Do your homework before selling property privately

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Windhoek

Your property should be one of your biggest assets, and some people may want to explore the route of selling their home privately, as opposed to using an estate agent. But, selling a home isn’t a simple process and you need to make sure that you do your homework thoroughly.

“When it comes to selling your home, the most common and often also the best course would be to assign an estate agent,” says Thomas Slabbert, Head of Home Loans at FNB Namibia. “It is possible to sell your home privately, but you need to be very careful to ensure that you don’t lose money in the long run.”

“Estate agents have knowledge of the local market, a database full of potential buyers, marketing expertise and power. They also have the time to manage and conduct viewings – which you do not have to attend – especially if you are working full time. Lastly, estate agents manage the sales process and all the tedious administrative work that goes with it and are also in a position to negotiate with buyers,” Slabbert added.

If you, however, wish to do it yourselves, Slabbert provides a list of a few issues to keep in mind when selling your own property:

Setting the correct price

You will need to do research into the correct pricing of your home before going to market. “There are many free property reports to help you set the right price,” says Slabbert. “If you set the price too high you may end up with a situation where your property doesn’t sell, and too low will mean that you lose out.”

Marketing your property

When marketing your property you will need to assign a good photographer and write up a suitable description. Once you have both of these you will need to find an appropriate place to market your property. “You can market you property on private selling websites, or you can even use your local classifieds,” suggested Slabbert.

“But you are at a disadvantage in this instance, as agents have databases of people looking in various ranges for different properties.” You must be prepared to show buyers around the property, which can happen any time of day of the week, sometimes also late in the evening. So you need to be flexible.

Selling the property

Once you have met prospective buyers and they are looking to make an offer, there are some legal and contractual requirements that you need to be aware of to protect yourself and the buyer.

“Remember you aren’t just negotiating price, but also the terms and conditions of the sale which can be tricky,” Slabbert said. At this stage, you can contract a conveyancing attorney, who can help you through this process. Make sure that the conveyancing attorney has a good reputation and remember they are working for both yourself and the buyer.

Before you sign

There are a few essentials to take note of before you sign any type of offer. You, as the seller need to make the buyer aware of any defects, and these need to go into writing. This is to protect both parties. “You also need to know where the money will be coming from,” said Slabbert.

“This includes funds coming from overseas, as well as what are the tax ramifications? It is also important to check whether a buyer is getting a bond or do they need to sell another property.”

When you sign

There are legal documents available on related websites; however your conveyancing attorney can help you draw up the documents. “You will need to be familiar with all the terms and conditions of the document, these include latent and patent defects, occupational rent and recourse for breach of contract.”

The document will also need to outline the different timelines, especially if it is subject to sale of the buyer’s property. The conveyancing attorney will guide you on other aspects, such as electrical clearance, municipal notice and any other requirements.

“Selling your own home can work, but you will need to do your homework and be patient. If you are unsure, it is better to go with an estate agent who has industry knowledge and a sales network,” Slabbert advised.

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