required documents are lodged with the Deeds Office.
The Deeds Office registers the documents, and transfers the property into the buyer’s name. At this stage, you’ll be paid out the agreed price, less the agent’s commission if relevant.
You will have to provide the conveyancing attorney with a power of attorney to effect the transfer, the particulars of the bond holder (if your home is still mortgaged) and electrical, gas and electric fencing compliance certificates.
You will also have to pay a pro rata share of the rates and utility bills until the property has been transferred into the new owner’s name.
Top tip: Store the contents of your old home in one self-storage unit and take your time finding that perfect new property!
XtraSpace specialises in supplying accessible, secure, cost-effective self-storage space. We have facilities in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Get a quote online or call 01 09 777 777 for more information.