Information on selling a property - DonaVans



Do your sums….Sellers are responsible for Capital Gains Tax  and Agent’s  commission (Donavans charge 5% plus VAT of 15% of the gross purchase price), outstanding bond etc or any money you owe on the property.  Donavans will be able to help you in greater details on your individual anticipated expenses.



The dangers of overpricing


Time could be money when pricing your home:-


Trying to attach a market value to a home is very difficult.  It is a complex equation of factors including showing quality, time frame for sale, location, buyer needs, etc.  Take a moment now to think carefully about your asking price.  The best way to establish a suitable asking price is by “The comparative method” – we research into comparative houses that have recently been sold in comparative areas, together with comparisons of what currently is being asked for in the general property market.  (It is a mistake to equate your home with similar homes in more exclusive areas – location is a huge consideration of value.)


We want to get the highest price possible for you but still sell the home when you need it sold. 


Also, we have found from many years of experience that the first offer may be the best offer and the only offer that you will get in the forseeable future.    We have experienced many instances where the offer was received within a week of marketing the property and the Sellers refused the offer thinking they might get a better price.  Sellers may then wait to sell the property for the same or lower amount a few months down the line! 


Buyers and Sellers have very different viewpoints on the value of a property - possibly a Seller has a less realistic idea compared to the Purchaser who normally has been looking at comparable properties.  In fact many Purchasers may see a great number of houses before making an educated decision.


Don’t think that when a property price is reduced that you “have come down in value”.  Probably the property was never worth the higher price anyway.


Consider that some agencies may be far too “optimistic” about the value of your house in order to initially obtain your confidence and business.  This may result in a loss of revenue to you when your house is still not sold for a long time and is now “shop-soiled”. 



To summarise:  the dangers of overpricing are:-


  • Loss of interest of monies invested due to time taken to sell property.
  • Helps sell competitor’s houses – purchasers may find a comparable house for less.
  • Discourages qualified buyers – purchasers in the correct price bracket will not come to see your house because they think it is out of the price range.
  • Eliminates offers – the purchasers who do come to look are expecting something better for the price you are asking.
  • Mortgage loan rejection – Valuation unlikely to be passed at the required level.


Reduces advertising return

  • Discourages showing by agents – agents are only human and would rather concentrate on properties which are more sellable
  • Extends “shelf life” - appears shop soiled and only then attracts bargain hunters.  Sellers do get tired and sometimes desperate.


Marketing your property

It is important to discuss the marketing of a property with your Agent:- i.e.

  • Convenient times to you that the agent may show a property.
  • Show Days
  • Exposure on our Web-site
  • For Sale signs (may only be put up with your permission.)


It is Donavans’ policy to never allow unaccompanied viewings (unless there are exceptional circumstances).   Therefore, if you have a buyer arriving at the gate without the Agent, please do not let them into the property and advise that “the Agent does not allow unaccompanied viewings” and give them our phone numbers.


It is important to make Purchasers feel comfortable and relaxed when viewing a house in order to help you achieve the best possible price.  Purchasers often feel inhibited and unable to express their true opinions on the property when the Seller is close on the Agent’s heel!  We also request that when we show your property, you lock-up over-friendly and  hostile dogs alike, ensure your home is neat and tidy and leave the cooking of lunches and dinner until after the prospective purchasers have left.  (Please also see our article on Preparing a Property for Sale)  


Defects in your property

It is important to disclose to your Agent anything that is latently wrong with the property i.e. defects that may not be obvious/hidden.  Eg. Cracks that have been plastered and painted over.  Even though we put a clause in our Agreements that state that the property is sold “voetstoets” or “as it stands” – this does not hold water in the Law of Zimbabwe.  The latest Contractual Penalties Act literally abolishes “voetstoets”.  Therefore, should structural or other hidden defects become obvious even years after you have sold the property, the purchaser may have legal recourse on you unless such defect was initially disclosed and accepted.


Sole Agencies

Advantages of a sole agency to you!


More money for you

Sometimes there is more than one buyer interested in making an offer on your property.  And often it takes the agent time to get the offer from the buyer.  As a sole agent, we do not feel the pressure to present the first offer as the best or only offer to you - which could mean you might accept less than you have to.

Purchasers cannot play one agent off against another….

Purchasers are smart!  They recognize the same house in the newspapers and have been known to phone different agents and advise that the rival agent is selling for less.  This obviously will have a detrimental effect on the marketing of a property. 


Less time, effort and risk to you!

You only have to convey your requirements and preferences and viewing arrangements with one agent.  You will also be assured that you will not end up with an unsuitable or unsafe offer, which not only wastes your time but could cost you money.  An agent under pressure to present an offer and beat the other agents might not have the time to check an offer or a buyer, which means your time is wasted, the offer could fall through and valuable marketing time is wasted, which could mean less money to you.


Peace of mind

Your sole agent is accountable to you for a powerful marketing plan, high quality advertising and monitored and controlled activity of your property.  Quality advertising is costly, and more money can be spent on quality advertising to attract the highest number of buyers to your property.  One agent also means only one responsible person has access to your property, giving you more privacy and security.  Management also monitor and track the performance of sole mandates.


Exclusivity & avoidance of over-exposure….

In the mind of the buyer, having a sole agent makes your home more exclusive.  The agent will not allow your property to become shop-soiled or over-exposed or even desparate to be sold. One agent also helps to ensure only qualified and screened prospective buyers are introduced to your property.


Business is Business

Sole agents will automatically spend the most time, effort, and advertising, on a sale that we are most likely to earn commission from.


Finally, for your own safety, whichever Agent/ Agents you choose, please ensure that they are registered with the Estate Agent’s Council (Suite 17, Mon Repos, Newlands Shopping Centre, Highlands, ph:  776748/ 746356.)




If you are wanting to buy another property with the proceeds of sale of this property – please inform the agent.


It is the Seller’s right to nominate the Legal Practitioner to attend to registration of transfer.  We can also recommend Legal Practitioners that are extremely competent if you wish.


Finally, a friendly warning – with all the above information you may be tempted to sell the property on your own because it looks so easy.  It is not!  There are many hidden dangers and difficulties that you are not aware of.  We like to believe that we truly earn our commission by providing good service, successfully navigating you around possible deep waters, by reducing your stress levels and achieving the best possible sale price for you! 


By Donavans Property Consultants

Vanessa Vos


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