Don’t let a rel­a­tive keep you on a string

George Herald - Private Property - - Property News -

Home­own­ers who de­cide to sell of­ten get ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est from friends or fam­ily mem­bers, but they shouldn't let these dis­tract them from their mar­ket­ing plans.

"In our ex­pe­ri­ence," says Ger­hard Kotzé, MD of the Real­net es­tate agency group, "it is only very sel­dom that a rel­a­tive or friend will fol­low up and be­come a gen­uine buyer. And if they do, the per­sonal re­la­tion­ship can make it very awk­ward for the seller to ne­go­ti­ate price with them or agree on other terms of the sale. On the other hand, most es­tate agents will be re­luc­tant to start mar­ket­ing a prop­erty where rel­a­tives or friends of the seller are ex­cluded from their man­date (and thus from a com­mis­sion-gen­er­at­ing sale)."

He sug­gests that if your cousin says he would be keen to buy your home, or your friend says her sis­ter might be in­ter­ested, it is best to re­spond pos­i­tively right away. "Be def­i­nite about your ask­ing price and give them a spe­cific pe­riod - say two weeks - in which to let you know if they are at all se­ri­ous about mak­ing an of­fer, and whether they have even made a start on ap­ply­ing for a home loan."

If they don't meet this dead­line, he says, you can be pretty sure they were just day­dream­ing, and that you should go ahead and give your es­tate agent an un­en­cum­bered man­date to mar­ket your prop­erty and find you a real buyer.

"Mean­while, from the buyer's point of view, it is good to know when there are any friends or fam­ily mem­bers of the seller who have ex­pressed in­ter­est in the prop­erty, be­cause that could put you at a dis­ad­van­tage for fi­nan­cial as well as sen­ti­men­tal rea­sons," says Kotzé.

"The seller who ac­cepts an of­fer of R1-mil­lion from you and has to pay an agent's com­mis­sion of 7% in­clud­ing VAT, for ex­am­ple, is only go­ing to net R930 000 on the sale. So if there's a rel­a­tive or friend who is by­pass­ing the agent and 'buy­ing di­rect', it will be that much eas­ier for them to match or bet­ter your of­fer."

Is­sued by Real­net

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