Myth Busting

Jawitz Properties takes you behind the scenes and into what really goes on when you sell/buy a property, and what you really should know.

Komm office

Have you ever bought a gourmet takeaway sandwich and been horrified at the price – I mean, how expensive could a slice of roast beef, some pickled beetroot and a few fancy leaves really cost?  Or have you seen your doctor for a quick diagnosis and an illegible script that took all of 15 minutes and cost as much as a good night out on the town? Seriously, sometimes it’s hard not to feel ripped off or like you could’ve done it better yourself, and yes, at times you may even be right. Sometimes it just seems way too easy when you’re the one forking out your hard-earned dosh. But if we were to look at things a little bit deeper, we may just  discover that we are all suffering from PreConceived Ideas –  a common but curable condition!

The concept, the planning, the investment, the overheads, the expertise, the experience, the hours, the blood, sweat and tears that go into making any business a success is sadly underestimated. However, bad experiences, bad service and bad ethics are just some of the causes of this Pre Conceived Ideas syndrome.


And like a lot of industries, the property industry notoriously suffers the from symptoms of this sad condition. Mistrust. Skepticism and Doubt. Hey, we know we’ve been likened to second-hand car salesmen (see what I mean?! all due respect to second-hand car sales men). Some estate agents have earned themselves reputations as vultures, (and believe me, there are a few out there), out for themselves – out for the deal.  But allow me to take you behind the scenes and into what really goes on when you sell/buy a property, and what you really should know.

So here are a just a few things that we’ve heard before. A lot. And if you cringe at even one of these because you’d said or thought  it before, it’s OK. We understand. We’ve been there too!

  • “We don’t mind asking a high price, we can always come down at a later stage”
  • “We want to sell, but we don’t want a For Sale board or show houses”
  • “No thanks, we won’t be signing a Sole Mandate – we don’t want to be tied down”
  • “I won’t accept anything less than R…(insert the figure here that you NEED to make your move!) “
  • “I’ve had to drop my price, so you need to drop your commission”
  • “How can you charge me full commission when you sold my house in 2 days?!”

You see,  the agents out for themselves would generally say “NO PROBLEM” to any of the above – as long as they get your house on their books. In fact, they may also be one to value your home the for highest and offered the lowest commission.  And off you’d trot onto the market, happily unaware of that you have just been successfully treated for your PreConceived Ideas symptoms and well on your way to a little more suffering….no buyers, negative feedback ( or worse, NO feedback at all) and NO SALE.  Before you know it, you are pulling your hair out. Time is running out,your careful plans are going stale and  if you have to clean you house one.more.time  just to have the buyer cancel YOU WILL SCREAM! The only way to put an end to the awful experience is to flog your home to the highest bidder!

But consider this.

You decide to sell. It’s a huge decision and one based on your changing needs, and of course, your finances. You want to make a move so the obvious first step is to call in a few agents to get the general price of your home. You expect a few suits to walk around your home clutching clipboards, ooohing and aahhhing at your hanging plants and new kitchen. Soon, you’ll have six/seven/eight different folders fanned out on your coffee table, promising all sorts of wonderful things and all you have to do is pick the best one. Voila! First step done and dusted. That was EASY!

But then you get a call from one of the Agents asking to pop in “to discuss the marketing process” with you and your spouse.

keep calm

Discuss???? Much to your horror you realise that this agent wants to actually come and talk to you. Face to face. This must mean trouble. The hair on the back of your neck stands up and you get the sense that you are about to bulldozed in some way. It’s ok though ’cause it’s your house and you’re gonna do things your way. You’re not about to let someone waltz  into your home and take over only to find yourself  batting away every low offer made by buyers looking for a bargain – no way jose!!! What you aren’t prepared for though, is that this agent doesn’t look very vulture-like and in fact, even seems a bit familiar (its takes you a while to realise that you’ve seen this face over the years peering out from newspapers and property ads everywhere).  After some chit-chat, the agent gets down to business and talks about the value of your home. Ahhhh, here goes, you’re ready for this one. You’re steadfast about your price because you have done all the necessary calculations of what it’s going to cost to sell, buy, move and still have enough to go on that family holiday you’ve all dreamed about.

But the agent tells you…. by pricing correctly, you are in control of the marketing of your home –  you stand the best chance of selling quickly and at the highest price .

Huh? Quickly?

Go on…

Well, by pricing your home in line with the current market you ensure that all the  serious buyers out there will be attracted to your home. After all, serious buyers have been scouring the market looking, comparing and making sure that they are seeing everything that suits their needs and is in their price range. In fact, serious buyers become market value experts and can spot an overpriced home in an instant. Serious buyers have their finances in order, ready to put pen to paper – that’s what makes them serious – and when they find a well priced home that suits them, the claws come out – NEW BLOOD! They are suddenly terrified that the next serious buyer is going to beat them in the race to sign FOR FULL ASKING PRICE on the dotted line. The magic moment!

Hmmmmm, you say. That sounds great BUT if that was the case Mr Agent, wouldn’t that mean that we have undervalued our home? You start feeling slightly smug again – HA, he probably hasn’t thought of that.

Ok, so let’s say that you price your home higher than the current market dictates. The serious buyers who have been looking in this  higher price range will now start comparing your to the homes that in a similar range. They are expecting more and they’ve seen better. The claws go back in and the whisker stroking takes over. “Hmmm, they are asking a lot for this house – they must be hoping to negotiate…” And so its starts. By the time a serious buyer is willing to “try their luck”, you’ve had so many feet through the door with not a sniff of an offer, all just browsing, passing through, that you are so despondent and so happy with the cheeky offer that you end up accepting a lot less than your home  was actually worth. The magic moment has passed…

And what about your commission then? If you say that the we could sell quickly, at the highest price then where is your effort?

Now you see a little I-thought-you’d-never-ask glint in the Agent’s eye like this is what they came to tell you.

Well now, that’s where my part actually comes in…..They go on to tell you that in order to achieve a sale for the highest price, the shortest time possible and with the least amount of hassle, they will follow a carefully thought out plan of action. Firstly, they will provide you with a comprehensive market-related valuation to make sure that you are correctly priced in order attract the widest possible pool of suitable buyers for your home – even if those buyers come through other agencies. This will be done by formulating a systematic marketing campaign using their agency’s up-to-the-minute infrastructure of extensive print & web advertising, intense networking to reach all those potential buyers. The sole mandate is merely the marketing agreement – the handshake and the promise.

Viewings will be scheduled to suit your needs so as not to interfere with the smooth running of your life! When it comes to the offer, their negotiation skills, knowledge and expertise on property law and contracts will make sure that the buyer is properly informed about all the costs involved / the deposit and when to pay  / occupation dates / the rest of the process, and therefore confident about committing to the transaction.  You too, will be kept fully informed about all the legal requirements, the inspection certificates, signing of the transfer documents with the attorney, moving dates etc. They will always be looking ahead to eliminate any potential delays and issues that may arise. The commission – or fee – is based not on the quality of the offer presented but on all the factors it takes to produce a willing, able and committed buyer and to facilitate the smooth sale of your home from start to……..sipping the champagne!

So you see, next time you think of selling your home, be on the lookout for an agent with a little I-though-you’d-never-ask glint in their eyes. You may just find yourself cured!

Buying, Selling, Renting? Contact Jawitz Properties South Peninsula


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