Asking price calculations become ‘hyper-local’

Asking price calculations become ‘hyper-local’

Once you have taken the big decision to sell your home, the next most critical move is to decide the asking price.

And that demands serious thought and attention, says Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet national estate agency group, because, notwithstanding the recent interest rate increases, incorrect pricing remains the biggest reason for homes remaining unsold.

“The market has changed for good,” he says. “Buyers today are much more knowledgeable about the property market – and they’re aware of the power that home loan pre-qualification gives them. In addition, they are much less location-bound due to the increase in remote working and schooling.

“Consequently, it is no longer sufficient to try and gauge the effect of rising or falling interest rates on the market and demand as a whole, or to count on the desirability of a particular area to attract buyers.”

Instead, he says, home sellers need the help of experienced property professionals with the latest local information at their fingertips to “fine-tune” their pricing to take account of the features of their individual properties as well as the performance of their specific markets.

“In addition, they need to do everything possible to improve the appeal of the property prior to putting it on the market, again with the assistance and advice of a seasoned agent.

“We all know that the condition in which a home has been maintained directly affects marketability and pricing, and most don’t require a major overhaul – which would probably not be cost effective anyway. However, it definitely does pay to attend to things like the peeling paint on a garage door, a dirty carpet and a dripping tap.”

Kotzé agrees that it is difficult to do much about location, “but if the house is on a busy street, a wall or hedge can help to block out noise and unwanted views, and the asking price may still need to be adjusted.

“Above all, though, sellers need to be realistic – and prepared to work with their agents to make changes according to the initial responses from potential buyers – bearing in mind that the longer a For Sale sign is up, the more suspicious buyers become that there is something wrong with the property and the more difficult it becomes to sell at any price.”

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