RE/MAX Helderberg at the top of the game

Lee Siebert, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Helderberg which operates in the Cape areas of Somerset West, Strand and Gordon’s Bay, reports that her office has been outselling its competition over the past three months.

One of the secrets to this success: correct property valuations and ssellers who are serious and willing to price their properties correctly. Siebert explains that in a buyer’s market such as the one that is presently being experienced in Somerset West, there is an abundance of homes for sale, meaning that cash buyers and buyers with access to finance are in a strong position to bargain. “Sellers must adjust their pricing accordingly, as overpriced properties are not selling. The few properties that are realistically priced, are not only selling at full asking price, but also within record time,” she says.

Siebert says that a lot of the Somerset West stock is over-priced. “Sellers who are not serious about selling and are not prepared to adjust their asking price to a market-related value are sitting with their properties on the market for months, and sometimes for a full year. A large percentage of the new stock that is coming onto the market is from sellers who are motivated to sell and who are pricing their properties according to what the market is looking for. These properties are selling very quickly, and in some instances, within a few days of being listed,” she says.

RE/MAX Helderberg achieved 95,3% of asking prices in January and 94% of asking prices in February and March. Other property companies in the area advertised that they sold R30m worth of property in six weeks while RE/MAX Helderberg sold R39m worth of property in four weeks. Siebert says that while competitor agents advertised that they had concluded 43 sales in 59 days in Somerset West, Strand and Gordon’s Bay, RE/MAX Helderberg concluded 30 sales in 60 days just in the Somerset West area. “Where our competitors advertised that they had sold 12 properties, we had sold 16 properties during the same period,” says Siebert.

Siebert goes on to note that while average property prices in the area are 0,7% down in the January – March 2012 period compared to 2011 prices, in the first three months of this year, registered sales for RE/MAX Helderberg were up by almost 30% on the same period last year. Added RE/MAX Helderberg has sold 93% of its mandates from January to March.

She attributes this success to her outstanding agents who are achieving outstanding results. At the recent RE/MAX of Southern Africa national convention and awards ceremony, nine agents from the RE/MAX Helderberg office were awarded for their success, based on registered commission levels. Pieter Kotze was awarded Millionaires status; Adri McFarlane was awarded Gold status while Linda van Nes and Di Havard were awarded 100% Club status. Elmare Doran, Maarten Laubscher, Stella Marais, Wendy Giardino and Salo Saayman were awarded Silver status

Siebert also attributes the success of her office so far this year due to the support from and the presence of the RE/MAX brand on a national level. “Through RE/MAX of Southern Africa, our properties are advertised on in 33 international languages; we have a strong presence on television through our adverts and various RE/MAX Sky Banners have been flown through South African airspace.”

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that RE/MAX of Southern Africa has consistently grown its market share each continues to attract quality agents into its fold. “The success of the RE/MAX brand in Southern Africa and the success its agents have enjoyed can be largely attributed to the group’s comprehensive training programmes that aim to equip its real estate professionals with the correct tools for the current market. Many RE/MAX agents have completed the Brian Buffini 100 Days to Greatness program and on average have seen 6.6 sales transactions during the three months while undertaking the course.”

Talking about property in the Helderberg region, Siebert reports that sales the first quarter of 2012 have mostly been priced in the upper R300 000’s for plots and distressed sales and range to the upper R5 millions for large homes in luxury estates. “Around 63,8% of properties sold over the past three months in Strand, Somerset West and Gordon’s Bay were situated in complexes and gated villages,” she says.

According to Siebert, the average time it is taking to sell a home in these areas is about 120 days, and less than 90 days for well-priced stock and she says that the current demand for well-priced homes in the area is increasing. “If a seller has not seen buyer interest or at least good activity in the first three weeks of listing, the property is in all likelihood overpriced. It seems clear that while buyers may be willing to pay a premium to live in an area like Somerset West that offers them all the best things in life; they are certainly not willing to pay an inflated price for the privilege,” she concludes.

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