Getting the home you want

The property market has certainly seen remarkable improvement over the last six months, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.  

“It was not that long ago that a desirable home in a good location may have sat on the market for months. However, that seems to have seen a turnaround with many sellers receiving offers in a much shorter time frame. In fact, multiple offers on the same property have been experienced in some areas where stock shortages have pushed up demand,” he says.
While conditions still largely favour buyers, with market improvements and higher sales volumes, buyers will need to be a bit more strategic when it comes to getting the home they really want. Goslett gives buyers a few tips on how to ensure that they get their ideal property:
Move quickly but don’t rush

According to Goslett, stronger competition in the market means that buyers will need to ensure that they move a lot faster to secure a home before it is bought by somebody else -especially in areas that currently have a limited inventory and there is a higher likelihood of multiple offers.  “Although it is important that buyers move quickly, it is even more important that they do not rush their decision. Regardless of the market, the golden home buying rules still apply and buyers need to do their research and ensure that the home they want to buy meets their needs and is in the right location,” says Goslett.
Prepare financially

Goslett says that to avoid disappointment, buyers should be financially prepared before looking for a property. Affordability will be a key factor for buyers who are loan dependant, so it is important that they prepare ahead of time by reducing their debt levels and saving for a deposit as well as for the additional costs involved in buying a home. “Aside from the fact that the majority of homebuyers will require a deposit when applying for a bond, having a deposit or funds on hand will prove to the seller, and the financial institution for that matter, that you are serious about purchasing the home,” he says. “Sellers are more likely to accept an offer from a buyer who has a greater chance of being approved for finance or one that has already been pre-approved, as they know that this will speed up the process.”
Have a plan

According to Goslett, part of every buyer’s plan should be to find out the fair market value of property in the area they are interested in. This will provide them with some insight into whether the asking price exceeds apparent market value and will form the basis of their strategy when making an offer that the seller is likely to except.  “If the asking price is below the apparent value, an offer on the asking price or slightly above it should guarantee the seller’s acceptance, however in the case where the asking price exceeds the market value, a more conservative approach is advised,” says Goslett.
He notes that in a multiple-offer scenario, the seller’s agent is likely to ask all interested buyers to submit their highest and best offer. In this situation a buyer will need to make a final determination as to how much the home is worth to them. If the property is on the top of the buyer’s list and has everything they want, it isn’t necessarily a mistake to pay more than the current market value of the home. However, Goslett says that the best offer is not always determined by the highest price. In some cases sellers are willing to accept offers that have higher deposit amounts or the least number of contingencies, which all make an offer more appealing.
“As the market continues to move from strength to strength and the number of properties available to buyers decreases, they are going to have to make a more conscious effort to navigate this emerging market to ensure that they get their ideal home. While it may take some planning, taking action sooner rather than later is the best strategy for buyers who still want to take advantage of the favourable buying conditions,” Goslett concludes.

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