Gumtree South Africa has tied up with SimplyOnline to offer fixed-fee DIY property sales at a flat fee of R9, 500 ($619.79 U.S.) ex VAT. Gumtree is advertising the service via a landing page, but there’s no other mention of it on the website. The page simply redirects users to the SimplyOnline homepage, which went live in July.

“We believe that no one knows your home better than you. That’s why we’ve built an automated platform designed to empower you to sell your home without the need for a ‘middleman’,” SimplyOnline says on its website.

The company offers sellers the chance to advertise their properties on Private Property, Property24, and Gumtree — South Africa’s top three verticals. They can communicate directly with buyers through the platform and access its network of ” trusted conveyancing partners”. Sellers can make use of the company’s evaluation service, offered in partnership with Lightstone, to find a suitable price for their property. The system looks at third-party suburb trends and prices of properties sold nearby to create a comparative market report.

Buyers are asked to rate sellers based on viewing experiences and the accuracy of listings. They can get bond pre-approval through a partnership with Ooba Home Loans, along with access to legal advice from conveyancing partners.

The firm handles the whole transaction process — right through to paperwork and payments — online. It has a strong “no sale, no fee” policy. It also lists properties on its own site. It claims to give sellers access to “97% of all prospective buyers in South Africa within just 60 minutes of completing a listing.

In other Gumtree news, the horizontal has tied up with Tiso Blackstar to broaden its reach. The company is South Africa’s largest English publishing group and the second-largest digital publisher with brands like Sunday Times, TimesLIVE, and Business Day.

“The deal hopes to see the inclusion of Gumtree widgets and navigation links on the TimesLIVE and SowetanLIVE sites, pre-filtered for relevance on editorial sections and articles,” IT News Africa reported. Both companies are using data to better understand their audience and tailor their experiences.

“There is a real opportunity in providing editorial context to classifieds, as research shows a greater propensity to buy when a reader is in a trusted environment,” Tiso Blackstar group editorial director Andrew Trench said. “Add in the power of our combined audience data, and this takes it to a new level.”

Gumtree has introduced another initiative to build trust. The marketplace is now encouraging buyers and sellers to use Shoprite Group stores across the country as safe meeting spaces. The company is arguably Africa’s leading retailer with 16 brands and 2, 934 outlets in 15 countries.

“The ability to safely and conveniently send money via the Money Market counters in Shoprite stores adds an extra layer of security for cash buyers and sellers who would prefer not to travel home with large sums of money,” Gumtree GM Claire Cobbledick said.



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