Its not what you know

Private Property South Africa
Cathy Nolan

You can forgive buyers and sellers for being a little confused as to what is happening in the current property market – thanks in part to the mixed signals that are being sent.

Reports of house price increases for example don’t always apply and although the media is reporting that the prices that owners are obtaining are rising, this doesn’t always happen at ground level and it certainly isn’t happening in every suburb in the country.

Like most other things in life, you can’t generalise and it is exactly the same in the property world. Yes, sellers in certain parts of the country may well be getting their full asking price, but this is not necessarily the norm and sellers who read the news and base their selling decision on what they read may be disappointed.

There are ways to overcome this problem and one of the best methods of ascertaining exactly what is happening in the area in which you live is to speak to an estate agent – but not just any agent.

Speaking to an agent who specialises in a certain area is the only way for buyers and sellers to find out exactly what is happening in a particular suburb. Agents generally eat and sleep property and are ideally placed to answer any questions regarding property prices and sales in a specific area. They know what is selling and what isn’t, they know what is a fair market value and if a property is over-priced.

Those who work outside a specific area may not be that au fait with all the local trends. They may well be able to advise on general property matters, but because they do not operate in the specific area in question, may not be in a position to know the nitty gritty of what is really happening.

The importance of knowing exactly what is happening in the area where you are buying or selling property cannot be over emphasised.

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