The positive sentiment after the election of President Cyril Ramaphosa – the so-called Ramaphoria – seems to be waning and not to have had the desired and anticipated effect on the economy and property market, according to Stuart Manning, CEO for the Seeff Property Group.
Analysts and the banks have recently downgraded their outlook for the year ahead with the property market expected to remain flat and possibly weaken further as the year progresses.
Amidst the slowdown in demand and prices, sellers may well be asking whether they should sell now, or rather wait it out.
Manning says there is no accurate way to predict the market. The economic challenges seem deeper than anticipated and investor confidence and concerns around land expropriation are impacting on the economic and property market recovery.
With a national election looming next year, political expediency also seems to dominate the political and economic discourse right now, he says.
For sellers of property, there are challenges. Demand and prices are flat while stock levels are rising. At the same time, while the banks are granting more home loans and there is a desire to buy, many buyers are taking a “wait and watch” approach.
No need to wait
In Manning’s view, there is, however, no need to wait.
“The market is in a much better position than it was after 2007/2008. Economies and markets always go through up and down cycles at irregular intervals and now is as good a time to sell as any,” he explains.
“Thousands of property transactions are being concluded on a monthly basis country wide, and finding a buyer in this market also means that you are likely to get a serious offer from someone who is serious about buying your property.”
If, however, your aim is to make a hefty profit, then now is not the time. If you are serious about selling, then selling now also means that you can take advantage of the good buying conditions.
“There is plenty of stock and many motivated sellers,” he says. “Remember, there is opportunity in every market, you just need to know where and what to look for.”
Even in downmarket conditions, you can still make a quick sale and achieve a good price.
Seeff Atlantic Seaboard agent Debbie Koping, for example, sold a Green Point home for R7m within four days of listing it for R7.25m and a home in Ocean View Drive, Sea Point, for R9.5m within a day of listing it for R9.85m.
Manning offers 5 tips for sellers:
- Choose an estate agent who knows your area;
- Make sure your price is in the right range as the mid-market range is always active;
- Ensure your property is in tip-top selling shape. With more to choose from, buyers will choose the property which offers the best condition at the best price;
- Sell before the summer rush. Many buyers want to spend the summer in their new home, which means they would want to get their offers to purchase accepted over winter so that they can spend December in their new home;
- Consider all offers. Cash always trumps a subject-to-offer and provides a more secure sale.
“If you are looking to test the market, then now is not the right time. Be mindful of turning down just any offer, it may be the only one you get for a while,” says Manning.