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Running a Show House When Selling Your Property Privately in South Africa

Articles about home loans / property in South Africa > Running a Show House When Selling Your Property Privately in South Africa

While Private Sale Private Property are first to advocate the use of the Internet in marketing a property where you can currently list your South African property free of charge, this should only be part of the overall strategy. A key element to the sale of your property is the running of a show house.

A show house is effective because of the following reasons:

• Most serious buyers look at a large variety of properties in the area/suburb they want to purchase in. The most cost and time effective medium of doing this is via show houses.
• You are inconvenienced much less. You get a lot of people coming through in one afternoon instead of in fits and starts over the whole week. This also means that you only have to tidy up once a week.
• You can “piggy back” off the advertising done by the larger estate agencies. The prospective buyers will be drawn into the area, and they will also come to your show house if your “on show” boards are prominently displayed.
• Our research has shown that more than 70% of visitors to show houses are a result of being drawn to the area/suburb, and not from a newspaper advert. We therefore believe that it is not necessary in most cases to advertise in your relevant property publication.

As mentioned earlier, the strategic placement of directional on show boards is a really important advertising tool. Please take note of the following:

• In most Municipal areas in South Africa, the boards are only allowed to be erected on Saturday and need to be taken down on Sunday evening. Under no circumstances may the boards be left up for any period of time.
• For maximum exposure, we strongly suggest that you place “directional on show” boards at all major/busy roads and intersections in your area. Additional “directional on show” boards should then “guide/point” from these points to your property. Wherever a change in direction is needed, place a “directional on show” board as close as possible to this intersection.
• If an estate agency is running a show house in close proximity, place a “directional on show” board as close to their board if at all possible.
• Place the “on show” board in front of your property
• The “private sale” board should remain in front of your property in as visible position as possible until your property is sold.

Erecting of boards:

• We suggest that wherever there is a lamppost/pole, you attach the board to the lamppost/pole using the inner eyelids. The best option is to use a thin rope.
• In the event of no suitable lamppost/pole, you need to mount the boards on the stakes. It is advisable to take a hammer or mallet for inserting the stakes. You need to try and find as soft ground as possible to insert the stakes into. It is advisable to insert the stakes in the ground before attaching the boards to the stakes. When inserting the stakes, be careful to place the stakes as close as possible to 60cm apart. Once both stakes are secure, you can attach the boards to the outer eyelids with cable ties.
• When taking the boards down, it is recommended that you cut the cable ties and separate the boards to the stakes. If you try and pull them out together, the boards could possibly get damaged.

Preparing the show house:

• The most important aspect is to make sure that your property is neat and tidy. This will encompass both the inside and garden (if applicable).
• If there are any unsightly areas (such as a wall that needs a coat of paint) that can re rectified easily and inexpensively, we recommend that you do this. Please however do not do this on the morning (or possibly the day before) if there will be a smell that will linger on until the show house. While buyers expect sellers to have tidied up, they might become suspicious if there are strong paint or other smells.
• When preparing the houses, concentrate most of your efforts on the area that the prospective buyer will first encounter. It is a proven point that the first impression is the most important.
• While we suggest touching up minor snags, we certainly don’t endorse doing touch ups on major problems such as rising damp etc.

The actual show house day:

• We believe that the advantages of the owner running their own show house far exceed the negatives. The chances are that you know your own house far better than any outsider. You will be able to answer any questions (relating to the house) that the prospective buyer might ask you.
• We believe that you should conduct the show house in as informal basis as possible. We don’t recommend “power dressing”, but rather something smart casual. The idea is to be as relaxed as possible, with the emphasis on being friendly.
• Make sure that all brochures are visible and where possible take down any visitors contact details.
• It is very important that all valuables are safely stored out of easy reach. Be very aware of suspicious looking people. Unfortunately some criminals have been known to target show houses.
• Always be entirely honest with all prospective buyers.
When you get an interested buyer
• Decide at the beginning exactly what price you are prepared to accept. Never disclose this price to anyone.
• If you get an offer below this price, we recommend that you never counter offer. By counter offering you are revealing what price you are prepared to accept.
• Once you have agreed on a price, the offer to purchase/deed of sale document needs to be completed.
• If the buyer requires a bond refer him/her to Private Sale's South African home loan services which offers a substantial saving to them.


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