Residential News

In a recession, price to sell or stay on the market, says Seeff

If you are a seller in most areas today, you had better price your property to sell if you hope to attract buyer interest. Otherwise, says Steve van Wyk, MD for Seeff Centurion, your property will sit on the market.

Buyers currently have a choice of over 9000 properties on the market in the Centurion area alone. This, he says, equates to 18 months’ worth of properties that must be sold without any new properties coming onto the market.

At the same time, buyer enquiries have almost halved since the start of the year and we are now in the slower period with activity only really expected to pick up from September onwards.

The current recession along with negative sentiment is having an adverse effect on property sales overall, but Seeff says that there are still plenty of opportunities for sellers. We are taking offers daily, but only on those properties that are well-priced and where buyers are now seeing value.

Sellers need to know that they are now in a buyers’ market and if they are not serious about selling, they should rather take their property off the market. The latest FNB Property Barometers point to a progressive decline, especially in the Johannesburg/Pretoria areas insofar as price growth is concerned while stock levels are rising rapidly.

For those who are serious about selling, there will always be opportunity though, says Van Wyk. He lists the important aspects that serious sellers now need to consider:

Price right – this is now the number one consideration for buyers. If you are going to have high price expectations, you are helping other properties sell, it is that simple, he says. Remember, buyers now first start their property search online and can immediately see what is on sale in the area and at what price ranges. If you sit a the top of the high price pile, they will simply overlook your property and move on.

Fix it – with so many properties to choose from, buyers are not going to be interested in a property that appears to be neglected. Get the basics right. This includes a neat garden, clean swimming pool and a clutter-free home that is in a good state of repair, especially insofar as carpets, the kitchen and bathrooms are concerned.


Go sole – if you want to go from ‘for sale’ to ‘sold’, then a sole mandate will give you the edge in the current market, says Van Wyk. Listings by multiple agents are off-putting to buyers and competing agents are not going to give you the attention that a sole agent will, especially since there is now so much competition for buyers.

Sweeten the deal – in this market, you will need to be negotiable, says Van Wyk. If you do need to sell, consider any serious offer, especially if it is a clean deal and the buyer does not have to sell up first. The risk of turning down an offer or waiting for the buyer to first sell up might well balance out any drop in price that you may need to entertain right now.

Experience counts – Lastly, be sure to choose an agency with a track record in the area. Many newcomers to the market are promising high prices to get mandates. All this does, says Van Wyk, is waste the sellers time. Rather, go to market with the right agency and at the right price.

The latest interest rate drop will no doubt encourage more buyers, but Van Wyk points out that sellers need to know that today’s buyers are smart; they have access to the latest news and technology and they know exactly what is going on in the market. To stand out, sellers need to heed smart advice.