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How to negotiate the best offer for your property in 2023

18 January 2023 | Insights Team



You’re selling your home, the valuation has been concluded and you have signed a mandate with a reputable agent and agency. Your home has been properly photographed and listed in the correct price bracket, is being actively marketed across all the correct portals, attracting a pool of buyers ready to commit and offers are coming in. How do you negotiate the best offer for your property to achieve both a fast sale and the highest return on your investment? 

The Insights Team asks Leadhome Properties’ experienced property practitioners Desiré Ludick (Johannesburg West) and Tracey Hicks (Greenstone, Kempton Park, Edenvale & Bedfordview), to share some of their most valuable negotiation insights.

Negotiations commence from day one

Desiré Ludick

Desiré Ludick: “Negotiations really do start on day one. Choose to work with an experienced real estate agent who can provide you with an accurate market valuation; an agent who is an expert in your area having concluded multiple sales in it and knows the market. Then, working closely together with your agent through a sole mandate, preparing the property for market, from the moment the photographs are taken, to how the property is positioned and priced, these are the first real steps towards a successful negotiation.

I believe that a sole mandate empowers the agent to exclusively negotiate on the seller’s behalf. Dilution occurs when a property is listed through multiple agencies. Listing the property with five different agents and agencies means that you will have each agent working for their buyer’s offer. Whereas one agent will negotiate the best price amongst all offers for the seller. In South Africa, we have a limited number of property portals which reach a single buyer pool, so essentially, marketing and exposure remain the same.”

Do your homework

Desiré Ludick: “From the start, see how your property compares in the market, how your property competes in a specific price bracket amongst competitor properties. For example, if you wish to list your property at R1,5 million, go onto Property24, position it amongst the listed properties and see how it compares. If you find you are selling a 3-bedroom in the same area where an 8-bedroom property is listed for the same price, it is immediately apparent that yours is not able to compete. Property listed in a higher bracket will simply struggle to compete, whereas realistically listing in a lower price bracket will allow it to stand out amongst its competitors. Look at market conditions and where the buyers are at. This will ultimately give you the best chance at selling.”

A fine line

Tracey Hicks

Tracey Hicks: “I always tell my seller a successful transaction is what a buyer is prepared to offer, and what a seller is willing to accept, but the negotiator throughout this process is the real estate agent.” Says Tracey.

“For example, a property is listed for R2,95 million and in the first week of listing a buyer puts an offer on the table for R2,5 million cash. Seller says R2,85 million is my bottom line, but the buyer won’t budge. As the agent, my task is to negotiate a deal by meeting halfway. Sometimes the parties are not willing to yield and a stalemate occurs. Then, unfortunately, we have to go back to the drawing board. So, if you ask me how I negotiate the best offer for your property, my response is that as your agent I have to find the fine line that both parties are willing to accept.”

Healthy competition

Desiré Ludick: “A great tool in the negotiation process is to foster a sense of competition. Tell buyers about other buyers’ interest in the property. This sense of urgency lends itself to accelerating the sale and achieving the best possible return on investment.”

Read the second part of this conversation, titled Property negotiations, how our agents negotiate the best offer for you, where we discuss the different kinds of offers that exist to secure a sale and how they impact the negotiation process.

For more information or to request a valuation, please contact: 

Desiré Ludick

Property Practitioner, Johannesburg West, Leadhome Properties

010 443 9752

Agent’s newest listings

Tracey Hicks

Head of Agents, Leadhome Properties

Property Practitioner, Greenstone, Kempton Park, Edenvale & Bedfordview

010 443 9751

Agent’s newest listings

Read more: 

For more valuable sources of property advice and information please read our Selling & Buying Guides. For any property-related queries, please contact us: +27 (0)10 590 3088

Insights Team

We're the "thinking arm" of Leadhome, combining expertise in data analysis, modelling, sociology, geography, and philosophy to interrogate current trends in the South African residential property market. Proudly contemplative since 2015.

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