Think twice before selling your home yourself

Homeowners believe that selling their home themselves would save them thousands of rand in estate agent fees, but the DIY route does not always benefit the seller.

“Selling a big-ticket item such as a home involves risk if you do not have sufficient knowledge and expertise in this area,” said Dean Hewitt, co-founder, director and principal of Nu Generation Homes. “This is often only gained through experience and formal studies.”

Some of the knowledge you would need includes how to determine the selling price, the sales process, where to advertise your home and what to include and exclude in contractual documentation relating to the property sale. It is also essential to be aware of the potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.

“Mistakes can be costly when it comes to property transactions, so there’s no room for errors,” says Hewitt. “If you’re selling your home yourself for the first time, you need to be certain you are doing everything right.”

Also ask yourself if you have time to sell your home, as the DIY option can be likened to assuming an additional career, advises Hewitt. You would need to photograph your home, write appealing descriptions and professionally advertise it. When uploading your info on property sales websites, consider if you are able to showcase it in the best possible light and correctly tag it so home buyers can more readily find your property.

If a prospective buyer contacts you to view your house, can you rejuggle your activities to prioritise the request? You also need to be available to fetch and submit documents – some during working hours, obtain signatures and liaise with various other parties in the transaction. These include banks, bond originators, your attorney, the buyer’s attorney and contractors who are required to provide the relevant certificates of compliance.

“These additional responsibilities not only take time, but increase stress levels,” says Hewitt. “It may also be an emotional experience to sell your own home, and you as a seller should take care not to let your feelings get in the way of closing a sale.

“If you feel offended when a potential buyer points out flaws, you might not want to negotiate with them. On the other hand, home buyers might not want to share their true thoughts about your home with you as the owner. An estate agent is seen as objective, and can therefore more easily obtain honest feedback from potential buyers as well as manage the feedback process to the owner.”

If you are in a hurry to sell your home, the DIY option might not be suitable. Estate agents are likely to close a deal quicker than you would at a market related price, as they have the skills and experience in property sales, as well as insight to property values and trends in your neighbourhood. They also have a proven marketing formula and access to a database of buyers. Without their service, your home might be on the market for longer than necessary or you may end up dropping your price.

“The best way to save on estate agent commission and still enjoy all the services an estate agency provides is to choose an agency that charges a fixed fee for selling homes. It’s important to check that the estate agent provides all the services of a traditional commission-based agency and that there are no hidden costs before signing on the dotted line,” advises Hewitt.

Nu Generation discloses its fees upfront and there are no hidden costs. You get all the benefits of a professional agency and can save thousands of rands on the sale of your home. Over the past 15 months, Nu Generation has saved clients over R3,6 million in estate agent commission.

For a free home valuation, please contact Nu Generation. To find out more, follow Nu Generation in the social media.

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