HOME GROWN INSIGHTS INTO PROPERTY
HOME GROWN INSIGHTS INTO PROPERTY
Introducing our property and home guru, Andrew Home. He’ll be sharing his insights into property and home making with us over the coming months.
A Durbanite, Andrew has moved seamlessly from being a home interior specialist and designer who upgraded both commercial and residential spaces to a fully-fledged estate agent for the Campbell Property Group. He’ll be advising us on everything from finding your dream home to transforming a fixer upper into just that – or even selling that dream home in your quest to find another that better suits your lifestyle.
LOCKDOWN SPECIALS ARE NOT THE ORDER OF THE DAY
It must be remembered that, in April 2020, South African house price growth hit its lowest point since the tail end of 2009! That wasn’t just because we were in the grips of the global lockdown. Our poorly performing economy, shackled by everything from downgrades to load shedding had inadvertently created a formidable buyer’s market in South Africa, empowering them with more selection as well as negotiating power.
Yet, even as we begin to emerge from the pandemic and the economy starts to tentatively re-open, the reality is that desperate sellers are few. Most are quite prepared to wait for a realistic buyer offer in all price bands.
So, what every prospective house hunter needs to know is that ‘lockdown specials’ are not the new order of the day and, provided that the asking price is set correctly, sellers are getting close to, and often, their full asking prices.
Already, as lockdown rules are softened and people get back to a ”new normal” that is not as daunting as they may have expected, there is already a marked upswing in confidence.
Bond applications are rising steadily as advised by local bond originators and the commercial banks. This is probably also in response to a succession of rate cuts by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) which has resulted in the record low prime interest rate at 7% as of 24 July 2020, the lowest in five decades. So, now is the time to borrow.
This bodes well for home owners who will now be paying less per month on their bond repayments as well as home buyers who should not only find qualifying for a home loan far easier, but also be repaying their home loans at a lower interest rate.
Owning a property in this more favourable bank lending climate, in many instances, is now cheaper than renting. It is a perfect time to buy!
For many, it is also a good time to put their current properties on the market and to even downsize if that is part of future planning.
So, here are my TEN TOP TIPS for keen sellers in the current property market:
- Exposure – With 87 % of buyers using the internet extensively for home searches, it is vital that your home exposure is on websites where savvy buyers shop! Serious buyers are online, especially during those many extra lockdown hours, so make sure that your home is too!
- Price your home right – We are now being confronted by interesting opportunities for buyers which make the challenges for sellers special. This is a BASIC … Be patient and realistic. Market related pricing is key!
- Price your property in the most appropriate value range – Value range pricing as opposed to a fixed price immediately invites a broader buyer’s spectrum. By overpricing your property initially, you could preclude a vast segment of potential home hunters who could now re-assess affordability (based on record-low SA Reserve Bank slashing of the repo rate by 100 base points to 4,25%, the lowest since 1973!)
- Hire a tech-savvy listing agent – Traditional advertising methods no longer apply. The most important market is now the millennials (born early 80’s – 90’s). They now account for the largest segment and +- 71% of current first time home owners. Millennials prioritise convenience, video streaming and personalised social media input. Thus, it’s essential that your agent should be tech–adept!
- Upgrade those online pics – Online homebuyer searchers react well to appetising photos before making the decision to contact the agent. A qualified professional photographer is in order.
- Video coverage is a great showcase enhancer – Another tech-tool which adds versatility and innovation to the emotive marketing of your home is creative 3-D home video tours and drone photography. Video graphic walkthrough imagery will sell your home faster and ensure that prospective buyers who wouldn’t be interested don’t waste your time – or theirs – with a walk through.
- Market your home aggressively – Together with your agent, place numerous signs, banners, boards, and banting on show days so your house is easily seen. During so-called ‘soft’ lockdown, people are on the prowl again.
- Flexibility for show days is a PLUS – One potential buyer through your home – could see your home SOLD! Show days are never an inconvenience. There are lockdown ways and your estate agent should be able to ensure rules are in place!
- Always boast your home’s best features – On potential buyer visits, always ‘humanise’ your home – light the fireplace, have the water feature working, in a kitchen, have something baking or just warm some coffee beans in the oven, turn on soothing music, add lighting ambiance, place a bowl of flowers on the dining room table – your house will sparkle!
- Involve your neighbours – They can play a large role in selling your home fast. They will inform their friends and social networks to generate interest in your home, long before going to market.