Emotions Can Run High

Emotions Can Run High

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

In the good old days buying a property was a fairly simple process. You saw the house you wanted, signed on the dotted line, applied for finance and within a few days had approval. Three months or so later the property was officially yours and the only concern you had was which removal company to use.

These days the picture is somewhat different and the red tape involved in buying and selling a home is far more complex than before. Rates clearance certificates need to be obtained, finance takes far longer to be approved and in certain instances there are delays at the Deeds Office.

It now takes between four to six months for a deal to go through. There are a number of reasons for this and one of the main forces driving this new trend is that buyers are far more wary about buying a particular home that ever before. Although it would be harsh to call buyers paranoid, in many cases this seems to be the case. They don’t have to and are certainly not going to accept anything that they deem unacceptable. Price is always going to be the main concern, but even though a seller may find someone who is willing to pay his asking price, the bargaining doesn’t stop there.

Human beings are strange creatures and as such tend to be far more forgiving in a seller’s market. During boom times many investing in property are willing to accept that the house isn’t in perfect condition and make allowances. This always changes when the market conditions favour the buyer and the current conditions in the property market have exacerbated this trend.

Many estate agents are now reporting that they are spending a great deal of time trying to keep buyers happy until the sale is finalised. This makes sense, as the longer it takes for a deal to be concluded the colder the buyer’s feet become. Although some will say that buying property is not a snap decision and it is unlikely that someone investing in a home will get cold feet, surprisingly this happens far more than we think. Logically this makes sense. Waiting six months to move into our dream home tends to evoke an entire range of emotions, including second thoughts. Murphy’s Law dictates that we are always going to see something better and cheaper once we have made a final buying decision. Under normal conditions when property is transferred within a few months this may not prove to be too much of a problem; however, when buyers are left to stew for five or six months, it can become a major issue.

Buyers do expect more when market conditions are in there favour. More often than not issues that are overlooked when the ball is in the seller’s court will not be tolerated when the tide turns. No surprises here: buyers can afford to be choosy, but what often surprises sellers is just how demanding buyers have become. While sellers may be forced to accept a far lower offer, this is often not the only area in which they are going to have to compromise. Patent defects which may be overlooked during the good times often become huge stumbling blocks and can, if not handled correctly, lead to rejection.

Literally getting your house in order before it goes on the market is a sure way of ensuring that the selling process runs as smoothly as possible. Buyers are not stupid, they know their rights and understand that money speaks louder than words…it’s time to shape up.


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