How to sell

How to Sell Your Home Fast in South Africa

Selling privately versus using an estate agent

In South Africa it can take more or less three months for the sale of a property to conclude. This can be an immensely trying time if you are living in limbo. Especially if you are looking to get this over and done with swiftly. 

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to sell your property fast, but you have to be smart about it. If you try to sell your home on your own, you might avoid paying commission, but it could end up costing you in other ways. Paying an estate agent’s fee could turn out to be a small price to pay if you are looking to sell property fast and hassle-free. At Leadhome, we are transparent about our pricing. Click here to find out what kind of costs you can expect.

In this article we will look at the following: 

  • Pros and cons of selling a house privately
  • Pros and cons of selling a house with an estate agent
  • A few more things to keep in mind if you want to sell property quickly

Selling privately versus using an estate agent

Selling your home privately may be tempting because you avoid paying commission fees but there is much to consider before deciding to sell on your own…

If you are embarking on a private home sale because you believe you can sell your  property quickly, you need to consider how much time you (really) have. For starters, you will have to write a catchy description of your home and take exceptional pictures or get professional photographs taken. Then you will have to load all of this to the property portals to start advertising. 

One thing is for sure, properties that are priced right will sell quickly. A beautifully presented home with a perfect price tag could garner a lot of attention on the property portals. You will have to dedicate time to respond to potential buyers, as well as arrange viewings with interested parties. 

Couple going through some paperwork with their real estate agent

And if this isn’t your first-time selling your property, you might be surprised to learn about all the additional paperwork that is required. Not only will you need an offer to purchase (OTP) agreement for the parties to sign, but you will also need to obtain various compliance certificates to conclude the sale, for example, an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (ECOC) and a Rates Clearance Certificate (RCC). 

A sale agreement and the terms thereof are also not as simple as they may seem. A good agent knows this legally binding document better than most and will guide you though all the nuances of this daunting agreement. Does the buyer require a bond, is the purchase subject to any suspensive or special conditions or what are the legal implications should either party fail to perform in terms of the agreed terms? A good agent also knows how to interpret and apply the terms of the sale agreement which will give you peace of mind in the negotiation and transfer process.

Will you need to cancel your home loan?
Apart from informing your bank of your intention to cancel, there are also bond cancellation fees that will have to be paid to the cancellation attorneys. 

Lady calculating how much her bond cancellation fees will be, if she cancels her home loan.

Have you appointed a transfer attorney?
Yup, this is another one of a seller’s responsibilities when selling privately.

What you think you are saving on the estate agent’s fees is actually a small fee to pay for the advice and expertise you receive when it is something that could save or make you a lot more money!

Benefits of selling a house privately

Selling a house privately puts you in charge, but it does add extra stress, time and expertise.

A private sale could give you more control if you are not in a rush but keep in mind a good real estate agent will have his/her own database of buyers and will know the area. If you do not have this information, you may lose out on a potential sale.

Disadvantages of selling a house privately

Have you considered how you will price your home to sell fast? Undervalue, and you might lose money. Overvalue, and your property will sit on the market for a while. Sure, you can do research about your area to get a firm grip on what your property could be worth. But estate agents deal with property transactions every day and a good estate agent will have access to the information about the going rates for properties in your area. This will help you to set a competitive price.

Okay, so let’s say you string a poor estate agent along just to get their advice and establish the optimal price. But dump them before they can say ‘sole and exclusive mandate’. Who is then going to market your home? Reputable estate agents will ease this burden and have processes in place to reach active buyers. And remember, beyond marketing you have to organise viewings and get all the paperwork in order on your own.

A good estate agent will send you buyers who are vetted. They can also sustain the relationship with them and save you a lot of time and money by dealing with the negotiations.

Benefits of selling a house via an estate agent

Rather than cutting the corners on your home sale by doing it yourself,, consider getting a professional involved. An estate agent serves as the link between a seller and buyer. They will help you with all the legal and financial matters. This can help speed up the process. You will also save a wealth of time with agencies that assist with professional photography and marketing of your property. Just remember to get all these promises in writing!

Once you have decided to sell with an agent, find out who the active estate agents are in your neighbourhood. They will likely have access to a group of buyers interested in your area. And because they deal with real estate every day, and have access to industry tools, they will be able to give you a good idea of market-related property values. 

If you have done some research of your own, you will be able to tell if an agent is suggesting an over-inflated sale price to impress you in the hopes of a sole mandate. An agent looking to make a quick sale might give you an under-valued sale price. But a professional agent will listen to your needs and suggest a sale price that aligns with your timeline. A professional agent will be able to support their market valuation with comparative prices of recently sold homes in your neighbourhood.

Not all estate agents were created equally, but all of them should be registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) who is their governing body. Ask around to find a reputable estate agent in your area. If you are sceptic and want some proof, request to see the agent’s Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC). 

A screen with statistics on the performance of someone's property.

Leadhome helps you to monitor the performance of your property with an online property dashboard. This way, you always know what is going on but you won’t have to talk to your agent all the time. Imagine how much time that would free up!

Disadvantages of selling a house with an estate agent

You might be thinking the first disadvantage of using an estate agent is the additional cost. But if you end up with the wrong estate agent, it could end up costing you a lot of time. 

Remember that the traditional estate agent’s fee is negotiable and at Leadhome we have affordable Fixed fee options. It is up for discussion before anything is formalised. Everything agreed upon between a seller and estate agent must reflect in a written agreement. This agreement is referred to as a mandate. An open mandate, for example, is when you have multiple agents handling your listing. Multiple agents result in multiple phone calls, emails, and text messages. You can imagine what the impact of that could be on your time. 

Seller looking at their social media icons on their phone.

If you don’t like leaving your home, or letting strangers in without your being there, you might find it challenging to sell with an estate agent. Many estate agents block off time to show a few buyers your property at once. This will require you to leave the house for a few hours and you will also need to prepare your home for the viewing.

Additional factors to consider when selling a house fast

Don’t put the no in negotiations.

It is not difficult to get marketing information that will help to sell your home swiftly. In fact, you might find it quite easy to get your property listed on the property portals. But how prepared are you to negotiate a lowball offer on the home you have loved and lived in for almost 20 years? Unfortunately, there are some parts of the process that are not great, and a lot of home sellers are simply not cut-out for negotiations.


Now that you have considered the pros and cons of selling privately or employing an estate agent, it’s time to know what you can expect if you pick Leadhome as your property partner.

Why choose Leadhome instead of going the private route? If you’re looking to sell your property fast, we’re here to help you make that happen. Some of the benefits you can expect: expert area insights, competitive asking-price counselling supported by smart data, widespread online and offline marketing, and working according to your availability regarding viewings. 

Find out today how we can help you sell faster. Book a Valuation

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