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Monday Jun 07, 2021

Why is my home languishing on the market?

Q: I live in a small town and my property has been on the market for months (since November) - and I have had only two people come to view it.

I have used both a sole mandate and open mandate. Although my home is small, the property is huge, surrounded by nature, but still close to town and main highways. The property is also zoned for commercial. What can I do to see some activity from the agents and potential buyers?

A: We are seeing a change in buyer behaviour, with people moving from smaller towns to bigger metros in search of work. So, the buyer pool in your area may be small and the demand for property in the area a bit low.

Another major factor is price. If your property is priced correctly it should be snapped up by buyers. Look at getting another valuation done and seek price counselling from your agent. Adjust your pricing and see if you can get a better response.

Make sure that the marketing on your property is up to date and of high quality. Have another look at the pictures and the agent's write-up on the property and see if there is room for improvement.

Check the bylaws in the area and put up a large for sale or rental board which includes the property's zoning. These can be placed near busy roads where they can be seen by potential buyers or tenants.

Chat to your agent about your listing on the property portals and see if your property can have a featured listing so it appears on the first listing page.

Continue to follow up with your agent, just to remind him/her that your property is still vacant.

You could approach a commercial broker agent. The agent could then potentially tap into their commercial buyer and tenant database to find out if their clients would like to rent or buy the property for extra space.

Approach businesses nearby to check if they need extra space and would like to rent or buy the property. - Craig Mott, Western Cape regional sales and commercial manager for the Rawson Property Group

Q: We are looking to buy our first home and will soon be preparing to apply for a home loan. We have been told by many people that we should use a bond originator as opposed to going to the bank directly. What are the benefits of using an originator?

A: There are definite benefits of using a mortgage originator, as opposed to going to a bank directly, and you would do well (especially as a first-time buyer) to approach a mortgage originator who will pre-qualify you for a home loan, as well as give you advice on your home loan options.

Mortgage originators have agreements with up to nine banks. The banks are diverse in many respects and vary in terms of their appetite to lend. Mortgage originators understand the banks' varying policies and are therefore in the best position to place your mortgage loan, not only with your own bank, but to multiple lenders to secure you the most competitive home loan deal.

The current mortgage interest rate is 7%, the lowest it has been for more than 60 years, and this, coupled with the banks' appetite to lend, has boosted the property market. It is therefore a good time to purchase property. - Elmar Pittendrigh, managing director of Bond Gallery

Q: What are the predictions for the short-term future in terms of property prices and home sales, bearing in mind both the negative impacts of Covid and the good interest rates?

A: The slow recovery rate of the economy is likely to lead to an increase in the number of home sales which will continually pressure prices downward throughout the year.

Until the pandemic's infection rate subsides, we expect a continuation of consumer focus on home improvements and renovation over travel or leisure expenses. - Marcél du Toit, chief executive of Leadhome

If I have a sole mandate with one agent, and I feel that the agent is not working hard to market my property, can I cancel the agreement? Or do I have to wait it out before I can try use a different agent/agency?

A: First, it is best to call in the agent and discuss it with them to see if you can regroup and try a different strategy to market the property.

It's also important to re-look at the price of the home - often overpriced homes languish on the market.

If this has been done already, and you are still not happy with the outcome, then the Consumer Protection Act does allow for the seller to give the agent 20 business days' notice but penalties may come into play. The seller may be liable for certain costs which may include phone calls, marketing expenses or even commission. If an agent has introduced a buyer to the seller and somewhere down the line that buyer ends up purchasing the property, the seller will still be liable for commission.

If an agent agrees to cancel the sole mandate, then the agent should put together a list of buyers who have already been introduced to the seller.

This list must be approved by both parties to avoid commission claims down the line. - Craig Mott, Western Cape regional sales and commercial manager for the Rawson Property Group

Sunday Tribune 6 Jun 2021 BY BONNY FOURIE


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