On a Lighter Note…

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

So you think you’ve seen it all? Well, you haven’t unless you have sold a couple of properties and have witnessed first-hand the types of people who come to take a look.

It’s not particularly pleasant to stereotype people, but there are buyers out there that take the biscuit and it is very important to know what you are dealing with before they come a-knocking at your freshly painted front door. We take a light-hearted look at some typical buyers and try to put things into perspective.

The Family Man: Brings all four kids to view the property and causally looks away while they wreck the place. This type of buyer spends his time looking for suitable ‘naughty steps’.

Keeping up with the Joneses: Image is everything, but she doesn’t have the bank account to match. Tends to overdress for the occasion and is dripping in jewellery. Name drops constantly. Usually drives a (once luxurious) older model car. Wants to buy a R5-million property for R550 000. Will spend her time peering over the neighbour’s wall to ensure that their house isn’t bigger or better.

The Amateur Lawyer: No law school required, knows it all from the Everyman’s Guide to Real Estate Law (Australian edition, published in 1995). Uses big words like ‘servient tenement’ and ‘hereinafter’ frequently. Spends his time educating the agent and usually ends up making a bad buying decision which he can’t get out of because he ‘tweaked’ the agreement slightly.

The Professional Conman: Has personally helped raise the gold standard in South Africa and proudly wears 14kg of gold jewellery around his neck. He has been there, done that and seen it all. He’s not interested in anything priced under the R50-million mark. Says things like, ‘I’ll get my people to talk to yours’.

The Combo Pack: Aggressive high powered businessman with much younger second wife. She wants it all, he wants her to have it all, but is still reeling from the cost of his divorce settlement. Timing is critical and it is important to catch this buyer during the first bloom of romance. Tends to look a little shell-shocked when she picks out a room for the nursery.

The Measurer: He arrives with tape measure on tool belt and measures everything, including the distance between the loo and the loo roll holder. These types are focused on DIY and are not going to buy a home if the garage won’t accommodate his custom-made work bench. This individual should NEVER be confused with a true DIY enthusiast.

The DIY Enthusiast: These types of people are addicted to the smell of fresh paint and always have a half-built room on their existing properties. Always on the lookout for a ‘do me upper’, they tend to over value their skills and truly believe that any project that they undertake will automatically add millions to the selling price. Spend their time ripping the property to shreds, loudly mentioning that they could have done a better job on the bathroom for half the price. These types are not going to buy the property unless the seller is on first name terms with the manager at the local hardware shop and is prepared to introduce them.

The Amateur Interior Designer: These people travel in packs and although the group may vary, it typically includes a landscaper (who, although not qualified, does read gardening magazines on a fairly regular basis), a semi-qualified interior designer who claims to have advised Michelle Obama and a hairdresser who knows what’s hot and what is not. These types never really look at the actual listing - they just crit the décor. Sayings like ‘it’s so last season’ and “Oh look, the carpet matches your Jimmy Choos’ tend to pepper the conversation.

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