How to Sell Your House Privately in South Africa

Pay No Commission if selling Privately

Pay No Commission only a low fixed fee if selling from one of our recommended local Estate Agents

Owning a home is usually the biggest investments most people ever make. When it’s time to sell your property, the usual practice is to appoint an estate agent to sell the property.

Once the sale is completed, in most instances the estate agents will earn about 7% of the sale price as their commission, which amounts to a significant portion of your profit and equity being lost to the estate agents.

So, what does an Estate Agent do to earn their high fees?

An estate agent essentially does four main things to earn their commission:

  1. Lists your house with the Multiple Property Portals such as Property24, Private Property.
  2. Markets your house via social media, their website and sometimes though fliers.
  3. Facilitates the showings of your house and possibly hosts open house events to other agents (so that they can receive a share in commission).
  4. Acts as an intermediary when making offer to purchases and finalising the deed of sale.

Based on the above, here are the steps to follow if you decide to not use an agent to sell your home:

How to Be Your Own Real Estate Agent Selling Your Home and save

  1. You must price Your Home to Sell

Before you list the property on the various Property Portals, or anywhere else, make sure that you have priced the property correctly and competitively. Use the Internet and other tools to get an idea of selling prices for comparable properties in your suburb, and then price your house accordingly.

It’s very easy to get stuck at this point, especially if you have lived in your home for some time, you may want to overprice the home. Do not fall into that trap. Remember, the goal of this process is to sell your home, so make sure the asking price is realistic. You have the huge advantage that your property will be more affordable to prospective buyers because you are not having to pay out any commission.

  1. List your property on the major Property Portals like Property24 and Private Property           

These sites list the bulk of the properties for sale in South Africa. Most Estate Agencies list the properties they are mandated to sell on either one of these portals as well as their own agency website. Although it is recommended to list on these portals, the down side is that the properties tend to get ‘lost’ amongst the literally hundreds of listings per suburb. Since No Agent has significantly less properties per suburb, your property will be easier to find and gain more exposure. As No Agent grains traction as a brand with our unique value proposition we believe properties listed on No Agent will be as visible as properties on the larger portals, particularly by the savvy consumer that is aware of the benefits of buying direct or from a lower cost online agent. No Agent will continue to list the ‘Silver’ and ‘Gold’ package listings on Property24, Private Property, iol property and 22 other leading property portals.

  1. Market Your Property

In addition to listing the home on No Agent and all the major Property Portals, advertise by putting up “for sale” signs, creating brochures, putting ads on Gumtree, Facebook. Most of these are free services however the real cost is the amount of time and energy you will need to put into selling your home.

  1. Hold an Show House or an Open House

You can also hold a Show House or an Open House to advertise the sale of your home. Advertise for the open house by posting signs in your suburb. Have some light refreshments available and set out brochures about the home that visitors can take with them as they leave. Please be wise with regards to security and we strongly suggest only allowing pre-vetted people into the property.

  1. Know Your Property’s Selling Points

When writing the ad copy for your listings and brochures, you need to include the most basic information about the property which includes the price, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, size of the erf and the house itself, location and surrounding amenities, and of course the details that make the house special to potential buyers.

To get some ideas of what to include in your description you can have a look at other listings on estate agents. You may notice that features like granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and oversized windows sometimes entice buyers. You will then need to determine what’s special about your home and then highlight these items in your marketing efforts.

  1. Prepare to Show Your House

You will need to prepare your house for showings. Most important will be to deep-clean the house, which must include all counters and the appliances, steam cleaning the carpets and stashing your ‘messy things’ in a cupboard completely out of sight. The result should be a home that is clean and stripped bare of most personal items.

  1. Show Your House

If you are at home during the anticipated day, you can show the house yourself. Another option is to find a freelance estate agent who will perform this function for a fee without asking you for a commission on the sale price of the house. We recommend using the service of  https://endorsed.africa/ if this option appeals to you. After an agent shows your house, be sure to follow up with anyone that expressed an interest.

  1. Perform Your Own Negotiations

No Agent include an ‘Offer to Purchase’ document with all our listing packages. It is a reasonably straightforward document and most people should be able to complete the document.

If you don’t feel comfortable you can find an estate agent from https://endorsed.africa/ that will perform this function with you for a flat fee. Alternatively, if you subscribe to No Agent’s Gold Package this can be done on your behalf remotely. The No Agent support team will complete the documentation and send it via email or any other electronic medium that is convenient.

Estate Agents like to finalise sales quickly, so they can get their commission, even if you don’t receive the price you want for your home. They could even inadvertently relay your negotiating position to the buyer. If you are a distressed seller, that is the last thing you would ever want an enthusiastic buyer to learn. By being in control of the negotiating will ensure that you do not give away any possible indications of your financial strengths or weaknesses.

  1. Hand over to our recommended Attorneys to finalise

We have been in business since 2004 and have an extensive knowledge and relationships with literally hundreds of firms of attorneys. We continually engage with the attorneys to stay on top of who is offering the best service and a competitive pricing structure.

Once the ‘Offer to purchase’ is completed and signed by both parties, the deal is handed over to an attorney. The attorney is representing both you (in terms of the transfer) and sometimes the same attorney is used to represent the bank (for the bond finance). The cost for the transfer is for the buyers account and the bond registration fees are either included in the financed amount or will need to be paid by the buyer. So essentially the Attorneys services are free to the seller.

Our Final Word

Selling a home or property is not for everyone. A lot of you will not have the time or the patience to go through the entire process. And for others, if the commission fee is low enough, the potential savings to be made by selling privately may not be worth the time and effort necessary to sell the house without an estate agent. In either instance, if you are planning to sell your property, at least consider the enormous savings you could make by selling the property on your own. If you know just a little about property, and you make the effort, you can save a huge amount of money by selling your own property.

If you still don’t want to go to the trouble of selling your property privately, No Agent has a network of local Estate Agents that will offer you the lowest commission structure available, based upon your level of contribution. We realise that one size does not fit all, so we have in conjunction with the Estate Agencies that we recommend and forward on sellers’ info (with the sellers full agreement) come up with a variety of mandate options. The best part, apart from the lowest commission available in South Africa, is that you do not need to sign a sole mandate. Our Estate Agent network are so confident that they don’t mind if you continue trying to sell on your own, or even if you appoint 10 other agents. What have you got to lose?