Grow with UsTue 31 May 2016

When you become a RE/MAX estate agent, you’re joining a family that’s been together for more than 43 years. Over the years, we’ve established ourselves as industry leaders in property sales to be regarded as one of the best agencies in the world.

Associate with the Best

When you become one of our real estate agents, your name immediately becomes synonymous with excellence, meaning you can easily earn more money and expand your skill set.

How do we help you do this? By offering you the opportunity to grow and learn through:

·         Exposure to excellence - We employ exemplary agents at all of our branches, so you can learn from them and their experience while you’re on the job. Many of our agents have taken advantage of the education opportunities provided by RE/MAX, so they really do have the edge when it comes to selling houses.

·         Global Learning Centre - By using this online portal to your advantage, you can study a range of topics to expand your real estate knowledge. Courses are frequently updated and are reliable sources of information that you can access anytime and from anywhere – all you need is an internet connection.

One of Us

Partnering with us as an estate agent means more than just education opportunities. We also provide our agents with over 4000 leads daily, so you don’t have to worry about being short on work. And with branches in more than 90 countries across the globe, there is employment potential on an international scale.  

Contact your nearest RE/MAX branch to find out more about becoming an estate agent.

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Fostering Growth Tue 31 May 2016

There is a wealth of benefits to starting a RE/MAX franchise in South Africa. Aside from joining what’s more like a family than a business, you’re set up for astronomical growth while reaping the rewards of the established RE/MAX brand.   

Empowering You

We want you to take yourself and your franchise to new heights, and we will do all we can to help you make it a success. We believe in opening doors for our estate agents and franchise owners, all in the pursuit of helping you achieve your dreams.

Some of the ways RE/MAX inspires growth in our franchisees include:

  • Daily leads - We use a revolutionary lead generation system to provide your agents with high-quality sales opportunities. With more than 4000 leads coming your way every day, it’s hard not to turn them into profits.
  • Multi-platform marketing - We help spread the word of your business so you don’t have to. We advertise across multiple mediums, including television, radio and digital spaces, so our message reaches a huge audience. This means that, by default, your RE/MAX franchise is advertised without costing you a cent.

Join Our Family

When you partner with RE/MAX by starting a franchise in South Africa or by becoming an estate agent, we’ll take care of you. You’ll be joining the ranks of a company that’s worked for over 40 years to build and maintain a solid and positive reputation, ensuring your name becomes synonymous with success.

Contact your nearest RE/MAX branch today to find out more about starting your own franchise. 

 

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Making the most of your property purchaseMon 30 May 2016

Making the most of your property purchase
While all property purchases have their merits, they are not all equal. In order for a buyer to make the most out of their property purchase, they need to make the right buying decisions from the start to ensure they give themselves the best possible opportunity at a good return on their investment, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
“Although recognising and purchasing a home at a fair market value is a good start, it is not the only thing that will guarantee long term appreciation on the buyer’s investment. Buyers will need to apply certain principles and guidelines for property acquisition that would improve their potential for investment growth in the future,” says Goslett. “Sound property buying fundamentals never go out of fashion. These include key aspects such as the property’s location, the value per square metre and the potential rental yield - these will always be the key criteria on which a savvy investor makes a decision.”
Goslett provides a few elements for buyers to consider when entering the property market:
Research and ask questions 
Before anything else buyers need to determine why they are purchasing the property. “Ask yourself whether the property is purely to live in or whether it is an investment property, as this will completely change the approach and how the property will be viewed,” says Goslett. “If the property will be for the purchaser to live in, the motives and influencing factors on the decision making process are more emotionally driven. The elements that will be important are the features and amenities that appeal to the buyer personally. In the instance where the property is bought for investment purposes, it is more important to research the demographic of tenants in the area and what would appeal to them.”
A buyer will be able to get a wealth of information online about an area, estate or complex. “That said, it is always best to go to the area and check it out personally. Drive around, walk the streets and speak to some of the residents currently living there. This will provide a good idea of what the area is like, the facilities and amenities on offer and the demographic of people the area would most appeal to. A real estate agent who specialises in the area will also be able to provide a comparative market analysis detailing the selling prices of homes there over the last six months,” says Goslett.
Subtle variances can make a big impact
Although two properties can be located in the same region, they could differ in price based on the suburb they are in or even which side of the road they are on. Subtle variances in a home’s location can make a big difference to its potential for appreciation. For this reason it is best to purchase the worst house in the best location, then the best house in the worst location – the home can be changed, the location cannot. Goslett says that a property’s selling price is linked to the demand in that area in which it is situated, so homes within sought-after areas will generally increase in value faster than homes in less appealing areas.  
“Buyers who purchase an investment property with the intention of renting it out, need to consider that certain things appeal to some people and not others, so discovering their target market is essential. Investment buyers should also look at how much rental stock is available in an area before purchasing a buy-to-let property. The rental market sector is driven by demand, and an investment could fall flat if there is an oversupply of properties available for rent in the area,” advises Goslett.
Have a plan in place
Property buyers and investors need to have a plan. Investors need to have a clear idea of what they want their portfolio to look like in the long term, and buyers need to know if the home they purchase will meet their needs in five to ten years’ time. “Having a plan and setting gaols will assist buyer and investors to remain focused and will give them something to work towards. Buyers should never limit their thinking to what they can afford right now, but rather what will be possible for them in the future,” says Goslett. 
Get rid of debt
A key element to any property transaction is access to finance and affordability. While there are certain buyers who are able to purchase properties with cash, the large majority of the population rely on bond finance from a bank. To improve their chances of bond approval and to increase their affordability ratio, buyers should try to reduce their debt levels where possible and keep their credit rating as high as possible. Having a deposit is also a must for those looking to purchase property. A deposit will increase a buyer’s chances of bond approval and reduce their monthly repayment.
More than bricks and mortar 
While the potential to make a profit on a property purchase is often a driving factor in property buying decisions, it should not be the only factor that is considered. A property is more than just a pile of bricks and mortar - it is a home and place where people live. Goslett points out that the basic principle of purchasing a property is that if you wouldn’t want to live in it, it’s not likely many others would either. The property needs to appeal to the buyer and they have to want to own it.
“A property that offers excellent returns over time is not just about luck and timing, it is much more than that. The most important aspect is to take time and research as much as possible. It is never a good idea to buy a property on a whim without carefully weighing up each option,” Goslett concludes.
 
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Stay in the rental market or buy?Wed 25 May 2016

Stay in the rental market or buy?
With 2016 touted as a financially challenging year, many buyers may be hesitant to take the step towards homeownership and are quite content to stay within the rental market for the time being, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
 
“There will be consumers who will remain within the rental market because they are worried about the country’s economy and how the factors surrounding the market will impact their financial wellbeing. There will also be those that simply enjoy the freedom of being able to stay in different areas without having to sell a property to relocate. Another group of consumers will stay in the rental market because they financially cannot afford to buy a property that offers them the same features as their rental property,” says Goslett. “Many consumers are eager to buy property, but don’t have the affordability levels or savings to get their foot in the door. With the increased cost of living and interest rate hikes that consumers have endured over the last while, many prospective buyers have been forced to stay within the rental market until their financial situation improves.”
 
According to statistics from bond originator BetterLife, the average deposit requirement by banks for first-time buyers this year is around 17% of the purchase price of the property. Given the fact that the average purchase price of a home bought by a first-time buyer is around R850 000, consumers have to save between R110 000 and R180 000 just for a deposit, not to mention the other costs associated with buying a home. “With so many South African’s struggling with personal debt, it can make it extremely difficult to save up the required deposit and costs required for a property transaction. Those who wish to improve their chances of getting into the market will need to try and reduce their debt-to-income ratio and start putting money aside as soon as possible,” says Goslett.  
He notes that while the bond approval rate is up to around 74%, there are still large numbers of consumers who are unable to meet bond approval requirements. “The constraints placed on consumers by the increased cost of living will see to it that the rental market continues to thrive.  However, if the interest rate continues to increase it will have a knock-on effect on the price of rentals as investors will have to pay more for any credit they may have,” says Goslett. 
Due to the fact that property should be viewed as a long-term investment, some consumers may find it a more viable option to stay within the rental market until they are settled and ready to commit to a particular home and area for the next five to ten years. According to Goslett, if a consumer is undecided about where it is that they would ultimately like to live or want the freedom to be able to relocate to another city unencumbered by the responsibility of homeownership, it is best that they continue to rent.
He adds that on the flipside, an advantage of buying a property is that it is a kind of forced saving, in that the homeowner is placing money into an asset they can sell at a later stage. “According to Reserve Bank figures South Africa has one of the lowest savings rates in the world and it is getting worse. Purchasing a home is a way for consumers to put money aside for the golden years. Selling the property once it has been paid off and downscaling will no doubt offer welcomed financial relief when it is needed most. South Africans that have rented for their entire lives will have no asset to sell. Ideally, if a consumer decides that they are going to purchase a home, it is best to get into the market as soon as possible. The sooner they do, the sooner they will have a paid off asset to work with,” says Goslett.
Irrespective of whether a consumer continues to stay in the rental market or decides to rather purchase a home, there are advantages and disadvantages to both options.  Each consumer needs to evaluate their circumstances and make the best decision that meets their personal needs. “Renting offers the tenant a certain amount of flexibility before they make a long-term commitment, while buying a home can provide the owner with an asset to their name that will certainly show good returns in time to come,” Goslett concludes.
 
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The right information will assist the agentMon 23 May 2016

The right information will assist the agent
An open communication channel is imperative to the relationship between a prospective homebuyer and the real estate professional they choose to work with, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.  He notes that in order for an agent to fully understand what the buyer wants, the buyer needs to feel comfortable that they can divulge information to the agent - openly and honestly.  
“The more information a buyer is prepared to give their agent, the better their chances are of finding the right home which meets all their needs. However, there is often rather sensitive information that is entrusted to an agent, such as how much a buyer can afford, so it is important that the agent is reputable and trustworthy. If a buyer works with an agent they trust and are comfortable to freely share information with, the process will be far easier and quicker,” says Goslett. “With the information that the buyer provides the agent, they will quickly be able to narrow down the search and pinpoint the perfect property.”
In some cases buyers are reluctant to provide the agent with information regarding their financial situation because they want to get a bargain price on a property. Goslett says that in instances such as this, buyers will tell the agent they can only afford to buy a home at a much lower price than what they actually can. According to Goslett, there are two reasons why buyers choose to do this, the first being that they are looking to test the market and see what is available to them at this price range. The second is because they haven’t reached the point where they trust the agent and see them as an ally looking out for their best interest. “Knowing that agents work on a commission basis can lead to buyers thinking that the agent is only showing them properties within the upper range of what they can afford to secure a higher pay cheque out of the deal. If the buyer is working with a reputable agent from a respected agency, they can rest assured that the agent will have both the buyer and the seller’s interest at heart,” says Goslett. 
He adds that a good agent will understand that the real estate business is about building and maintaining relationships, not earning a commission from selling brick and mortar. “A good agent will be focused on securing a client for life, rather than just the commission from one transaction.  It is in their best interest to do the best possible job and find the right fit for both the buyer and seller, ensuring that the transaction meets everyone’s criteria. The more information an agent has, the faster the buyer can get in and make an offer on the right property,” says Goslett.
According to Goslett, buyers who approach the process of purchasing a property in an upfront manner by disclosing all their criteria and exactly what they are willing pay to ensure that all their needs are met, walk away far more satisfied than those who don’t provide the agent with all the relevant details.
Apart from their financial information, it is also important for buyers to have a clear idea as to what features and elements they are looking for in a home. “Before approaching an agent, prospective buyers should sit down and make a list of their must haves, as well as the things they would like, but could compromise on. Once a buyer knows exactly what it is that they want, it is far easier for them to communicate this to their agent and give them a clear picture of the type of property they require. This will make house hunting a far easier process,” says Goslett.  
For a successful business relationship, the agent and the buyer need to be on the same page. The only way this can happen is through open communication. “Fully understanding each other is essential so that an agent can determine exactly what it is that the buyer is looking for. Communication plays a vital role in successfully finding the perfect home for the buyer,” Goslett concludes.
 
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Rates remain where they are for nowFri 20 May 2016

Rates remain where they are for now
Despite growing inflationary pressure, the South African Reserve Bank has decided to keep the interest rates at their current levels to provide some financial relief to consumers during this hiking cycle. The benchmark repo rate will remain at 7% and the prime interest rate will stay at 10.5%. 
Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, says this is welcomed news considering that a rate hike at this stage could be detrimental to many consumers, who are already dealing with increasing food prices, rising electricity tariffs and petrol price hikes. “It is one thing dealing with one or two increases; however households have been subjected to several pricing hikes across the board, creating a compounding negative impact on their financial wellbeing,” says Goslett. “For a number of consumers a rate hike at this stage could be more than they could bear. In fact, we are already seeing an increase in the number of distressed properties entering the market this year. Further rate hikes will lead to more and more homeowners having to let go of their properties throughout the course of the year.”
He adds that while economists are predicting that inflation could reach around 8% by the end of the year, previous rate hikes have done little to curb inflationary pressure at this stage and economic growth is marginal at best. “Higher rates would only serve to further slow economic growth as most consumers are loan dependent to some degree. As the cost of credit increases, fewer consumers will be able to afford high-ticket items such as property and cars,” says Goslett. 
During the next month all eyes will be on the possible threat of a credit rating downgrade to sub-investment status.  If this happens, it will make South Africa a less attractive investment option, which will likely result in a depreciation of the rand. This means that imported goods such as oil and the food the country has to import due to the drought, will be more expensive. This would push inflation up, causing the SARB to once again hike rates. 
Consumers need to use this breather constructively and pay down debt where possible. “Prospective homebuyers and homeowners alike should draw up a budget to assist them in dealing with the challenging economic environment they find themselves in.  Consumers will be in for hard times ahead, if they don’t streamline their spending and build up their cash reserves,” Goslett concludes.
 
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The effects of higher interest rates on the marketThu 12 May 2016

The effects of higher interest rates on the market
This month marks the third Monetary Policy Committee meeting, where the Reserve Bank will decide whether the prime lending rate will be hiked or remain at its current level of 10.50%. Given the fact that inflation is on the rise and has once again breached the top end of the target band, and the continued weakening of the currency, the Reserve Bank will be under pressure to raise the interest rates despite the low economic growth.
Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, says that with inflation expected to reach around 8% towards the end of the year, the Reserve Bank will be hard pressed not to push rates up, even though previous hikes have not done anything to curb inflation . He notes that another rate increase at this point amid petrol price hikes, rising food prices and electricity tariff increases, would only heap burning coals onto consumers heads. “With the compounding effect of the ever increasing cost of living, even a marginal increase in rates could be the proverbial ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ for numerous consumers. Many households are already struggling to make ends meet, so further hikes will be a tough pill to swallow,” says Goslett. 
He notes that as the majority of prospective homebuyers are reliant on loans to purchase property, increases in the rates are likely to slow the market to some degree.  “Credit will cost consumers more and they will be paying higher repayments on their bonds. Essentially buyers will be paying more and getting the same, or in some cases less. Rate increases will impact affordability levels so potential buyers may be forced to compromise on certain homes features. Those who are not prepared to compromise will have stay within the rental market until they can afford the home they want. Bearing in mind those rentals will also likely increase in order for landlords to meet their growing financial constraints,” says Goslett. 
He adds that banks place a lot of emphasis on affordability ratios during the bond application process. An increasing interest rate makes it more and more difficult for aspirant homebuyers to show the necessary levels of available finances for bond approval. However, the interest rate is not the only element that will have a bearing on the buyer’s potential to afford a bond. The buyer’s personal finances will play a far greater role in determining how much the buyer will be able to repay on bond instalments. A rise in the interest rate will have less of an effect on the buyer’s affordability ratio than high levels of personal debt. 
“Prospective homebuyers and homeowners alike should draw up a budget to assist them in dealing with the challenging economic environment they find themselves in.  Consumers will be in for hard times ahead, if they don’t streamline their spending and build up their cash reserves,” Goslett concludes.
 
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Canada's largest Keller Williams office convertsWed 11 May 2016

Canada's largest Keller Williams office converts
Success means something different to everyone. However, no matter what it means for you, we can all agree that success is a direct result of growth. It is hard to imagine that RE/MAX INTEGRA, Ontario-Atlantic region, Canada, is still focused on growing considering they account for a third of the greater RE/MAX organization, but that is exactly what they are doing having recently converted Canada’s largest Keller Williams office. 
On April 27th, the RE/MAX INTEGRA regional staff along with Jeff and Margie Hooper, owners of the former Keller Williams Ottawa Realty, made the announcement that they would be merging their business with Ken McLachlan, Debra Bain and Steve Tabrizi of RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Amongst the two offices, which have since converted and are located in Orleans and Central Ottawa, Ontario, Jeff and Margie grew their business to be the largest Keller Williams office in Canada, consisting of nearly 300 agents.
This was a big decision, but according to Margie Hooper, it was the power of the RE/MAX brand that drew the leadership team to make a change. “Being part of the RE/MAX INTEGRA network means our agents not only get to leverage a brand that is present in over 95 countries worldwide, it means they have access to some of the best resources in the industry,” says Hooper.  “With RE/MAX Launchpad and the RE/MAX Launchpad Productivity Suite that lives within it, agents are provided with industry leading tools they can access easily with a single sign-on. From there, our world class training team provides the training and support needed to successfully leverage the tools in day to day business. At RE/MAX INTEGRA, we provide agents with the resources they need to build and grow a successful business, and the growth we are seeing will continue to propel us into a global marketplace.”
RE/MAX INTEGRA are excited to welcome their fellow colleagues just north of the border, Jeff and Margie Hooper, along with their new sales associates, into an environment where their knowledge and expertise will be leveraged. This is an exciting time for RE/MAX INTEGRA, as well as the newly formed brokerage RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, and we look forward to sharing more stories about the growth within our network.
 
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Avoid these real estate investment mistakesWed 11 May 2016

Avoid these real estate investment mistakes
Investing in property is much like running any other business, in that it requires research, conscientiousness and an acute attention to detail. As with owning a business, a property investor needs to capitalize on opportunities in the market and more importantly minimize their potential for making costly mistakes. Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that there are certain mistakes that property investors could make that would be more detrimental than others, so it is important to understand what they are and how to stay clear. 
“When it comes to property investment it is far better to learn from other’s mistakes, then make them yourself. An incorrect investment decision could potentially be devastating, affecting the investor’s financial well-being both now and in the future. Those who are new to the real estate investment landscape should learn from savvy, seasoned investors and avoid possibly dangerous business mistakes,” says Goslett. 
He provides a few mistakes that property investors should watch out for:
Not seeing people as an asset
While property is the commodity that real estate investors use as a means to supplement their income, it is certainly not the only asset that investors have in their arsenal. There are few things that are worth more than the people the property investor chooses to work with. While an investor may buy and sell many different properties over the span of their real estate investment career, the best investors will have the foresight to understand that their network and relationships with the right people can net them more profits than any one property deal. 
“Property investment is not just about bricks and mortar, it is a people business. It is important not to focus only on the bottom line and neglect the people that made the deal possible. Building and nurturing the right relationships is one of the key elements to real estate investment success. A good rapport with people can propel any business to the next level.  It is vital to work with property professionals who are reputable, experienced and well-connected,” advises Goslett. 
No plan B
There are several aspects that need to come together to ensure a successful real estate investment. An experienced investor will be aware of this and have a system in place to ensure that as little as possible is left to chance. However, even with what would seem like a fool-proof-plan, there could always be unexpected elements that will be need to be accounted for.  “In reality not all plans will go as expected. In fact, it is important that investors have a backup plan to cover themselves in the eventuality that their original plan fails. It is never good to assume that all will fall into place without complications. Those who have more than one plan to rely on will have a higher inclination towards success. Never be content with having everything riding on one method or system,” says Goslett.
Growing the portfolio too quickly
Every profitable property that an investor owns will add to their bottom line and increase their ability to expand their portfolio. However it is important know when to expand and when to hold back and maintain. 
“While expansion is good, growing too quickly can run the investor at the risk of expanding beyond their means. This will essentially set the investor back, rather than propelling them forward. A property investor should continuously be aware of the market and take cautious steps when looking at expanding their portfolio. An interest hike for example, has financial implications on a homeowner who owns a primary residence, how much greater will the impact be on an investor with several properties in their stable? It is vital that investors understand their capacity for growth as well as their limitations,” says Goslett. 
“Growing and managing a successful investment portfolio requires merging the right plans, the right people and latest the technology.  Investors need to work with people who can contribute to their growth, implement plans that can repeat successful results and utilize technology that will maximize their efficiency,” he concludes.
 
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How a junk status may impact the marketTue 10 May 2016

How a junk status may impact the market
“Pay down short-term debt and consolidate long-term debt,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
 
Moody’s Investors Service rating agency recently affirmed the country’s status at two notches above sub-investment or junk status, but gave the country a negative outlook. While it is good news that the rating was not downgraded, we are not out of the woods just yet. Moody’s is only one of three rating agencies that will be reviewing the country’s credit status to determine whether the rating will be downgraded to junk status, with Standard and Poor and Fitch still to conduct their reviews. The decision will largely be determined by the policymakers’ ability to implement a strong medium-term strategy that will rein in the government’s debt growth. 
Goslett says that if the country is downgraded to junk status it would have a negative impact on consumers and the property market as a whole. “Essentially the country’s rating impacts the cost of credit. A junk status will mean that it will cost more for the government to borrow money, which in turn will have a knock on effect on the consumer. Financial institutions will need to hold more money in reserve, which will make it more difficult to obtain credit, and the credit that is granted will come at a higher cost,” says Goslett. “A marginal mitigating factor is that to some degree financial institutions have already made provision and priced in the effects that a downgrade would have on credit costs.”
He adds that the higher cost of credit will curb the demand for big ticket items such as property and motor vehicles. “Those who wish to enter the property market are already dealing with increasing interest rates and higher food and electricity prices, so an increased cost of credit would place further strain on consumers who are already feeling the effects of the growing cost of living,” says Goslett. 
According to Goslett a junk status will also keep foreign investment at bay. “If South Africa is downgraded, foreign investors will see this country as too risky and will avoid investing here. With less demand from foreign investors, the prices of our assets will depreciate, along with the currency. If the rand falls further, it will cause inflation to increase, which will place more pressure on the interest rate and the cost for goods. All of this will only cause the cycle to repeat itself and make it that much harder to dig our way back out of junk status. According to economists, it will extend the electricity crisis and lock the country into a low-growth pathway,” says Goslett. “It is far easier to maintain an investment status, than it is to improve the status once it has been downgraded. Research concluded by Rand Merchant Bank reveals that on average it takes approximately seven to eight years for a country to recover from a downgrade.” 
Goslett notes that if the South Africa continues on the path of low economic growth, it will impact the country’s ability to maintain and upgrade infrastructure – this at a time when the country is already experiencing power shortages. “We will also see less development due to lack of demand and the fact the developers will struggle to gain access to the necessary financial backing,” he adds.
“For the sake of the consumer and country as a whole, it is imperative that a downgrade is avoided at all costs. The government will need to fully commitment to cutting spending and boost the country’s position to pay back debt. Consumers are urged to prepare themselves financially by reducing their own debt levels and putting away savings,” Goslett concludes.
 
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Location, location, locationTue 10 May 2016

Location, location, location
Regardless of whether a property professional works with commercial or residential property, all will agree on one aspect, and that is that location is one of the most important aspects to consider when purchasing a property. Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that property experts emphasise the importance of location because it has such a massive bearing on a property’s potential investment return.
He notes that location refers to several aspects that potential homebuyers need to consider before they make their final decision and sign an offer to purchase. There are various factors that influence whether a particular location would be considered to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’. “The more positive elements that a location has going for it, the greater the potential resale value the property will have over the long term. Essentially it comes down to desirability and whether buyers would want to live where the home is situated - demand directly influences price,” says Goslett. 
Many buyers focus on the home itself and compromise on its location, however in terms of the appreciation potential of the property this will end up hurting their back pocket. It is always better to put location as a top priority and rather compromise on the property. While it is impossible to change a property’s location, the home can be renovated or changed to meet the owner’s needs.
According to Goslett a good location is where there is the potential for growth and development. The area needs to be able to support the demand for property over the long term and subsequently increase the value of the property in time. However, it is important to bear in mind that certain development can bring down the value of a property, such as the construction of a power plant or dump within proximity to the home. “Before purchasing in an area buyers should find out about the future development plans of an area. Developments such as new industrial sites, new roads or railways or even industrial activities can vastly alter the price profile of an area,” he warns.  
Commercial activity and corporate investment in an area is also indication that an area has the potential for strong investment returns. Goslett says before a national retailer or property developer invests in an area, they will undertake thorough market research to determine the area’s potential. The presence of residential and commercial property development, along with long-established or well-known brands within the surrounds will indicate that there is a level of confidence that the area has good growth potential,” advises Goslett.
The infrastructure of an area will also have an impact on the value of the properties located there. “There needs to be provisions made to ensure that the infrastructure in an area can accommodate the level of service required by its residents. Neglected areas that experience poor service delivery are not a good option. It is fairly easy to distinguish these areas based on the upkeep of the general public land such as the parks, pavements and roads,” says Goslett. 
Proximity to quality amenities which include shopping and medical facilities, entertainment areas, restaurants, public services and schools is also another factor to consider when determining the perfect location. “Convenience is a highly valued commodity,” says Goslett. 
He adds that crime is another aspect that potential buyers should take into account. Homes in an area with a high crime rate will not hold their value over time. Goslett says that potential buyers will be able to find out about the crime rate in an area by contacting the local residents association, speaking to potential neighbours or consulting with the security companies that service the area.  “Driving through an area during different times of the day could indicate either unpleasant or welcome conditions. The different times could bring about a variety of elements such as how severe the traffic is during peak times or how lively and noisy the night life is,” says Goslett.  
Accessibility to transport routes can also have an impact on an area’s appreciation potential. Many South Africans have to commute relatively far distances to where they work every day, which has pushed up demand for property with easy access to major transport routes and modes of transportation such as the Gautrain or bus stations. “There is a fine balance to consider when selecting a property within proximity to major transport routes. It is important to be within range, however being too close could expose the property to a significant amount of noise and have a negative impact on the home’s value,” adds Goslett. 
“The adage of location, location, location was first used in 1926, and is as relevant now as it was then. While finding the right home in the right location will require time and research, the future benefits of solid growth in the value of the property will certainly make it worthwhile,” Goslett concludes.
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Spreading some warmth this winterMon 09 May 2016

Spreading some warmth this winter
As the colder winter months edge closer, the RE/MAX Foundation is once again preparing for its annual Coats and Cans initiative which will run from 9 May up until the 24 June 2016. Members of the public who wish to contribute any blankets, winter woollies and non-perishable food items to the campaign will be able to drop off their donations at their local RE/MAX office. 
Adrian Goslett, Director of the RE/MAX Foundation and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that the campaign has become a fixed feature on the annual calendar because of the amazing impact the initiative has had on communities throughout South Africa. “Each year the public astonishes us with their generous contributions, which all go to helping the underprivileged in their local communities. There are countless numbers of people in this country who live below the breadline, struggling to buy enough food to adequately sustain themselves and their families, let alone purchase the additional warm clothing they need to get through the winter months. As the temperature drops the fight for survival becomes increasingly difficult, as it now includes the need to stay warm.  With the help of those within the local community, the RE/MAX Foundation aims to assist as many people in need as possible, making their lives slightly more comfortable during the harsh colder months,” says Goslett.
He notes that due to public support, the campaign has made a significant difference to people’s lives. “While the initiative is run by the RE/MAX Foundation, the success and reach that the campaign has enjoyed over the past few years has been solely attributed to the participation of those in the local communities.  The more people who contribute to the cause, the more people we have been able to help. As a company we are a link in a chain and can only do so much within the community. However, when people come together to contribute towards a common goal, big things happen and lives are impacted in a positive way,” says Goslett. 
He adds that to ensure that the collected items benefit the local community in which the RE/MAX office is located; each office will nominate a charity or organisation in their area that will receive the goods. “The reasoning behind this concept is that we want the donations that are received from the public to impact their local community and make a difference to the people in that specific area. The thinking is that when one lives and works within a community, they will have some insight into which organisations would benefit the most from the donations,” says Goslett.
The public is urged to once again get involved and visit their local RE/MAX office to donate some much needed items. “A warm meal and winter coat is often taken for granted, but for many it is a luxury that they simply cannot afford.  Every donation will have a positive impact on those who receive it,” Goslett concludes.  
For more information regarding the RE/MAX Foundation or the Coats and Cans Winter Campaign visit www.remax.co.za/foundation or contact the Foundation manager, Sandy Smith on 021 700 2000.
 
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Backed by the BestFri 29 Apr 2016

Opening a business can seem daunting at first. This is true if you’re going out on your own, or joining a venture that’s been around for years. If you’re interested in real estate, when you choose to open a RE/MAX franchise, you’ll be supported by a team dedicated to making the process easier for you.
Add Knowledge to Your Arsenal
RE/MAX offers both new agents and franchisees a host of opportunities to gain invaluable expertise in the property industry. All with one goal in mind: to help you the best as you can possibly be. At RE/MAX, we’re firm believers in the old saying ‘knowledge is power’, which is why we equip you with business development courses.
We offer this training through the Global Learning Centre (GLC). There are several worthwhile advantages to studying through the GLC when you open your RE/MAX franchise. However, two of the biggest perks are:
  • All-inclusive courses - Rest assured that when you choose your area of learning,  you’ll be exposed to all the knowledge that is available on the subject at the time. As property is an industry that is constantly changing, we keep our modules up-to-date and relevant.
  • Anytime, anywhere - There are few things more satisfying than knowing that you can study your passion at your leisure. You can apply for a course, and work your way through the material from wherever you are, provided you have an internet connection. And, as the training is all done through correspondence, you can do your coursework whenever you have a free minute. So, whether you have a full-time job, or you’re raising small children, there’s no reason why you can’t study with RE/MAX.
Have the Best Backing You
When you open a franchise with RE/MAX, you won’t be left in the dark, because we offer you guidance and assistance every step of the way.
Additionally, we provide you with:
  • Daily leads
  • Free marketing across multiple platforms
  • Growth potential
  • Opportunities to immigrate
  • The backing of a world renowned name
If you’re passionate about the real estate industry and looking to open your own business, a RE/MAX franchise is the ideal solution.
Contact your nearest branch today to find out how you can fulfill your dreams of opening a business.
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How to Become an AgentFri 29 Apr 2016

When you become a RE/MAX agent you’re joining not just starting a new venture, you’re joining a family. That’s one of the advantages of belonging to a company that’s been around for as long as we have.
Fuel Your Passion for Property
There are a host of perks that come with being one of our real estate agents. For example, we provide you with leads every day, ensuring that you never have a shortage of opportunities to sell property.
Other ways we assist you on your journey to become a leading area specialist include:
  • Access to education - RE/MAX has a revolutionary endeavour known as the Global Learning Centre (GLC) in place. Through online correspondence courses, you can add to your knowledge of the property industry from anywhere in the world. This helps you become sought after, specialist real estate agent.
  • Exposure to experts - When you start as a RE/MAX agent, you can expect to be working with some of the best professionals in the field. This is an excellent learning opportunity for you while you’re getting acquainted with your position as an area specialist.
  • A trusted platform  - We’ve been in the business of selling property for over 40 years. Additionally, we’re ranked globally as one of the leading real estate brands, which means your name immediately becomes synonymous with excellence.
Simply Exemplary
At RE/MAX, we believe in giving our real estate agents all the knowledge and tools they need to perform at their absolute best. Wouldn’t you want to be a part of an agency that’s about so much more than just selling property and driving sales?
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Could virtual reality change the real estate sectorFri 29 Apr 2016

Could virtual reality change the real estate sector
No longer just for computer gaming enthusiasts, 2016 has been dubbed as the year of virtual reality – but will this have any impact on the real estate sector and how business is operated in the future? 
While VR is not a new concept, there has been rapid advancement and augmented reality technology is at the stage where it could start to have an impact on consumers’ daily lives over the next few years. There is a wide array of applications that VR could possibly have within the education sector, the office environment, medical facilities and of course the real estate sector.  “Although it will still take some time for VR to become available to the majority of consumers, the advancement in the technology through hardware development and computing power has made the integration of VR into real estate business far more possible,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
How does virtual reality differ from augmented reality? While augmented reality provides an additional layer of 3D content to the user’s actual surroundings, VR fully submerges the user into a simulated environment. Wearing a headset, the user is transported into another place offering them a 360 degree view of their simulated surroundings. 
“In terms of real estate application, it will allow potential buyers to take 360 degree virtual tours of homes for sale all over the country without having to travel. The buyer will be able to virtually tour multiple properties from the comfort of their own home in a matter of minutes. This will reduce the stress of relocating to a new city or even a new country,” says Goslett. “The process will allow potential buyers to check through serval homes and quickly narrow down the field to a few choice homes that they would like to take a second look at in person.”  
According to Goslett, virtual reality could be an excellent tool for developers. “Developers will be able to give potential buyers a virtual tour of an architectural rendering of a property before it has been constructed. The buyer will be able to view an off-plan property and get an idea of the space and how it works before ground has been broken and building has started,” says Goslett. 
While most people have heard of virtual reality, very few have had the privilege of actually experiencing it first-hand. Although the technology is there, it will still be a while before we see everyone shopping for their homes in VR. “However, that said, there are already elements of VR that are accessible to the general public and already being used within the real estate sector, such as Google Street View, which allows the user to visit city and suburb streets that they have never actually set foot on.  There is also Google Cardboard, which is an inexpensive devise that allows people to experience a VR simulation by merely inserting their phone into a cardboard casing.”
What can we expect from virtual reality in the future? According to technology commentators, developments are underway to introduce haptic or kinaesthetic communication to virtual reality. Using forces and sensations the technology will replicate the sense of touch and allow users to see their hands in the virtual world. The user will be able to open doors and cupboards, interacting with their virtual surroundings when viewing a property.  Further developments are also being made to introduce the other senses into the VR world such as smell and taste. The buyer will be able to smell the freshly brewed coffee or baking cookies during the virtual home tour. These introductions can be used to simulate the same emotional response in buyers as they would if used in home staging during a show day. 
“Even with the advancement in technology and possible application, it remains to be seen whether the virtual world will ever truly rival the actual experience of shopping for a home in person,” Goslett concludes.
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Tips on investing in your first propertyMon 25 Apr 2016

Tips on investing in your first property
When deciding on investing in property for the first time, there a few key elements that investors should take into consideration, such as whether they are investment-ready and well informed on all the available options, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. 
“Purchasing a property is a major commitment that should be carefully evaluated in terms of your life plans and financial situation both currently and in the future,” says Goslett. “As a first time property investor it is vital to be informed and ask the right questions, such as when, where, why and how to invest in your first property.”
Goslett provides some guidelines as to how first-time investors can find the answers to these questions:
WHEN
According to Goslett, the short answer to this question is as soon as you can afford to. While it is important to watch the market and buy at the right time, it is never too early to get into the property market. “Property investors should take the necessary time required to ensure that they make an educated decision, assessing whether they can afford to make the necessary financial commitments.  To make an accurate assessment of this, it is advisable to use the resources available, for example banks and bond originators such as Betterbond, will be able to give purchasers estimated repayment figures based on bond requirements,” says Goslett. “Monthly bond repayments should not exceed more than 30% of the buyer’s total expenses and most buyers will be required to put down a deposit of between 10% and 30% of the purchase price of the property before they are approved for finance.”
It is important to keep in mind that it is not just the bond repayments that will need to be paid. There are a number of other costs involved in a property transaction that can add up to a substantial amount. These fees include Transfer duties, deed office fees and levies, municipal rates, bank charges, bond initiation fees, home insurance costs as well as the monthly administration fee that is charged by the bank, moving costs and the cost of maintaining the property.  It is essential to include all of these aspects into the calculation when assessing affordability. 
WHERE 
According to Goslett location is of the utmost importance and in terms of investment, can never be stressed enough. “Location is vital because being in the right area and position will ensure a good resale value and return on your investment.  When looking into an area, consider proximity to amenities such as schools and shopping centres.  Online property search portals can be used to find statistics on areas and values of property. Estate agents can provide you with a comparative market analysis, which will give you thorough knowledge of the property sales dynamics of a certain area,” says Goslett.  
WHY
Property remains a solid asset class in which to invest. Goslett says that buying property is a huge step towards financial security and growth and is a great way to invest in your future. “Property is far less volatile than the equity or share markets and, unlike other investment options, with property investors have complete control over their asset. Generally property prices tend to increase fairly consistently over time, which makes it a lot easier to gauge the estimated return on investment much more accurately than any other investment class. Property owners will not have to sleep with one eye glued to the stock market and have to sell the minute the market is at a high,” says Goslett. 
He adds that another beauty about property is that it is the only asset class that can be financed and leveraged. In layman’s terms this means that an investor can buy property with someone else’s money. If an investor can prove affordability and meet the loan repayment conditions, property is practically the only investment option that banks are willing to finance. This is because they know that if managed correctly, the money they lend to individuals is being invested in an appreciating asset. If you are looking for an investment that either keeps up with inflation or outstrips it in terms of growth over the long term, then property is for you. 
HOW
Save, save, save. Wherever possible an investor should put aside as much money as they can. “The larger the deposit, the lower the repayments and the easier it is to buy a property. It is also vital to have as much disposable income as possible, as this will have a bearing on whether the bond is approved or not. Paying off any existing debt as soon as possible will improve the investor’s disposable income along with their credit rating. Maintaining a clean credit record will be invaluable when being assessed for bond approval. 
Once the investor has the required deposit and decided on the type of property that will suit their life stage, working with a mortgage originator will ensure that the bond application is a smooth, hassle free process.  “When you are ready to take the next step, it is important to partner with a reputable estate agency to help source the right property,” Goslett concludes.
 
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Keeping your home flu free in the colder monthsTue 19 Apr 2016

Keeping your home flu free in the colder months
As the weather turns and gets colder, many will be focusing their attention on preparing for winter and staying germ free during the flu season. Apart from getting vaccinated from the flu virus and the time-honoured tactic of washing hands well and often, there are other ways that homeowners can keep their home from serving as a breeding ground for colds and flu.
Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, provides homeowners with a few simples tips to keep them healthy during the colder seasons:
Change your fixtures
There are certain metals such as copper, aluminium, lead, iron and silver that are all antimicrobial, which means that they actively kill bacteria. Goslett says that of all the metals, brass is the most effective at kill germs. Considering that doorknobs are a common gathering place for germs and bacteria, changing to brass ones will not only add to the look of the home, but also act as an effective strategy for keeping the home flu-free. 
Pay attention to germ hot spots
Aside from door handles, there are several other germ hot spots throughout the home such as the kitchen sink, counter tops, phones, the remote controls, the fridge door, toilet handles, children’s toys and anything else that is frequently used by those living in the home. The influenza virus spreads through touching something that a person with the virus has been in contact with or sneezed on, so it is vital that these objects are cleaned regularly with some kind of antibacterial solution or wipe. Keeping antibacterial wipes in several locations throughout the home will increase the likelihood of the occupants using them. 
Place items in the washer
Although wiping an item down is an effective way of cleaning it, placing it in the dishwasher is a method that is far more effective and much more efficient at killing germs. This is a great way to frequently disinfect children’s toys and dog toys. Not all items will be dishwasher safe, however it is possible to Google which items can be put in the dishwasher. 
Replace or wash sponges and cleaning tools regularly
How often something gets cleaned will be meaningless if the sponge, mop or rag used to clean it with is filthy. Sponges, mops and clothes hold onto a host of germs so should either be washed or replaced on a regular basis. Unless sanitised between uses, a dirty mop will simply spread the germs faster. Some of the tidiest homes could have the highest number of germs because the cleaning tools used have not been cleaned between uses. Placing a sponge in the microwave for two minutes or running it through a dishwasher cycle will help to kill any festering colonies of germs between uses. 
Humidify
Viruses thrive in dry air. Scientific research has shown that humidity can make it much harder for viruses to multiple. Studies showed that homes that kept humidity levels at between 40% and 60% had far less airborne flu viruses floating around. A humidifier can reduce airborne flu virus particles by as much as 30%, but it is important to remember that a humidifier can also be a breeding ground for bacteria if not cleaned regularly. 
Wash linens often
Ideally bed linens should be washed at least once a week to get rid of any lingering germs in the bedroom. Germs can build up on blankets and sheets, effecting home occupants while they sleep. It is also advisable to frequently wash other linens used around the home as well, such as throws and towels.
“While these tips will not completely eradicate the risk of the home’s occupants getting a cold or the flu, they will significantly reduce the chances. Being vigilant and taking the necessary precautions will assist in keeping all those in the home healthy during the flu season,” Goslett concludes.

 

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Purchasing a property off planTue 19 Apr 2016

Purchasing a property off plan
As demand for property continues to outstrip what is currently available to buyers on the market, the off-plan property sector has continued to grow from strength to strength, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. 
He notes that aside from the fact that there is simply not enough properties on the market to meet the current buyer demand, purchasing a home off-plan has grown in popularity because these properties are generally more cost effective to purchase than existing homes with similar features within the same area. This makes this kind of property purchase highly attractive among property buyers and investors alike. “Often homes that are sold within the first phase of a development are more affordable than those sold in the later stages. Added to this the initial deposit required from the purchaser to secure the deal is often comparatively far less than other types of purchases. While buying off-plan may mean that the purchaser will have to wait between six months and a year to take occupation, this can be seen as an advantage, as it gives them time to save up for any other expenses related to the property purchase. In addition, the value of the home will invariably increase between the time the buyer signs the contract and the time the construction of the home is complete,” says Goslett. 
He adds that another drawcard that is attracting buyers to off-plan purchases is the fact that they can personalise their home to some degree in terms of the finishes and materials used for some aspects of the build. “The buyer will have a certain amount of freedom in tweaking the design of the property, along with its layout. This is very important to some buyers who wish to have an element of control over the look and feel of their new home,” says Goslett.
According to Goslett, a major difference between purchasing off-plan and buying an existing home is the elements that influence the pricing of each. Home prices of existing properties are largely based on the supply and demand in the market, while off-plan home prices are affected by the cost of the building, materials used and the labour. 
“A big advantage of buying off-plan is that the purchaser does not have to pay transfer duty. Although still liable for the usual conveyancing fees, a buyer who purchases a home off-plan will not have to make provision for transfer fees over and above the purchase price. If a property is bought during the development stage, the developer will charge VAT on the transaction instead of the buyer paying the regular transfer duty,” Goslett explains. “Transfer duty is generally paid on any property purchase above R750 000. The amount charged is based on a sliding scale that increases with the purchase price of the property. However, buyers who are purchasing a home off-plan will not have to take this into consideration – regardless of purchase price.”
While there are several benefits to purchasing an off-plan property, it also comes with its own set of challenges.  “Even though the buyer may have seen an artist’s impression of the property or a show house or two on the development, there is no way of knowing what the final home will actually look like. Most building agreements will allow the developer to deviate from the plans by between 5% and 10% without having to consult the buyer. If the buyer doesn’t monitor the build closely, they could find the layout, size or features of their home altered to some extent. To a large degree purchasing a home off-plan is taking a leap of faith,” says Goslett.
Another aspect to consider is the developer’s credentials, advises Goslett. Before going ahead with any off-plan purchase a buyer should do their research on the developer and check the records of any previous projects they have been involved in. If the developer has been involved in other successful developments, the chances are good that their latest project will be as equally successful. “A buyer is entitled to ask the developer to provide them with evidence of membership to associations such as Master Builders South Africa or the National Home Builders Registration Council,” advises Goslett.
Although it is great to be the first owner of a newly built property, the buyer may have to deal with the construction of other homes surrounding theirs in the initial stages. There is also the matter of dealing with any items on the snag list and possibly establishing a garden from the start. “For the majority of buyers, any issues that they may have to overcome when purchasing a home off-plan, will be a small price to pay for the chance of owning a newly built home that they can call theirs,” Goslett concludes. 
 
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Avoid first-time buyer mistakesTue 19 Apr 2016

Avoid first-time buyer mistakes
Purchasing a home for the first time can be a very emotionally driven experience with so many new and exciting things to consider, and sometimes complicated processes to negotiate. Often it can be easy for first-time buyers to get caught up on the smaller details, losing sight of the bigger picture and possibly making mistakes that they will pay for in the future, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. He provides a few tips to buyers to avoid some common mistakes when purchasing their first home:
Mistake - Not getting pre-approval
Once the decision has been made to buy a property, it might be tempting to jump straight into looking for a home; however this could lead to disappointment down the road. Goslett says that buyers may end up finding a home that they love, only to learn that it is out price bracket when they apply for finance. “It is best to start the process by consulting with a bank or a bond originator such as Betterbond, which can assist the buyer in determining what they can qualify for. Getting pre-approval will save both the buyer and seller a lot of time, because the buyer will be able to sign an offer to purchase knowing that they have the finance available to purchase the property,” says Goslett. 
Mistake – Not working out what you can afford
There is often a difference between what a buyer qualifies for and what they can actually afford, bearing in mind that there needs to be some cushioning in the budget for things such as interest rate hikes. It is vital for buyers to have a look at their own finances and make a list of their expenses before settling on a house budget. “If buyers know what they can afford it will narrow down the property search and ensure that they are not looking for homes outside of their budget,” advises Goslett. “It is important that buyers don’t stretch their finances too thin, leaving them vulnerable to any unforeseen circumstances.” 
Mistake – Focusing on the flaws
While first-time buyers should not compromise on their must-haves, it is important that they don’t overlook a home that essentially meets their criteria, but may have outdated fixtures. “In some cases a buyer will need to look past certain things to be able to recognise the true potential of a home,” says Goslett. “If a buyer focuses too much on the things that are wrong with a home, they may miss the things that are right. It is important not to let go of the crucial elements, but also be able to compromise on aspects that are less important. The cosmetics of a home can be altered, however the home’s location, the view or floor plan cannot.” 
Mistake – Falling in love blindly
Buyers shouldn’t overlook a home because of its flaws, but they shouldn’t completely ignore them either. A home’s look is one thing, but more serious issues such as structural damage or a roof that needs to be replaced is quite another. “Often once buyers have seen a property that they think is the one, their decisions will be based on the emotional connection they develop with the home. It is important that a buyer looks at all the facts before blindly putting in an offer without being fully aware of all the property’s issues,” advises Goslett. 
He notes that if the buyer has any doubts regarding the property, they should enlist the services of a professional contractor who will be able to inspect the home and give them a report as to what is in need of repair. 
Mistake – Waiting too long
It is vital to make informed decisions when selecting the right property, but taking too long to decide before putting in an offer could mean losing out to a faster buyer. With the shortage of property available to buyers, consumers find themselves in a highly competitive property market. “When a buyer has found the right home, they should be decisive and move quickly to avoid disappointment,” says Goslett.
Mistake – Not thinking about the future
Buyers need to consider things such as the resale potential of the home as well as their future plans. While it may seem strange to think about selling the home before it has even been purchased, much of home’s potential return on investment is based on decisions made when the home is bought and not when it is sold. Factors that will affect the home’s resale value include the home’s location, type of property, the number of bedrooms or whether it has a garage or off-street parking. 
According to Goslett buyers also need to consider whether the home will meet their needs both now and in the future. “For example, even if a buyer does not have children at the moment, they might be planning to have in the near future. This could mean needing an extra bedroom or ensuring that they purchase near to a good school. It is important that buyers consider whether the home meets their current situation, but can also change to meet their evolving needs,” Goslett concludes.
 
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Debunking home selling misconceptionsTue 19 Apr 2016

Debunking home selling misconceptions
When it comes to selling a home there is no shortage of advice from a number of sources, such as family and friends, however being given a lot of information doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the right information. According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, receiving advice and information from so many different sources can lead to uncertainty about certain key aspects of the property sales transaction. 
He notes that in today’s age of technology there is a vast amount of information at consumer’s fingertips, but having access to information and determining what can be trusted are two very different things entirely. “It is not always easy to determine what information and advice should be held onto and what to ignore. As a result there are several misconceptions that have made their way into the marketplace,” says Goslett.
He provides a few truths and facts to debunk the misconceptions and steer sellers in the right direction:
Misconception – Sellers determine the home’s selling price
While sellers will have a say in setting the home’s asking price, the selling price of the property is largely based on the market and what buyers are prepared to pay. It is important that the asking price of the home is what is considered to be a fair market value based on key elements such as the home’s size, condition, location, the current property market conditions and the selling prices of comparable homes in the area. “It is ultimately the seller who will have the final say as to what the home is listed for, however it is important to note that the initial asking price and the actual selling price of the property could be vastly different,” says Goslett. 
Misconception – Pricing the home above market value will leave negotiation room
Overpricing a home does two things - it chases potential buyers away and makes other homes in the area look like a bargain. A seller may feel that they are giving themselves some cushioning during the negotiating process, but in actual fact overpricing has the opposite effect because it turns buyers away and the deal never gets to the negotiation stage. If buyers have done their homework and researched home prices in the area, they will recognise an overinflated asking price and will likely by pass taking a second look at the property.  According to Goslett there might be buyers who can afford to purchase the property for its fair market value, but overlook the property if it is listed for too much. There is also the matter of buyers who can afford the inflated price, but soon realise that home may not compare to others in a similar price bracket. Overpricing will lead to the alienation of buyer pools, which can result in the property sitting on the market for longer than it should and ultimately selling for less than it should. 
Misconception – There is no need to spend money on the property before selling
There is a market for buyers who are looking for a home they can fix up or renovate themselves, however most buyers want a home that they can simply just move into. “There is no need to completely update the home, but it will be easier to sell a property that is aesthetically pleasing and well-maintained. This could be merely a matter of a coat of paint and a few minor repairs. It would be ideal to have any major repairs done before the home is placed on the market, but the extent of what is done to the home will depend on the buyer’s financial position and time frame.  If any defaults are found during an inspection, the seller can then discuss options with the buyer regarding additional repairs or dropping their asking price,” says Goslett.
Misconception – Renovations and home improvements pay for themselves when you sell
Although certain renovations and home improvements will add value to the property, very few renovation projects will provide a complete payback on the money invested. Goslett says that before embarking on any project it is important to get expert opinions on what should be fixed or changed and what kind of return can be expected as a result. 
“Debunking misconceptions and knowing the truth about selling will help homeowners to get the most out of their property transaction. It is always best to take advice from a trusted source that can provide accurate and helpful information. If ever in doubt, sellers should seek out the counsel of a reputable real estate professional who will be able to guide them in the right direction,” Goslett concludes.
 
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