In most regions across South Africa buyers are currently spoilt for choice in the property market – even in the burgeoning Cape Town market. One mistake buyers simply cannot afford to make in this current market is to allow the overwhelming amount of stock put them off the task of sifting through the mountain of listings available and delay them in putting down an offer.
“When purchasing in a buyer’s market, time and options may be on your side. But, unnecessarily delaying a decision could also be costly. Take time to do your research and think carefully about your options, but don’t fall into the trap of over analysing. Second guessing yourself after having found a property you like will increase the chances of you losing out on your dream home,” advises Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
Coming from a Broker/Owner who has had to help many buyers adjust from a seller’s market mentality to a buyer’s market mentality, Susan Watts, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Living that operates in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, provides five tips to help buyers find their perfect home:
Don’t exclude based on photos
“Narrowing your search based on this criteria might save time, but it also eliminates some potentially perfect properties. Agents generally use professional photographers, but some don't. If the pictures are not great, try and look past the fact that the photographer did not use a wide-angle lens, adjust the lighting, and crop out the clutter. It is possible for a beautiful home, marketed incorrectly, to come across as a dud online. In the same breath, it is also possible for a beautifully photographed home to fall short of your expectations. Be mindful of this when you scroll through the pages and pages of properties listings.”
Schedule Show Days Sundays
“To save time on viewing all the many properties, set up an alert for the area in which you are interested in buying and check out the weekly show days. It is one of the best opportunities to view multiple properties with a qualified agent present and available to answer your questions. In addition, I would advise that you go early. Most show days are busy later in the afternoon. If you go early, you will generally have more time and space to browse at your leisure.”
Widen your net
“If you are looking up to R2,5 million, widen your search upwards to R3 million (or even R3,5 million) and lower your minimum to R2 million. There is no harm in using your web browser to sort by price after the results load. Sellers are adjusting their prices constantly and accepting lower offers, so you may miss out on your dream home if you don’t widen your search.”
Be confident, not cocky
“The seller's agent has an obligation in terms of the EAAB Code of Conduct to present any written offer to the seller. A seller can choose not to accept this offer, but you might get lucky and have the offer accepted even though you simply offered an amount that fits your budget. There is no need to be shy. If your offer is not accepted, you can simply move on to the next one.”
Shop for the best bond
“This is a service that the buyer does not pay for. There are some excellent originators out there who can save you a fortune. And, that extra R200,000 saved on bond repayments may bridge the gap between the home you can afford and the home you believe is beyond your reach.”
As a final word of advice, Watts explains that a qualified and experienced agent can help you narrow down your search. “An agent has often seen most of the properties that are on the market and will be able to know which are suitable for the buyers on their database. This saves buyers from wasting their time on unsuitable listings,” she concludes.