Continued success for RE/MAX in distressed property salesFri 22 Jun 2012

Distressed properties are still very much a reality in the South African market, which is one of the reasons why RE/MAX of Southern Africa has continued to train its agents to handle these kinds of specialised sales,? says Peter Gilmour, Chairman of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

Gilmour notes that over 600 RE/MAX agents have received the internationally acclaimed Certified Distressed Property Expert Professional Designation (CDPE), a course which was launched exclusively to RE/MAX offices in January last year. The course is delivered under licence of the Charfen Institute based in the USA. Over 60 000 agents from around the world have taken the CDPE course. Gilmour explains that the course focuses on the options and alternatives that professionally trained agents can offer homeowners who have found themselves in financial difficulty, where they are at the point of possibly losing their home due to the fact that they are unable to afford their monthly bond repayments. "The primary objective for the professional agent," he says, "is to find a way to assist the homeowner to keep their home. This is also the primary goal for the financial institutions." Gilmour reports that the RE/MAX of Southern Africa agents who have been marketing distressed properties have managed to achieve, on average, 91% of the asking price. In addition, the number of offers that have been accepted by the banks has increased considerably. These distressed properties have spent an average of 45 days on the market before selling. "We attribute this success to the fact that our CDPE trained agents are selling these properties for the best possible price," he says. Gilmour explains that a CDPE accredited agent?is a real estate professional with specific understanding of the complex issues confronting the real estate industry, and the options available to homeowners in order to avoid their property being repossessed by the financial institution that holds the bond. "While dealing with financial challenges is a hardship for any family, finding a qualified real estate professional who can assist you in selling your home for a market-related price before your financial troubles get to such a point that the property is repossessed, has given many debt-plagued homeowners some good options for financial recovery." According to the National Credit Regulator, the household debt to disposable income ratio in South Africa decreased from 78,2% in 2010 to 75,8% in 2011. "This is still a very high ratio," says Gilmour, "meaning consumers need to continue working hard to limit their levels of debt. For those consumers who are unable to manage their levels of debt and stand the chance of losing their home, CDPE accredited agents are able to offer expert advice and assistance." A case in point is the CDPE accredited agent from the RE/MAX Platinum office, which operates in the Rustenburg area and surrounds, who sold a R2,9-million property within 10 days.

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The unexpected offer to purchaseThu 14 Jun 2012

As more and more buyers enter the market and demand for property increases, there is a good chance that demand could soon outweigh the current market's supply of homes, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. "If homes that are currently on the market do not meet buyers' criteria, we could soon follow the trend in the US, where frustrated house hunters are making offers on homes that are not on the market. Although this is usually in the top-end sector of the market, unexpected offers on lower-priced properties have become more popular as supply wanes," says Goslett. "The trend has come about as a result of the inventory of property on the market shrinking, while consumer confidence and the desire to take advantage of favourable buying conditions increases.

Some regions in South Africa have already reported seeing a shortage of certain type of properties." If the trend does grow here in South Africa, it is likely that there could be property owners getting an unexpected offer to purchase even thought they have not considered selling their home. Given the nature of this kind of offer, says Goslett, it is more than likely going to be a price that may exceed the current market value and could be worthwhile considering. He notes that homeowners who find themselves in this situation should consider a few elements before making their decision: GET PROFESSIONAL HELP If a homeowner receives an unexpected offer to purchase it is best for them to consult with either an attorney with real estate experience or a reputable real estate agent working within their area. Consulting with a professional will offer the homeowner guidance with regard to the correct procedure and process to follow. OBTAIN A COMPARATIVE MARKET ANALYSIS Another reason to consult with a real estate agent is that it is important to obtain information and analyze current trends and values in your particular area. An estate agent can be helpful in this regard as they will be able to provide sales figures and a Comparative Market Analysis of the area. This will provide an estimate of what the home is worth in the current market and give the homeowner an indication of how fair and attractive the offer is. ASSESS THE FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS The homeowner will need to review their finances, which will give them a clear indication of the feasibility of the deal benefiting them. They will need to ask the questions, will the offer cover the existing bond and will there be enough for other expenses? There may be early cancellation fees on the bond or Capital Gains Tax to consider. Other aspects would include looking at the affordability of buying another property and new bond repayments on perhaps a higher amount. The renegotiation of any contracts where the current property serves as a surety will also have to be considered. IF THE OFFER MADE SUBJECT TO A CONDITION If the buyer has made the offer subject to any certain conditions, these conditions will obviously have to be met before the deal can proceed to conclusion. A buyer?s intention for the property will provide the homeowner with an indication of what conditions will need to be met. For example, if the buyer intends to use the residence for business purposes, the offer will more than likely be subject to the application for business rights being granted. Knowing the conditions the offer is subject to will also provide the homeowner with an estimate time frame as to how long they have to make their decision. WHAT ARE THE HOMEOWNER?S FUTURE PLANS? The homeowner?s life-stage and futures plans will need to be considered. For a young couple wanting to start a family, an offer to purchase on their current home may give them the opportunity to buy a property that better suits their requirements for a family. For a family that is settled in a house that meets their needs and enjoys the area in which they live, the decision may be a lot harder to make. "When a homeowner receives an unexpected offer, the decision to sell or not is entirely theirs. Only they can ultimately decide whether the offer is worth their consideration or not and they will need to make the correct decision for them and their future aspirations," Goslett concludes.

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RE/MAX room makeover winner announcedWed 27 Oct 2010

Check out the press release on the winner of the RE/MAX Room Makeover, recently been sent to the media: Fourways Gardens resident wins a R100 000 room makeover from RE/MAX of Southern Africa By Friday 22 October, votes for the RE/MAX room makeover competition were tallied, with the Steyn family of Fourways Gardens, announced as the winner of the R100 000 prize on Saturday 23 October. The six-week online competition, which launched on 1 September, was advertised nationally and received over 9000 entries. Over 5000 instant prizes, from spa pamper treatments and rounds of golf to magazine subscriptions, were awarded to participants during the competition. RE/MAX of Southern Africa also held its own ?Blog to Win? competition, an online campaign for the blogging community that motivated bloggers around the country to direct as many people as possible, with their blogs as the platform, to enter the national competition. On 7 October five finalists were randomly selected and verified by accredited auditors.? The finalists were then asked to submit a short motivation about why they deserved the room makeover, along with a picture of the room they would like to see with a new look.? Pictures of these five finalist?s rooms were posted on the RE/MAX website,, for the general public to cast their vote to determine which room they thought deserved the makeover the most.

On Saturday 23 October, Gary and Diane Steyn and their two sons, Kevin and Brandon, were surprised by a visit at their home from Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, along with a team of RE/MAX agents and staff, who announced them as the winners and handed over the grand prize. Kevin?s bedroom, which was the room entered for the makeover, received 26 619 out of the total 57 206 votes. A surprised and excited Steyn family said they were elated to be voted as the winners. ?We mobilised all our friends and family to vote for us and are extremely excited about a makeover of Kevin?s room.?? Diane said she is looking forward to seeing the room change, and is grateful for the opportunity as she lacks creativity when it comes to interior d?cor. Gary, said he felt the competition was exceptionally well run, with the web-based system making it easy to vote. ?RE/MAX has also involved youngsters in this competition, which is a great brand-building initiative.? Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, congratulated the Steyn family on their win. ?This competition has been extremely successful, and presented RE/MAX with a brilliant opportunity to engage with its customers in a fun yet meaningful way. Well done to the Steyn family, we all look forward to comparing the before and after look,? Goslett concluded.

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