I got a home loan, but it’s too expensive - can I cancel my OTP?

Apr 29, 2019 9:17:20 PM Share this:

In most cases when a person buys a property, he or she will have to apply for a home loan, and this would be written into the offer to purchase (OTP) as a suspensive condition, giving a certain timeframe for the bond to be obtained by the bank and accepted by the buyer.


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Topics: Agent Life, Home Loan Advice, Harcourts Real Estate

Selling property via auction set to rise in Midrand

Apr 24, 2019 7:55:23 PM Share this:

From a global perspective auctions have for long been synonymous with the property market, however the local property industry has only really embraced this activity in the past few years. And now it is one of the fastest growing sections in our industry.

Auction 24 April 2019 at 18h30 on site: A new five bedroom en-suite home in Waterfall Country Estate, Midrand, with top quality fittings, lap pool and landscaped garden will go under the hammer next week - click here to view.

“The modern business environment has certainly played a major part in perpetuating the increased demand for auctions. We’re finding many consumers are becoming more accustomed to that style of purchase behaviour due to the rapid rise of local and international auction-based retail sites,” explains Harcourts South Africa CEO Richard Gray. 

Rudo Kirsten, Auctioneer at Harcourts Midrand, admits that they’ve experienced an increase in queries from sellers regarding their auction options. “We are seeing quite a lot of new interested sellers and buyers entering the ever-expanding Midrand market.”

The advantage for many sellers and buyers is that auctions provide them with an opportunity to attain value, and that is often the priority, he says.

Midrand offers buyers a wide variety of property options, from beautiful first-time buyer apartments to large family homes, farms on the outskirts and great ROI commercial properties.

The other advantage of Midrand, he says, is that it is centrally located and very close to the Gautrain line which makes it convenient for anyone traveling in and around Gauteng.

Kirsten says convenience and time can often be a factor for a seller and a property auction, when implemented effectively and professionally, can be a great method to achieve a fair market value within an allocated time.

By restricting the time for the sale of a property, as is the case with auctions, there is a sense of urgency among interested buyers and often the agency will prioritise your auction property for the same reason.

“At Harcourts, we have developed world-class auction solutions that have been implemented by our global and local offices for many years. We have auction marketing down to a fine art and consider ourselves specialists in this field,” says Gray.

Gray adds that the trend will continue to increase and Harcourts predicts that auctions is going to be one of the primary selling and buying methods of property in Midrand in the coming years.


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Topics: Harcourts South Africa, Auction, Harcourts Real Estate, Harcourts Midrand

Harcourts South Africa growth defies market decline

Apr 18, 2019 9:20:54 PM Share this:

Despite the industry experiencing a decline in year on year sales, March 2019 was Harcourts South Africa's best month since Harcourts started in South Africa in 2009. Boasting 10% growth on the same month last year. In addition, Harcourts South Africa's first quarter was up 11% on the same period in 2018.


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Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts International, Real Estate Agents, Harcourts Growth, Harcourts Real Estate

Hermanus property market attracting a wide range of interest

Apr 11, 2019 8:00:03 PM Share this:

In the past few years, the Hermanus property landscape has certainly changed dramatically, losing the sleepy-town stigma and attracting quite a lot of interest from inland buyers and becoming a haven for semigrants. However, the local Western Cape buyers, many younger professionals that work from home, are showing a lot of interest in this region too.

The advantage for many property investors when purchasing property in Hermanus is the incredible value and return on investment opportunities homes in this region offer. The variety of property options range from small apartments to large family homes and development stands on the edge of the ocean. This opens up the region to a diverse range of buyers and creates exciting demand.

Technology has certainly played a role as we are now able to present Hermanus properties to the local, national and international market in an effective and convenient matter. What's equally exciting is that we're finding many professionals now being afforded the luxury of working from home, which opens up their location choices.

Hermanus is the perfect getaway from the city that celebrates a relaxed lifestyle all while having the option, if you desire, to drive into Cape Town in under two hours. Hermanus has an abundance of amenities, fantastic schools, a thriving local business landscape and a wonderful sense of community among the people. All this while being nestled by the majestic mountains above.

We've seen incredible value and growth in certain regions within Hermanus as well as surrounding areas like Kleinmond, Gansbaai and Betty's Bay. Our team of specialists have their fingers on the pulse of the Overberg market and we're able to assist both sellers and buyers to best achieve their desired results.

Statement by

Jana Smith
Harcourts Hermanus Principal


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Topics: Richard Gray, Investing in Property, Harcourts Real Estate, Harcourts Hermanus

Auctioned properties in Midrand set to rise rapidly

Apr 3, 2019 8:35:56 PM Share this:

From a global perspective auctions have for long been synonymous with the property market, however the local property industry has only really embraced this activity in the past few years. And now it is one of the fastest growing sections in our industry.


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Evaluating the 2018 Cape Town valuation roll

Apr 3, 2019 7:08:25 PM Share this:

According to the 2018 general valuation roll released by the City of Cape Town recently, homes in Cape Town are worth 34% more than they were three years ago. The city’s five modelling categories are based on market data and sales, which are used by the city’s valuation office.

However, this figure has certainly been met with a lot of concerns within the industry both from agents and real estate experts. At Harcourts we’ve undoubtedly experienced some regions in Cape Town showing impressive growth compared to the 2015 roll yet overall, property values have declined in the past 12 to 18 months. Indicative of these concerns is that some of our offices are finding municipal valuations are much higher than the actual market value.

Both internal and external factors have influenced the Cape Town property market; economic pressures on consumers impacting demand, the water crisis in the province and factors such as volatile economic market conditions. These factors play a major part in how buyers and sellers perceive the state of the market and this has an immediate influence on market value.

It is always difficult to analyse and summarize an entire property market across a wide region due to the intricacies of the local landscape. It has to be understood that the wide variety of properties across the city present different opportunities, therefore activities vary greatly. However, from a holistic perspective, the market has undoubtedly declined since mid-2017 with prices remaining relatively unchanged during this period.

It is imperative to note that going forward the market will change. We’ve seen stabilisation in previously unpredictable areas and with the water crisis stabilising also investment confidence will return. However, Eskom’s woes need to be rectified as a matter of urgency as foreign investor confidence is being dramatically reduced due to our national electricity crisis. This factor could play a major part in the value of property in the near future.

NOTE:
The 2018 valuation roll was released last month and homeowners were notified in February so they could inspect the roll and raise objections. Objections can be submitted until 30 April 2019. Visit: http://web1.capetown.gov.za/web1/gv2018/SearchProperty for more information.


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Evaluating the 2018 Cape Town valuation roll

Mar 27, 2019 8:05:39 PM Share this:

According to the 2018 general valuation roll released by the City of Cape Town recently, homes in Cape Town are worth 34% more than they were three years ago. The city’s five modelling categories are based on market data and sales, which are used by the city’s valuation office.

However, this figure has certainly been met with a lot of concerns within the industry both from agents and real estate experts. At Harcourts we’ve undoubtedly experienced some regions in Cape Town showing impressive growth compared to the 2015 roll yet overall, property values have declined in the past 12 to 18 months. Indicative of these concerns is that some of our offices are finding municipal valuations are much higher than the actual market value.

Both internal and external factors have influenced the Cape Town property market; economic pressures on consumers impacting demand, the water crisis in the province and factors such as volatile economic market conditions. These factors play a major part in how buyers and sellers perceive the state of the market and this has an immediate influence on market value.

It is always difficult to analyse and summarize an entire property market across a wide region due to the intricacies of the local landscape. It has to be understood that the wide variety of properties across the city present different opportunities, therefore activities vary greatly. However, from a holistic perspective, the market has undoubtedly declined since mid-2017 with prices remaining relatively unchanged during this period.

It is imperative to note that going forward the market will change. We’ve seen stabilisation in previously unpredictable areas and with the water crisis stabilising also investment confidence will return. However, Eskom’s woes need to be rectified as a matter of urgency as foreign investor confidence is being dramatically reduced due to our national electricity crisis. This factor could play a major part in the value of property in the near future.

NOTE:
The 2018 valuation roll was released last month and homeowners were notified in February so they could inspect the roll and raise objections. Objections can be submitted until 30 April 2019. Visit: http://web1.capetown.gov.za/web1/gv2018/SearchProperty for more information.


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Topics: Property Valuation

Choosing your method of sale

Mar 25, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

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When it comes to the sale of your property, there are more options available to you when choosing a method of sale than simply listing your property for a fixed price. In fact, according to the latest Harcourts figures, the number of auctions being performed around the country is up massively from last year.

So, why are people choosing to sell their homes in this way, and what are the alternatives?

Auction

We’ve all read the media commentary about rising house prices, and although there are many theories as to why this is, what it really comes down to are two factors – low supply and high demand.

Auction is the best way of achieving a premium price in a competitive market. Auction involves a short, sharp and intensive marketing campaign of a property without a price. This is to test the market to see what buyers, in a competitive situation, are prepared to pay to become the new owners of that property.

Marketing with a price limits what a keen buyer may pay. Once a listing price has been established for a property, a ceiling has been placed on what a buyer expects to pay for it. Auction, on the other hand, offers a real opportunity to get more for a property than the seller might expect.

What happens if I have chosen to auction my property, and I get an offer before the auction date?

If you wish to accept the pre-auction offer then Harcourts will recommend that you bring forward the auction and contact the other interested parties. The earlier auction can then be held with the acceptable offer as the opening bid. That way if any buyer is prepared to pay more Harcourts can obtain that premium for you.

Price by Negotiation (PBN)

This method of sale can be applied in any of these three ways:

1. No price is advertised. Buyers make offers through the sales consultants.

2. A minimum price may be advertised. Offers above this minimum price are considered by the seller.

3. A price range may be advertised. Offers within this price band are considered.

The benefit of PBN is the level of market interest will help the seller gauge a fair sale price. The ‘no price’ aspect will also attract more genuinely interested, cash-in-hand buyers as well as ensuring the sales price isn’t capped. In contrast, unlike auction and tender there is no sale date or deadline in place so there is no urgency placed on buyers to make a buying decision.

Another benefit of PBN is that this method creates competition between buyers, and this gives the seller the opportunity for stronger negotiating with potential buyers. 

Fixed Price

This means that a property is listed with a definite price. If the property is priced correctly it will attract a lot of interest, and in some cases have multiple offers resulting in a premium sale price. The fixed price also gives the buyer a price guideline and allows for a property search by price on real estate websites.

However it is easy to over or under price the property and buyers may discount the property without inspecting it, judging it solely on the price. This can effectively limit the market for that property.

Tender

Tender works in a similar way to the auction system, except there is no public auction day. Instead, tenders or offers close at a specific time on a specific date.

Tender presents another opportunity for sellers to create a competitive situation without stating a listing price. They set the terms, conditions and the deadline, and prospective buyers have only one opportunity to put forward their most competitive offer.

The seller doesn’t necessarily have to accept the highest price. They can choose to negotiate with any of the tenderers to achieve a satisfactory conclusion.

So, when you’re considering how to sell your property, take the time to work out which method suits you and your circumstances before making a decision, also take the time to discuss the best options for your property with your real estate agent. As property experts, Harcourts can help to advise you on the method of sale that’s going to work well for your property.


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Topics: Advice, buying and selling, Financial Advice

Applying for rental properties: The do’s and dont’s.

Mar 18, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

With rental housing continuing to experience unprecedented occupancy rates, it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward when looking and applying for a rental property.

The more prepared you are, the better the chance you will have in ensuring a tenancy agreement can be reached.  

Rentals.jpgFirst comes the initial contact and appointment. This can happen a number of ways. Consider though sending a thoughtful email to the Property Manager as the first point of contact. In it you can provide initial detail about yourself or your family and respond to various elements in the ad. Then, follow up with a phone call to make an appointment, if you haven’t received a call back already.

The appointment is not only your opportunity to see if the home will work for you but also to build a relationship with the Property Manager. This can be challenging if it is a group appointment as you may not get much face time with the Property Manager (see above). If it suits, ask for an application. You can always go to our website to retrieve it, but let the Property Manager know you’re submitting one.

When filling out your application, be sure to complete it in full, be honest, and ask if there’s something you’re not sure about. Remember, the Property Manager doesn’t know you but they’re doing their best based on the information you’ve provided to assess suitability and financial capability. You may then consider providing a profile and written references with your application. The more information you’ve prepared, the easier it will be to process and have an owner accept your tenancy.

In addition, know what’s on your own credit report (this can be done through each of the credit bureaus for free once a year). Sometimes these reports are incorrect so it’s worthwhile knowing what’s on record for you.

While these reports show debt and provide an opinion of credit risk, they don’t offer the complete story of financial capability. You may consider providing supplemental documentation, especially if you know you your credit is problematic or you don’t have much history in the country. This may come in the form of proof of income, identifying additional sources of income, a partial bank statement showing cheques that have cleared or a statement showing reserves. 

Remember when applying for a property, the more information you can provide, the faster your application can be processed and the faster you can find your new home!

ARTICLE written BY ANDREA BUTT, HEAD OF HARCOURTS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

 

Here’s some things you should consider before sending off your application.

DO: Consider writing a profile of yourself and include written references and other pertinent information that may help the Property Manager learn more about you.

DO:  Inform your referees that they may receive a call/email for a rental reference. And, follow them up with a thank you. You never know when you may need their help again or you can return the favour.

DO: Know what’s on your credit report.

DO: Use the viewing time to determine home suitability as well as build rapport with the Property Manager.

DON’T: Forget additional sources of income. The application only asks so much but if you have additional sources, it helps build a picture of financial capability. 

DON’T: Leave blanks on your application. This can slow down the process.  If you’re unsure about the consent you’re providing or anything else, ask the Property Manager before you submit your application. Incomplete or unconsented applications may result in your application being bypassed.


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Topics: Property Management, Renting, Rental Property, Applications

The five essential marketing tools

Mar 11, 2019 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.


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Topics: Advice, House of Inspiration, Marketing Tips