Help for distressed sellers

While there have been many positive indicators that trading conditions within the South African property market are continuing to improve, distressed properties are still a market reality, and recent changes in the economy have seen distressed property sales continue.

Fathima Seedat, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Leading Edge, which is situated in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, recently completed the internationally acclaimed Certified Distressed Property Expert Professional Designation (CDPE) course offered exclusively to RE/MAX agents. “I did not know too much about this programme prior to doing the course. It was most interesting and I am now much better equipped to help people who are on the verge of losing their homes. It is good to know that there is hope for people who are struggling financially,” she says.

RE/MAX of Southern Africa received over 500 new sole mandate distressed property leads this year from the various financial institutions for which the group is one of the preferred partners for handling distressed property sales.

Peter Gilmour, Chairman of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who heads up the Distressed Property Division within the company, says that the RE/MAX of Southern Africa agents who have been marketing these distressed properties have managed to achieve, on average, 91% of the asking price. In addition, the number of offers that have been accepted by the banks have increased considerably.  “We attribute this to the fact that our agents are selling these properties for the best possible price,” he says.

Gilmour notes that the reason why RE/MAX agents are successfully handling distressed property sales is due to the exclusive training offered by the group. To date more than 600 RE/MAX agents have received training on the, a designation that equips agents with the specific knowledge required to effectively handle the intricacies of distressed property sales.

Says Fathima: “We at RE/MAX Leading Edge never lose sight of the fact that we are dealing with distressed homeowners.  We are empathetic to the fact that these individuals are most likely facing the most painful financial and emotional situations they have ever encountered.  We are here to assist as best as we possibly can, so if you or anyone you know may be in this situation, do not hesitate to call us. Our priority is to help you save your home first, before we try to sell your home.”

Fathima also recently attended a training workshop in Durban by property expert, author and trainer, Ed Hatch, who was in South Africa to exclusively train RE/MAX agents.

Fathima says: “As Ed pointed out, purchasing a property is a decision that could affect a buyer’s financial position and well-being for the rest of their and their families lives, and as such, we as professionals working within the real estate industry must have the necessary skills to guide buyers and sellers for that matter, through the process and help them to make the best possible decision. Due to the mammoth nature of property transactions and impact they can have on the parties involved, it is important for real estate agents to be on top of their game.”

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