Avoid mak­ing these pric­ing mis­takes

George Herald - Private Property - - Property News -

It goes with­out say­ing that home­own­ers who place their prop­erty on the mar­ket are look­ing to get the best pos­si­ble re­turn on their in­vest­ment, says Adrian Goslett, re­gional direc­tor and CEO of RE/MAX of South­ern Africa. He notes that a vi­tal as­pect of sell­ing a home is its list­ing price, so hav­ing a sound pric­ing strat­egy is es­sen­tial for sell­ers in or­der to find the right buyer for their home.

"Re­gard­less of whether the mar­ket favours buy­ers or sell­ers, it is im­por­tant that home­own­ers have a plan of action if they want to achieve the best pos­si­ble sell­ing price for their prop­erty. In to­day's age of read­ily avail­able data, buy­ers are savvy and ed­u­cated with re­gard to prop­erty pric­ing and fair mar­ket value. As such, sell­ers need to price their prop­erty ac­cord­ingly to en­sure that they will at­tract the right buy­ers to the home," says Goslett.

Here are six com­mon pric­ing mis­takes that sell­ers should avoid:


The most com­mon pric­ing mis­take that home­own­ers make is in­flat­ing their list­ing price to coun­ter­act buyer ne­go­ti­a­tions. There is also the mat­ter of emo­tional at­tach­ment to the home. Many home­own­ers per­ceive their home to be the best in the neigh­bour­hood and set a price that is rel­a­tive to the value they per­ceive. How­ever, buy­ers may not per­ceive the home's value in the same way.

"An in­flated price will leave out strong po­ten­tial buy­ers, espe­cially if sta­tis­tics and re­cent sales fig­ures of other prop­er­ties in the area don't sup­port the ask­ing price. The seller will run the risk of mul­ti­ple price re­duc­tions, which could have the home sit­ting on the mar­ket for longer than nec­es­sary," ad­vises Goslett.


Often the sell­ing price varies from the ini­tial ask­ing price. To gauge fair mar­ket value and ar­rive at an ask­ing price that will gen­er­ate buyer in­ter­est, sell­ers should not base their as­sess­ment on what other homes in the area were listed at, but rather the price they ac­tu­ally achieved.

An ex­pe­ri­enced real es­tate pro­fes­sional will have ac­cess to this kind of in­for­ma­tion and will be able to pro­vide valu­able guid­ance to sell­ers when de­ter­min­ing the right list­ing price.


Nine out of ten buy­ers start their home search on­line. As such, it is cru­cial to con­sider this when set­ting an ask­ing price. "Prop­erty search por­tals re­quire the user to en­ter a price range to nar­row down their search op­tions. If the ask­ing price is R755 000 and the buyer's price range is from R700 000 to R750 000, the home will be missed. By list­ing the prop­erty at R750 000, there will be a far greater chance of cap­tur­ing po­ten­tial buy­ers in the ranges above and be­low the ask­ing price," ad­vises Goslett. "While the ul­ti­mate de­ci­sion lies with the seller and their agent, it is worth con­sid­er­ing the search por­tal price ranges when set­ting the price."


De­cid­ing on a round num­ber is far eas­ier for all the par­ties in­volved. While the home could have dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures that could lead the seller to list their prop­erty at an un­usual num­ber, such as R715 544, it might di­vert the buyer's at­ten­tion from the prop­erty and onto the seller's in­ten­tions. It is far bet­ter to stick to sim­ple fig­ures and leave the cre­ativ­ity to the home's mar­ket­ing.


Deals die quickly if the par­ties are not open to ne­go­ti­at­ing. "Cir­cum­stances de­pend­ing, a seller could be less or more in­clined to­wards ne­go­ti­a­tion.

This will largely be in­flu­enced by how quickly they would like to sell, as well as how much money they re­quire to get out of the sale. Stay­ing stead­fast on the ask­ing price or other con­di­tions could mean that the seller is in for a long and bumpy ride dur­ing the sell­ing process," says Goslett. "Sell­ers may need to de­cide whether it is more im­por­tant to get the full ask­ing price and have the home on the mar­ket for longer or make a few con­ces­sions and close the deal."


Se­lect­ing a rep­utable agent with area ex­pe­ri­ence will put the seller on the right path to set­ting the cor­rect ask­ing price. An agent will have ac­cess to re­sources and in­for­ma­tion that the home­owner will not.

They will base their as­sess­ment on facts and fig­ures, with­out bring­ing emo­tion into the equa­tion. An agent will be able to pro­vide an un­bi­ased opin­ion, look­ing at the sit­u­a­tion from all an­gles, such as the home's fea­tures, the lo­cal mar­ket, re­cent sales and more.

Goslett says avoid­ing these com­mon mis­takes and set­ting the cor­rect price from the start will en­sure that it will at­tract the right po­ten­tial buy­ers, which will re­sult in the home­owner sell­ing for the best pos­si­ble price, within the best pos­si­ble time frame.

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