Expectations and Desires of Prospective Buyers can Influence the Price of Your House

Private Property South Africa
Jacques du Toit

The desires and expectations of hopeful buyers should not be underestimated when it comes to selling your house, according to Absa’s senior economist Jacques du Toit. The buyers’ belief, anticipation and expectation introduce a speculative element in the formation of price. “This is reflected in a heated market or “boom time”, where vendors can set inflated prices - and buyers are force to purchase at these prices. “On the opposite side of the coin, during a cooling period, buyers have more realistic choices and prices become more competitive.” “When the market heats up, for most people it becomes a matter of buying as soon as possible. This is when many desired factors such as the right bathroom colour, a particular shape of swimming pool or the shrubs in the garden may become downplayed in the eagerness to seal a deal. Thus consumer choice varies dramatically with the market,” du Toit said. In determining what will be paid for a house, there are three physical contributing factors, namely the micro-location; such as a quiet street, proximity to schools, the macro-location, such as if it is situated in a waterside suburb versus the inner city, and the quality of the house and grounds. “Different buyers will rate these factors according to their own preferences. The micro-location is subject to change, such as if a jail or a public park is built nearby. Physical factors, such as eagerness to buy, also play an important role in driving house prices.” Certain locational attributes which influence price include distance to the city centre, if it is within a cul-de-sac, near a park, school, the area of land parcel and topographic information. The location of a property can also bring about additional factors such as exposure to severe weather, or a breathtaking view. “Susceptibility to severe weather would detract from a property’s appeal, yet a fabulous view would enhance it.” Bantry Bay is known for being protected from the Cape’s notorious wind, while certain parts of Cape Town’s southern suburbs often experience rain due to their proximity to the mountain. A housing purchase for most buyers is expensive and risky, and, more often than not, buyers lack experience due to the infrequency of purchase. Simple changes can instantly change the way people perceive your home. While home-staging consultants charge thousands and are too expensive for most home-sellers to consider, there are basic tips which sellers can follow to ensure a SOLD board is erected outside their property as soon as possible. These include ensuring the outside of the house is appealing as it will make buyers eager to see the inside as well. Plant flowers to brighten up your garden, and mow the lawn because a well-groomed garden shows pride of ownership. Keep porches and railings in good repair - you don’t want a prospective buyer tripping up a step on their way into your house. “Look at your home through the eyes of the buyer. Just like everyone else, buyers are lazy and don’t want to take on large projects after moving into a house.”

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