Many property buyers spend less time deciding whether or not to buy a property than most people dedicate to choosing a coffee table.
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa elaborates.Professional property investors, following advice from one of the world’s best known property investment authors and coaches, Dolf de Roos, apply what is called the 100:10:3:1 rule when choosing an investment property. The rule says that an investor should look at 100 properties before making offers on ten, of which three offers are likely to be accepted and finally one will be chosen.
On the other end of the spectrum, however, is the alarming finding of a study conducted by UK mortgage provider ING Direct, which noted that the average homebuyer in the UK spends just 21 minutes viewing a property before deciding to buy it. Comments Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa: “This finding is concerning, especially because the study revealed that people take an average of 217 minutes to pick a satellite TV package, 284 minutes to decide on a new television and 164 minutes to buy a coffee table. And while I understand that most homebuyers simply do not have the time to apply a professional approach and investigate 100 properties to find the right one, spending just 21 minutes on a potentially life-changing decision exposes you to serious risks. Hence, the initial selection process is extremely important.
Take your time when you choose an estate agent and when you identify your future property needs.” By providing an estate agent with a comprehensive insight into your ‘ideal’ home and then relying on the agent’s specialist knowledge of the available properties in a specific area, Goslett says that homebuyers can narrow down their choices to three, four or five suitable options which they can then investigate more thoroughly.He suggests that homebuyers use their “wish list” as a guide while viewing the homes the estate agent has suggested. “Viewing even three properties can become confusing. Take notes as you view each property. Jot down general impressions and specific features you like or dislike and compare these to the features on your ‘wish list’. Once you’ve viewed all the properties, the notes will be invaluable as you continue to compare the properties objectively to make a well-considered choice, instead of simply relying on first impressions or an emotional response to, for example, the view or the modern kitchen fittings,” says Goslett. He furthermore advises home buyers to view the property they have chosen once again before making an offer. “The property may well look very different during the peak hour traffic at dusk, than it did in the bright morning sunshine on a quiet Sunday,” he says.
An offer to purchase is a legally binding contract and the consequences of breaching this contract can be dire. “On the other hand, buying a property in a rush, only to find later that it is not suitable, is a big financial mistake. Take time to thoroughly investigate your options before you make an offer and choose a reputable, trustworthy agent who operates within the code of ethics and the regulations that govern the industry. Such an estate agent will go the extra mile to identify suitable properties that match your specific needs and requirements as closely as possible. In addition, such an agent will not place a buyer under pressure to make an offer,” concludes Goslett.