Preparing Yourself

Are you up to facing strangers opening your cupboard doors and peering into your< cupboard drawers? Putting your property on the market can be a traumatic experience. As a potential seller it is imperative that you must be absolutely sure that you in actual fact do want to sell. Do not put your property on the market in order to “test” the market or to find out what price your property should fetch. There are other far better ways of establishing this that are far less stressful!

When you are absolutely certain that you want or need to sell, it is essential that you prepare yourself and all the occupants of your home to know what they can expect and what is expected of them in order to facilitate the process. A well-trained and experienced REDZetc agent that is knowledgeable about the area in which you live will assist you in preparing to sell and once sold, the agent will guide you in terms of your obligations to ensure a speedy and carefree transfer. For example you, as the seller, are responsible to provide compliance certificates (which differ in the differ provinces) to the buyer in respect of electricity, electrical fencing, plumbing, gas, beetles. Your local agent will inform you in terms of which certificates are required in which area.

The seller also needs to sing a declaration form as provided by your REDZetc agent in which you need to provide the necessary information in respect of any defects that you are aware of as well as certain other information as required by legislation that the agent must disclose to potential purchasers in order to prevent unnecessary disputes and ensure a smooth sale.

Preparing your home

Before potential buyers view your home, it is essential that you look at it through a buyers eyes.

Here are a few tips on how to make your property more saleable...

  • Make the entrance attractive
  • Get rid of clutter
  • Clean the windows
  • Walls need to be neat and clear of marks, peeling wallpaper and plaster cracks
  • No leaking or dripping taps
  • Lighting needs special attention. Make sure that all light bulbs work. Remember to switch on feature lights when potential buyers come to view the property.
  • Cupboards and drawers must be neat.
  • Kitchens are selling points. Kitchens often sell houses. Go for a revamp, not necessarily a replacement. New handles on cupboard doors can work wonders. Work surfaces should be clean and clear of clutter.
  • Ditto bathrooms. Keep them clean and minimal. Fresh fluffy towels and air fresheners can do wonders.
  • Pets and children should be an asset
  • Smells in the home should always be pleasant!

Pricing Your Property Correctly

Our estate agents are all well trained in terms of estimating the value of a property. Amongst other factors, they take into consideration:

  • that market conditions can change rapidly due to a myriad of external factors;
  • that the property market is a very local market and that conditions in one area do not always influence prices in another; and
  • that market forces of supply and demand regulate the price of property

You can expect your REDZetc agent to provide you with the following:

  • A Comparitive Market Analysis wherin they have established the identity of the registered property owner as well as a description of the property ito its title deed and street address. Any limited rights over property (servitudes, mortgages, rental and restrictive conditions of title) that may influence value will beconsidered as well as the zoning of the property. There will also be a description of the improvements and inclusions/exclusions.
  • The market activity and local trends will be researched and reported to the seller
  • There will be an estimation of your property’s potential marketing price range
  • Should your property also be a suitable purchase for an investor, we will also provide you with an estimation of value based on a capitalization of income calculation in terms of market expectations regarding return on investment (ROI)

Here are some ‘home’ truths about property pricing that sellers may want to take cognisance of:

  • The price that you paid for your property, the amount of money you have spent on it, the average capital growth on properties and the municipal valuation are not necessarily particularly relevant to the present value of your home.
  • Overpricing your property when it initially goes onto the market will probably be the main reason that it does not sell as soon as you have anticipated.
  • The length of time that a property is on the market is bound to affect the price. If it was overpriced when it came onto the market, it will most probably sell at below true market value because the price has been reduced by an over-exposure to the market.
  • The length of time on the market will not increase the price of the property, i.e. you will not necessarily receive a higher offer if you wait longer. Take the time value of money into account
  • The value of a home is determined by what a willing, able and informed buyer will pay a willing seller on a specific date.
  • Pricing your home correctly (fair market value) is the way to ensure a quick sale at the highest possible price.

Taxes Payable on the Disposal of Your Property

  • Income Tax

If a property is purchased with the intention of selling it in order to make a profit (i.e. speculation), the profit thus generated is deemed revenue. Revenue gains are subject to taxation at the full marginal tax rate of the taxpayer.

  • Capital Gains Tax

The sale of a home that was purchased with the intention of keeping it to live in will result in a capital profit, which is subject to Capital Gains Tax. However, CGT is not payable on the first R2million of capital gain on the sale of your primary residence. Capital Gains tax is also payable on the sale of your second home and investment properties (those that generate a regular income stream or are held for capital growth) or holiday home. The gain is calculated from 1 October 2001. A natural person or Special Trust pays income tax at his/her/its marginal tax rate by including 40% of the capital gain calculated from 1 October 2001. A company, CC or Trust pays income tax by including 80% of the capital gain as calculated from 1 October 2001.

Costs for the Seller

  • In the event that the Seller is a VAT vendor, and is selling the property in the furtherance of his enterprise, the amount of VAT calculated at 15% is included inthe selling price, is payable to SARS.
  • All outstanding amounts on a mortgage bond are payable to the lending institution, as well as any applicable penalties and bond cancellation fees.
  • Any municipal rates, taxes and charges due, plus an advance payment for 120 days are payable.
  • In the event of a sectional title unit or property in a homeowners’ estate being sold, all outstanding levies need to be paid up to ensure a levy clearance certificate is issued by the Body Corporate or HOA.
  • Compliance certificates have to be issued and provided to the conveyancer in terms of electricity, beetle, plumbing, gas and electrical fencing.
  • Estate agent’s commission is normally payable by the seller on date of transfer and is a vatable transaction.

Commitments after the Sale

Once the Offer to Purchase has been accepted by the Seller and all the conditions in the Agreement of Sale have been met, the Seller must keep the following in mind:

  • Ensure that the original title deed of the sold property is available to hand to the Conveyancer and if the property is bonded, the bond account number must be made available
  • Obtain the required compliance certificates
  • Schedule a final electrical reading as well as a water consumption reading for the day that you leave the property
  • Arrange with your service providers to transfer your telephone, security, gardening etc to your forwarding address
  • Provide your new contact details to all the relevant parties
  • Keep payments of home insurance, mortgage bond, levies, rates, taxes and charges up to date until date of transfer
  • Be available to sign transfer documents when called upon to do so by your conveyancer

The Sales Plan

A clear and concise strategic sales plan is an absolute necessity for the serious seller of real estate. Our agents at REDZetc are superbly trained to offer you just such an exclusive plan. They can assist you in focusing on where the market is going in your area, as the future is where the sale of your property lies.

The REDZetc Exclusive Sales Mandate is a written instruction issued by the owner of a property to REDZetc to market the subject property on an exclusive basis in terms of the REDZetc sales plan. This is a unique value proposition that your nearest REDZetc estate agent will only be too willing to discuss with you at your leisure.

The marketing strategy will be put together intelligently in order to attract the most suitable buyers. Remember that every house for sale has only one buyer and it is our job to find him/her!.