Are you selling a house in Zimbabwe? Then one of the first things you should know, that some estate agents in Zimbabwe don’t is that selling anything, especially an expensive investment like a house or a piece of property is primarily a marketing job. Now of course we teach a lot about marketing here, but I haven’t focused much on real estate or property sales, but just the other day I had a desperate email from a certain Mr X. He wrote;
“Max, I have hired an estate agent to sell my house in Greendale. Two months later, I’ve only received two offers, both of which are very disappointing and significantly less than I bought the house for. Do you have any advice on what I can do to speed up the process, as well as get better offers? I’ve given the agent two more weeks, then I will have to fire them and get someone else to sell for me.”
Now of course there are legalities involved in selling a property in Zimbabwe (as is the case world-wide) but most of those are relatively easy to handle for any estate agent who knows anything. The difficult part is often the marketing job of attracting qualified leads and converting on into a buyer in a reasonable time frame and for a great price.
Here are a few basics that can save you a lot of time and money when selling your house in Zimbabwe
- Understand that the first impression you house makes is absolutely critical to the sale. Most old homes are run down and have paint peeling off the gate, a broken wall, poorly managed grass and things like that. It would shock many homeowners to find out just how much these easy to fix things can cost you in a negotiation scenario with a buyer. Remember, every smart buyer is looking for every bargaining chip he can find to bring down the selling price of your property, don’t give them easy ammunition. See this checklist for a comprehensive to do list on preparing your house for sale.
- Find out specifically what marketing approach your estate agent will use to sell your property and if required, push them to do more. You’d be surprised just how little many estate agents do to find you the best buyer. An email or two and a cheap classifieds ad in the paper. Sometimes they’ll also throw your property on their website where you are literally one of hundreds of properties (good luck standing out there). In many cases they can be more aggressive about making your property more visible and attractive in the market.
- Find out what happens if you’re able to sell the property yourself. Because some estate agents in Zimbabwe aren’t very good at all in marketing properties, you may have as good a chance as they at selling your property. In some cases, even if you do, they can (legally) demand a percentage of the sale because of the kind of contract you’ve entered with them. Only give exclusive rights to sell your property to an estate agent you absolutely trust can do the job, and even then, make sure that it’s based on a specific time frame after which, you can be released from the contract if they’ve failed to deliver.
- Prepare in advance to answer questions your buyers may have. In even cases where the real estate agent is doing the selling, the buyer may want to speak to you directly and ask you a few things. Being prepared means you can present your case decently enough not to jeopardize the sale or reduce the amount of the buyers offer. In most cases, whenever possible though, it’s best to refer a potential buyer to your agent.