Five tips for potential buyers

Aug 13, 2018 8:00:00 AM Share this:

The decision to sell is made, but how do you ensure potential buyers know your house could be their dream home? Here are five top marketing tools to help you get the best possible result for your sale.



Online presence

Home buyers rely less on newspapers and open houses, and more on online resources, in order to obtain valuable home buying information, which they require in order to go about purchasing a home. Consider how to get the most online exposure, and include plenty of details so potential buyers can put serious thought in. Your real estate agent can run through the sites that will give the best bang for your buck and advise on how best to describe your property.


Read more

Topics: Marketing, Real Estate Agents, Tips on selling your home, Home Tips

The House of Inspiration: when to renovate

Aug 6, 2018 8:00:00 AM Share this:

If your property needs repair or you’re considering a few renovation projects to get it ready for sale, there are a few things you need to consider first. Here we explore some of the situations where we wouldn’t recommend renovating if you’re looking to maximize your sale price.


Read more

Tips for Moving House with children

Jul 30, 2018 8:00:00 AM Share this:

Moving house with kids can be stressful and upsetting for everyone, but particularly young children, especially if they’ve previously only known one home. But with a little foresight, planning and some good old distraction techniques moving to a new home need not be traumatic.

Before moving:

  • Keep the kids as involved as possible in the process of moving house. Before you start looking for a new place talk to them about what they’d like a new place to have, or even draw pictures of what they want their new bedroom to look like.
  • Have them research your new neighbourhood and make a list of places they’d like to visit and explore once you’ve moved.
  • Once you’ve bought a new house, either take the children for a walk-through so they can see their new bedrooms and play areas like the back garden. Or have them search for the house online and, if possible do a virtual tour.
  • If possible make a few visits to the new neighbourhood before moving so the children can see where their new school is, or where the local playgrounds are and take some time to walk around so everyone can get their bearings.
  • Have your kids research the new neighbourhood or town themselves and make a list of places they want to visit.

During moving:

  • Let each child pack a box of their favourite toys, then have them write their name on it, and decorate it. And make sure they help load it into the car or moving van so they know it’s going with them to the new house.
  • Give each child a special responsibility on moving day and print them out a label with a job title like “head toy packer” making sure everybody’s favourite toys are accounted for, or “chief librarian” to make sure all the favourite books are packed, or “head gardener” responsible for collecting all the pot plants.
  • Keep calm! Kids will pick up on your stress and anxiety about moving, so try and focus on making it a fun adventure however and whenever you can. It may even ease your own state of mind!
  • Keep a picnic basket available and well stocked with plenty of snacks and drinks to keep children occupied as well as refuelled.

After moving:

  • Once you arrive in your new house on moving day, unpack and set up the children’s rooms as a priority so they feel at more at home. Make sure the rooms are welcoming and recognisable as theirs with familiar duvet covers, furniture, toys and books.
  • Keep a few large moving boxes for making forts.
  • Plan a special celebration “first night” dinner, that easy to prepare and fun – try a pizza picnic on the lounge floor.
  • Set up a treasure hunt around your new section so the kids become familiar with it.
  • After moving day try and return to a normal routine, of normal bed times and meal times, school and play as quickly as possible to help everybody settle.

Read more

Topics: Buying Real Estate, Moving House, Home Tips

How to add value to your laundry room

Jul 23, 2018 8:00:00 AM Share this:

The laundry often isn’t somewhere we spend much time on when it comes to renovations or updates, but it is a room where many of us spend a lot of time each day. The importance of the laundry in daily living means it could be a deal-maker for potential buyers, so consider these tips to help you ‘clean up’ at sale time.

Bench is best
If you have space in your laundry, adding some clear bench space for folding, sorting or just piling washing is a winning move. The bigger the bench, the better, especially in a busy family home.

Create space
No one likes being crammed into a small, tight space while trying to tousle with bed sheets, so if you can’t increase the actual size of your laundry, think about space-saving ideas. Mounting a washing machine or dryer on the wall easily clears floor room, and you can also add some sturdy hooks on the wall to hang washing baskets.

Storage solutions rule
Storage is usually desperately needed in the laundry for items such as detergents, scrubbers, irons, and household cleaning products. If you can add cabinets and cupboards that fit snugly around appliances and the tub to accommodate these items, it will add considerable value to this room - the more, the better!

Hide and seek
Big, bulky household staples such as dirty laundry baskets and ironing boards can create a lot of clutter, so think about adding clever hideaway storage for these. A large pull-out draw in a cabinet for dirty washing will keep smelly socks hidden away, and wall-mounted ironing boards or drying racks are relatively simple ideas that will keep things looking tidy.

Light it up
Often a small space tucked away at the back or in a corner, laundry rooms are notoriously dark, which doesn’t make the task of sorting and folding washing any more appealing. Add extra lighting where possible so the area is bright, looks cleaner and feels more spacious.

Tidy up wear and tear
As a functional, everyday work space, laundries are sometimes neglected when it comes to regular maintenance. Before you list your home, take the time to give the laundry a thorough clean, touch up paintwork or repaint the walls if needed, and replace broken fixtures such as dripping taps so it doesn’t detract from the rest of your home.


Read more

Topics: property focus, Selling, Advice, Winter, property focus, Home Improvement, Home Tips

South African consumers could be getting a break

Jul 17, 2018 8:39:58 PM Share this:

We welcome the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that Government will in two weeks’ time announce a package of economic measures to cushion the public from the devastating effects of high fuel price hikes and the VAT increase.

"As salaries are usually only increased annually, the consumer has to juggle unforeseeable market fluctuations on a perpetual basis, making it very difficult to adhere to a budget and plan investments,” says Gray. Richard Gray, Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer, says according to media reports, Ramaphosa was addressing business and government leaders in Pretoria ahead of the BRICS Summit this month. The President said a panel of various stakeholders from the economic cluster has been tasked with drafting the package. “It is an immediate necessity that consumer pressures on South Africans be addressed in a strategic and detailed plan. Therefore it is a welcome relief that president Ramaphosa said Government will be announcing a package of measures to ease the burden of the price increase, which will include the finalisation of the VAT-exempt products,” says Gray.

“The continuous rise of expenses on South Africans has led to many people stagnant in a consumer price pinch. We have certainly witnessed it in the property sector, with some locations slowing down completely as buyers turn to renting as a means to bide time and monitor the economic climate.”

He says even in high LSM markets the property market has slowed down. Analysing properties sold for the last 12 months (April 2017 to March 2018) along the Atlantic Seaboard registered with the Deeds Office, which includes both sectional and full titles, the region has undoubtedly experienced a cooling period after the drastic growth of the past few years.

“Unfortunately, consumers are directly impacted by tax increases due to our participation in a multitude of industries. We’re economically active, and as purchasers of an array of products and services we feel the knock-on effects of the suppliers who have to make changes in order to buffer the impact on their businesses,” says Gray.

“The rise of fuel costs as well as the increase in VAT has undoubtedly put pressure on the man on the street. As salaries are usually only increased annually, the consumer has to juggle unforeseeable market fluctuations on a perpetual basis, making it very difficult to adhere to a budget and plan investments.”


Read more

Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts South Africa, President Ramaphosa, South African Markets, South African Consumers

To downsize or not to downsize your property

Jul 16, 2018 8:00:00 AM Share this:

Whether you are retiring, looking to free up some capital, or simply wanting to de-clutter, downsizing can offer some real advantages – but it also comes with some downsides. We weigh up the pros and cons of making this lifestyle change.

PRO: A smaller home means smaller bills

If you are looking to save on daily living costs, downsizing into an apartment or smaller home usually means you will save on basics such as heating costs, electricity, and house insurance.

CON: A downsized home may mean downsized furniture

Moving into a smaller space could cost you some extra money if your furnishings are too big for your new home, and you have to spend on new items such as lounge suites, dining tables and bedroom furniture.

PRO: De-cluttering is the only option

If you (or others in your household) struggle to get rid of clutter, downsizing provides the perfect reason to get tough and minimise. Especially if you are moving into an apartment or unit, storage space will be at a premium, so only the most important possessions should go with you.

CON: Outdoor space and hobbies may be affected

For those who love gardening or lounging around the backyard during the summer months, downsizing can be challenging. However, many people cultivate impressive gardens on apartment balconies, and if this is something that is important to you, look for a home that fits the bill in terms of sunlight and space.

PRO: Less household maintenance

Alternatively, if you can’t wait to retire the lawnmower and hedge clippers, downsizing is a great option. Indoor chores such as vacuuming, dusting and cleaning will also be quicker and easier in a smaller home, freeing up your time for other activities.

CON: Lifestyle changes may be hard to adjust to

Moving from a self-contained family home to a unit or apartment, or even just a smaller home in a different neighbourhood, can present some major changes. You may not be able to have family or friends to stay over, hosting large events may be difficult, and new neighbours in closer proximity could prove challenging.

PRO: Release your capital

Many of us have the majority of our savings tied up in our primary property. Downsizing can offer the opportunity to free up money that can then be used to diversify investments, take a dream holiday, or simply provide more cash flow for daily living.


Read more

Topics: Property Tips, property focus, Newsletter

Harcourts welcome President Ramaphosa's economic package announcement today

Jul 12, 2018 12:17:57 AM Share this:

We welcome the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that Government will in two weeks’ time announce a package of economic measures to cushion the public from the devastating effects of high fuel price hikes and the VAT increase. Ramaphosa was addressing business and government leaders in Pretoria this morning ahead of the BRICS Summit this month. The President said a panel of various stakeholders from the economic cluster has been tasked with drafting the package.

It is an immediate necessity that consumer pressures on South Africans be addressed in a strategic and detailed plan. Therefore it is a welcome relief that president Ramaphosa said Government will be announcing a package of measures to ease the burden of the price increase, which will include the finalisation of the VAT exempt products.

The continuous rise of expenses on South Africans has led to many people stagnant in a consumer price pinch. We have certainly witnessed it in the property sector. With some locations slowing down completely as buyers turn to renting as a means to bide time and monitor the economic climate.

Even in high LSM markets the property market has slowed down. Analysing properties sold for the last 12 months along the Atlantic Seaboard, April 2017 to March 2018, registered with the Deeds Office, which includes both sectional and full titles, the region has undoubtedly experienced a cooling period after the drastic growth of the past few years. 

Unfortunately consumers are directly impacted by tax increases due to our participation in a multitude of industries. We’re economically active and as purchasers of an array of products and services we feel the knock on effects of the suppliers. Who have to make changes in order to buffer the impact on their businesses.

The rise of fuel costs as well as the increase in VAT has undoubtedly put pressure on the man on the street. As salaries are usually only increased annually, the consumer has to juggle unforeseeable market fluctuations on a perpetual basis. Making it very difficult to adhere to a budget and plan investments.
Statement by

Richard Gray
Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer
Read more

Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts South Africa, Consumers Under Pressure, President Ramaphosa, South African Markets

How to Choose - Fixed vs. variable

Jul 9, 2018 8:00:00 AM Share this:

Should you lock in your interest rate for a fixed period? Or take a chance on interest rates dropping even further and choose a variable rate? Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to these questions. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of fixed and variable interest home loans.


Read more

Harcourts' continued South African growth cemented in market understanding and culture

Jul 2, 2018 6:42:26 PM Share this:

Although South Africa's economy has been under pressure in recent years with rising costs placing consumers in a price pinch, compounded by volatile market fluctuations causing unpredictable cyclical trends - Harcourts South Africa experienced unprecedented growth over this same period. Sales have grown 115% in the past five years, the amount of agents have doubled and 2017 was Harcourts' most successful year on record.


Read more

Topics: Harcourts South Africa, Innovative technology, real estate technology, Harcourts Growth

Real Estate unites to fight cancer

Jun 28, 2018 6:14:51 PM Share this:
There is no doubt real estate is a highly competitive industry, but when one of our own is in need, we come together as a family. This was evident in the recent event organised by Dykes van Heerden attorneys for Jeané Myburgh, the daughter of Harcourts South Africa General Manager Jan Myburgh. 

She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 6 months ago, at the age of 21. The cancer continued to spread and she now needs to go through the next phase of treatment. The treatment thus far has drained their medical funds. This is why Dykes van Heerden attorneys decided to hold a fundraising event in the form of a corporate triathlon challenge.

It was very impressive to see a multitude of real estate role players unite to fight for this cause. "This story touched every single one us. The human spirit got us all together. It was not about the scoreboard this time but rather for something that is much bigger than that – a life of an inspiring and special young woman who is fighting for her life," said Lisa Boniface, Conveyancing Attorney at Dykes, van Heerden.

The event, held on 21 June in Durban, consisted of a 5km run on Durban promenade, a mile swim at Kings Park pool and a 30km bicycle ride starting at Bike & Bean. The official results were; Harcourts in first place, Seeff in second and Pam Golding third. Although, very little emphasis was put on the result but rather the cause.

Harcourts South Africa CEO Richard Gray was proud to be in attendance and see the real estate community come together the way they did. "It was truly an inspiring spectacle. To see everyone in this industry join hands to fight a worthy cause and assist this young woman with the greatest battle of her life was humbling. Jan and his family are so special, and to see the joy on Jeané's face throughout the day inspired us all even more."

Jan Myburgh certainly is a stalwart in real estate and it was amazing to see the industry he has devoted his life to, assist him and his family during these times. "Many people in the real estate game have been touched in one way or another by Jan Myburgh. He has either been a life/business coach or mentor, a manager, a trainer, an MC, a friend, or a partner. He has been an inspiration to us all and therefore we were happy to assist in the Myburgh family's time of need," concluded Boniface. #BlueForYou

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Read more

Topics: Harcourts South Africa, Real Estate Agents, Jan Myburgh, Cancer, Ovarian Cancer