Buyer research will prevent risk of paying inflated price

Uninformed buyers often pay inflated prices for a property. This is according to Lee Siebert, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Helderberg, which operates in Somerset West, Strand and Gordon’s Bay. 

Siebert says that in some cases, agents tend to overprice property in times of stock shortages in order to get the properties on their books. “In these situations, mandates are often offered at inflated prices by unscrupulous agents. They do this by appealing to the seller’s expectations rather than pricing the property according to market forces.”

This three-bedroom home with all en suite bathrooms, is a rare opportunity in Schonenberg Estate, one of the most sought after estates in Somerset West. Priced at R 3.495million, all bedrooms have access to their own balconies with views of the farmlands and Table Mountain.  The house features a large open plan living area consisting of a lounge, dining room and a spacious kitchen, while the large entertainment patio upstairs includes a Jacuzzi.  There is a braai area on the decked patio, which is not currently covered, but the sizing guidelines for the estate still allow for this to be covered if preferred.  The estate consists of just 33 units and has electric fencing and walls all around, with guards and controlled access during the week.  The levies are exceptionally reasonable for this level of estate at less than R800 per month.  
Siebert says that buyers need to look at five key areas before purchasing a home. “Two of the most important areas for buyers to look into in order to avoid paying more than what a property is worth would be undertaking the necessary research to establish the general market value of properties in the area and working with reputable, trustworthy real estate agents.
“Buyers should talk to a specialist estate agent for information on the area they are interested in. This includes establishing the prices that homes which have recently sold in the area actually achieved – not what they were marketed for as there could well be a difference of as much as 20%. They should also be sure that the agents they are working with have sound knowledge and professional qualifications and are from an agency that is well-established and reputable.”
Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that as buyers need to learn as much as possible about the property and area they are looking to purchase in, it is advisable that they consult with experts and make use of professional, reputable and knowledgeable estate agents to assist them in the process.
Siebert says that by researching the market thoroughly, buyers can be assured that they are investing in the best area for their budget. “This is an important step, as location is one of the most important elements to consider when purchasing a property in order to protect the investment. Buyers need to ensure that their investment is going to be secure in the future, and the best way to do this is by selecting the right area.”
The top things buyers need to take into account when researching an area or property, according to Seibert, is the location, lifestyle choices, security features, schools, future selling potential and possible future developments in the area.
Equally important, according to Siebert, is that buyers establish their affordability by consulting with their bank or with a bond consultant. “Buyers should also draw up a budget to ensure that they have enough money to cover the bond, deposits and transfer fees and ancillaries, before making the decision to purchase a property.”
Buyers, she says, should also be sure that they understand the transfer process and the conditions that are stipulated in the offer to purchase contract.
Siebert concludes by saying that buyers who are well prepared for the process, know what they can afford and what they should be paying for a particular home, will undoubtedly find that buying a home is a pleasant experience. “This will definitely be the case when their research and dealings with a reputable agent means the property they bought provides them with real value for their money and is set to give them solid investment returns over the long term.”

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