Sales sail along the Atlantic Seaboard

Due to strong demand for property along Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard, the gap between asking prices and selling prices is gradually closing, says Susan Watts, Broker/Owner of the newly opened RE/MAX Living office in Camps Bay, which has moved into the area with an extensive network of international buyers.

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She says that the property market experienced many challenges after the onset of the recession in 2008. The price of property was very high, while demand for property was extremely poor and many consumers were experiencing low levels of affordability. The price differentiation between what sellers were initially asking for and what the home eventually sold for was extreme, especially considering the influx of homes onto the market and buyers being spoilt for choice. 
“Although it has taken a few years, market conditions have changed and we have seen that selling prices have adjusted to the higher, more realistic levels of demand. Offers on property along the Atlantic Seaboard are about 5% below asking price, especially where the property was correctly priced when placed on the market.  Sometimes that difference is even less, which shows that we are currently in a very healthy market,” says Vangelis Doucas, Sales Associate at RE/MAX Living in Camps Bay.
He notes that due to its prime positioning and lifestyle offering, the Atlantic Seaboard has attracted buyers from all over the world and from different walks of life. “We find that due to the fact that there are so many different people living in the region, the reasons that sellers are putting their homes on the market are very varied. As small families grow, they sell their homes in order to buy something bigger, while on the other side of the spectrum older generation buyers are selling their large homes with gardens for a smaller lock-up and go apartment,” says Doucas. “Properties sell within different time frames and can be on the market for a few days when priced correctly, or for a few months. However, with the current strong demand in the area, Atlantic Seaboard homes generally don’t sit on the market for longer than three months.”
According to Watts, aside from correctly pricing the property, the length of time a property stays on the market can be determined by the agent the seller selects.  It is imperative that a seller works with an experienced realtor who understands area and works in the best interest of the seller. “When selling their home, sellers must work with a reputable agent who they trust and feel comfortable with,” she says. 
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that a good agent has in-depth market knowledge, resources and the ability to value a property at its true, market-related value, as well as ensure that the property is marketed to the right target audience with maximum exposure. Goslett advises that working with an agent from a real estate brand that is well known and highly-regarded in the industry is essential.
Another aspect that can impact the property sales transaction is how the home is presented. When it comes to selling a property, first impressions are very important. Doucas notes that unfortunately there are no second chances when it comes to poor first impressions, which is why sellers need to ensure that their homes are presentable and neat when buyers come to view the property.
“Regardless of the type of property going on sale, the home must look its absolute best,” he says. “Attention to detail, such as a neat, manicured garden or freshly painted walls in a neutral colour palette, will improve the seller’s chances of finding the right buyer in the shortest period of time. Buyers tend to put a lot of emphasis on the kitchen and bathrooms in particular, so it is especially important that these areas of the home are neat and clean as they can make a huge difference to the decision making process.”
Watts concludes by saying that the right price, the right agent, the right agency and the right look, will be the winning combination to finding the right buyer in no time. 

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