AnalysisResidential News

Selling property is risky business

Property is a significant financial asset and the sale thereof should not be taken lightly. Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group says that real estate transactions are now complex with well over 20 pieces of legislation governing various aspects, and the list continues to grow daily.

It is becoming ever-more onerous for property owners, sellers and landlords. The new Property Practitioners Act for example, is the latest, and while it is a much needed update of the old Estate Agency Affairs Act, further enhancing the professionalisation of estate agents, it also adds to the burden for property sellers with requirements relating to defects for example and establishes an Ombud, giving unhappy buyers an easy redress without having to go to court.

Seeff notes further that errors and omissions when selling property can be costly in time and money. So, mitigating the risks associated with selling your biggest financial asset, is just one of the many benefits of using an experienced local estate agent. Here’s why:

Knowledge risks – gone are the days of just anyone selling a property. Complex financial, risk management and consumer protection laws have added several layers of risk for sellers. Buyers and consumers now have information about the market and legal environment at their fingertips, but since sellers are not in the business of real estate sales, they will not always be aware of all the market, legislative and procedural aspects, but your local agent will be.

Property risks – as noted, new legislation is making it mandatory to disclose all defects to potential buyers, placing a huge new responsibility on sellers (and agents). With such risks around the condition of the property and possible defects, a skilled agent is best placed to advise on essential maintenance and other aspects which need attention before putting the house on the market.

Pricing risks – while pricing too low runs the risk of underselling and not maximising your profit, the biggest risk, is actually pricing too high. An overpriced property will mean that it sits on the market for longer than what it needs to. An experienced local agent will provide you with an informed view of how your property should be priced and marketed to achieve the best results.

Mandate risks – not all sellers know that a mandate to sell a property must meet certain minimum requirements that it’s a legal contract with contractual and financial risks. Open mandates or not understanding the terms of a mandate could risk double commission and put a deal at risk. A sole mandate with an experienced local agent with a proven track record, is always the best option to mitigate these risks.

Buyer risks – a buyer will always want to offer as low as possible while a seller wants an offer as high as possible. These competing interests require the intervention of a skilled agent to negotiate the best possible outcome for both parties. Additionally, the agent will also verify the buyer and the offer to ensure it is legitimate and not a waste of time.

Contractual risks – in such a legislatively complex environment, you should choose to work with an agent who provides the best advice, documentation and procedures which protect your interests, from the Mandate and Offer to Purchase right through to the transfer process. As one of the top real estate brands, Seeff offers a state-of-the-art operational platform and administrative backing to all sellers to ensure an efficient sales process.