Sell Your House, But There Is One Reason You Can’t

Blue sky thinking has its downside
Blue sky thinking has its downside

It’s all up in the air… That’s literally how it feels when you put your house on the market. For sale! Themba and Zinhle had prepared themselves for this emotional roller coaster ride. They are now selling their house, where they had built many wonderful memories together, as a family.

Thembelihle, their youngest daughter, was two years old when they moved into the house.

She is now a confident, active eight year old, who fully utilised the garden that inspired the Zidwe family moving into this house six years ago.

Themba and Zinhle are not desperate sellers. Well, sort of… They are moving because of a new job opportunity, for Zinhle, in Joburg. They have to sell, since she has accepted the job. Further to that, Themba is due for his third and final round of interviews with one of the major  telecoms companies in South Africa, based in Joburg. Saying not desperate to sell is therefore not quite the absolute statement as it sounds.

Reality is, they have to sell eventually, and keeping the house is not an option. 

As prepared as the Zidwe family were for the implications of their decisions, they don’t understand why their house is not selling. They have had a few offers. All of the offers are significantly below their asking price. After all, since buying the house, the couple have spent on upgrading the house in renovation after renovation. Themba and Zinhle are also fully aware of what other houses in their suburb, have sold for recently. They have done their research.

I know the area, it is very much sought after suburb. I have seen the prices that properties have sold for in the area, and the prices are still intimidating, even if you take off the last zero in the asking price! It is the type of place where buyers are more interested in the location, and after buying, they tear down the property and put up their own new structure to call home.

The couple originally had one estate agent looking to sell their property. After a few months, two boards were up, advertising the house for sale. It was no longer a sole mandate. Both real estate agents are big reputable names in the South African property market, so the reason for the house not selling is not because of a lack of marketing and advertising, or a lack of access to potential buyers.

Not only that, but I also know one of the estate agents they who was selling the house on their behalf. The real estate agent I am referring to won top sales award in the suburb twice in the last eight years. The market or the estate agent can’t be the problem when one knows this, can it?

Panic has started to set in for Themba and Zinhle. The two estate agents did not result in the house being sold. The time for the to move has come. Now they are selling their house, empty of furniture and character as they have now, like Elvis, left the building.

For Sale Signs
For Sale


They now have three real estate agents marketing and selling their house. Only one of the original estate agents that was there from the start remains. So four estate agents later, and Themba and Zinhle are left asking themselves “what are we doing wrong?

Themba and Zinhle are simply asking for too much for their house! The price is the number one reason why people can’t sell your property. Very often, sellers refuse to accept this. Reality is, it doesn’t matter what the real estate agent or I (or you) think the house is worth as a seller. The true answer lies in what people are willing to pay you to buy your house from you.

Author: fit4thabo

I'm a Banker by profession, and ubiquitous on social media. Sometimes, it is as if my brain has a mind of its own. Full of life, and love my family, my work, sports, food, whisky and wine.

2 thoughts on “Sell Your House, But There Is One Reason You Can’t”

  1. Most sellers price their houses with an element of sentimentality, because you’ll always hear about how they found certain finishes in obscure places like it’s some kind of feat. We’ve been eyeing a property that has gone on and off the advertised market for close to a year now. And buyers are now placing offers well below true market value as they begin to sense the owner’s desperation (and low demand).

  2. yes – we learnt that the hard way when we sold our Porterville garden (and home).
    Our chosen finishes were too expensive for the neighbourhood prices.
    Third time around we have the renovation in line with the houses next door.

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