“Selling your first property can be both challenging and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. To guide and assist you on this journey, we’ve compiled a helpful list of need-to-know tips and tricks for first-time sellers.” — Mike Greeff, CEO, Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate
Selling your first property is exciting, intimidating and — much like buying — comes with its own set of unique challenges. While buying and selling are both emotional experiences, selling is unique in that it’s also a calculated decision with the goal of maximising profit on an investment. So to aid your inaugural journey into the sales market, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of need-to-know points for first-time property sellers in Cape Town:
How to Price Your Property Correctly
These days, buyers are savvy to market fluctuations, and it’s often the correctly priced properties that move faster than the inflated ones. Since your asking price needs to align with the average listings in the marketplace, it’s a good idea to seek expert advice. On top of doing your own research, we recommend finding a real estate agent from a reputable agency who has experience selling properties in your neighbourhood. Their knowledge of the market will be invaluable to your cause.
Why Seeking Informed Guidance is The Best Way Forward
Selling your first property is a significant undertaking that involves a lengthy — often complex — process. It’s therefore imperative you commit to the process by employing the help of an experienced, skilled professional to guide the sale through to its most profitable end. Real estate agents spend years immersed in their respective markets and undergo repeated training to ensure they stay up to date with trends and regulations. As professionals, they have your best interests at heart and will take a deeper, more analytical approach to the situation before advising you. Here’s how an agent sets you up for sales success:
- Agents are not just experienced, they’re qualified too. All agents are required to be registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EEAB) and receive their PrivySeal.
- An agent will draw up a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to analyse similar purchases in the area, giving you an accurate estimation of your home’s value.
- Estate agents are attuned to market fluctuations and will be able to advise you on how it affects your selling price.
- They’re measured mediators that get the best terms for all involved, even when discussions become strained.
- Agents will give you an honest property valuation for an accurate idea of your home’s worth from the outset.
The Specifics of Selling a Property in Cape Town
Cape Town’s property market is turning. According to the City of Cape Town’s General Valuation Roll 2018, the Mother City’s properties are worth 34% more than they were just three years ago. This communicates consumer confidence in the city’s administration, with owners seeing good returns on their property investments. Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate had this to say:
“The South African Reserve Bank has kept repo rates stable for the time being, despite calls for an interest rate hike. While sales may be lagging behind previous year averages, various areas of the market are performing very well.”
Taking current trends into account, we expect to see a market growth of between 3% and 4% over the next year to 18 months.
Raise Your Property’s Value With Functional and Cosmetic Enhancements
Before you list your property, address any areas of improvement to elevate your property’s value. There are a number of noteworthy enhancements you can implement to make your home a winner in the eyes of a prospective buyer. These include:
- Special flooring: You’d be surprised at how immaculate, high-quality flooring can impact a buyer’s first impression. Timber, hardwood, engineered oak, Oregon pine or Travertine tiling offer greater appeal because they need less work and add an elegant flourish to the interior.
- Patio or external seating area: Save for a few rainy months per year, Cape Town’s climate is ideal for lazy days and calm evenings outdoors. Because of this, adding an external seating area or patio can up your sales price significantly.
- Water-efficient devices: Cape Town’s recent drought has turned many of its citizens into ‘water-wise’ ambassadors. By implementing water-efficient devices like JoJo tanks and water filtration devices, sellers can radically boost their property’s value.
- Upgrade your security measures: Security is of great concern to Capetonians, so installing electrified fencing, automated gates and a quality alarm system is an effective way to make your property more desirable to buyers.
- Cosmetic enhancements: Removing grime, mould and scuff marks, as well as replacing doors, handles and hinges, are all small cosmetic improvements that can elevate the value of your property.
- Exterior improvements: A fresh coat of paint and a bit of landscaping go a long way towards making a good first impression. As windows are a focal point for buyers, make sure your panes are pristine and the frames are in top condition and weather resistant.
Avoid These Common Pitfalls for First-Time Sellers
We understand the blood, sweat and tears that went into purchasing your first property. This is why we want your first selling experience to be a smooth one. To help you, we’ve listed a few of the most common mistakes many first-time sellers make:
- Don’t go at it alone. Because property is a person’s greatest asset, you need to enlist the help of somebody who understands the market intimately. Hire an experienced agent from a respected agency to get the guidance and knowledge you need.
- Pricing too high and being too stubborn to negotiate. Of course you want the best price for your home. But listing your property higher than similar homes in the area will have you on the backfoot before you’ve even had the chance to show it to buyers. Going in with a ‘non-negotiable’ mindset will hurt your chances, while being open to compromise gives both parties a chance of being satisfied with the sale.
- Not decluttering and cleaning properly: A dirty, cramped interior is a surefire way to turn buyers off. While a light-washed, clean and uncluttered home creates the impression of possibility and aesthetic opportunity. No half measures!
Cape Town’s Popular Areas and Sales Statistics
From mansions nestled at the foot of Table Mountain to coastal apartments with breathtaking ocean views, we’re really spoilt for choice in Cape Town. Below are two of the Western Cape’s most popular areas, as well as a few pertinent statistics for interested sellers (for a more comprehensive breakdown, please join our growing investor’s community):
Southern Suburbs: At the moment, prices are stable and the market isn’t moving too much.
- Total new sales have amounted to R3.5 billion.
- Average days to sell — 55 days.
- Total difference between asking and selling price — 7.7%.
- In Sectional Title, the market between R1 million and R2.5 million is still very buoyant, with a sale every 4 days.
- Claremont’s CBD, in particular, has over R300 million worth of residential and commercial developments in 2019.
City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard: While new developments may pose a threat in terms of oversupply in the Sectional Title market, the general feeling is one of positivity post-elections.
- Properties under R3 million are still relatively buoyant.
- Properties at R5 million and over are relatively suppressed.
- In the luxury market, there have been many deals at R10 million and over, primarily with foreigners.
- For housing, anything between R3.5 million and R5 million is relatively buoyant.
From Listing to Transaction, a Greeff Agent Will Guide Your First Sale to Success
Selling your first property is just as important as purchasing your first home. And enlisting the help of an experienced, knowledgeable agent with a proven track record will help you navigate the market’s challenges to get the most profitable result.
With decades of accumulated experience in the Western Cape, a Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate agent is perfectly suited to advise you on selling your most precious asset. Our agents have their ears to the ground and their fingers on the pulse of Cape Town’s property market to give you sound advice and guidance throughout the selling journey.
Take the first step with us and request your free property valuation with an expert agent from Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate. To join our growing community of property investors and gain access to market insight and information you won’t find elsewhere, sign up for our Investor’s Club.