Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Is your property being advertised effectively? Should your home be in the newspaper?

Is your property being advertised effectively? 
Should your home be in the newspaper or local property papers?

Or is it required? Most Sellers expect that the property must be advertised in local printed, but those advertisements only supply a very limited results and thus not very popular by estate agencies.  The larger property websites like,, obtain more traffic than any other advertisements could. 

Is there then any role for the placements of endless advertisements on Facebook, Twitter and other social media? We ask the question why? Why do people care about the opinion of others so much? All of us is exposed to advertising campaigns that is designed by clever people who work us over intellectually or sociologically! So we as consumers are being fed information, to much information and a lot of times, information that we don't truly understand and are now called informed decision makers, but actually we don't understand all the mambo jumbo and jargon that goes around! What do we do? What do we do? We ask people what they believe! 

Lets look at it from another angle - there are those people who believe in network marketing, and some of those became really rich in doing so, and they will tell you and everybody else that WORD OF MOUTH is the best advertising that you can do! Where people who is exposed to the same things, discuss and motivate purchase on experience they had! Excellent - but we live in a time where we can't even take the time to phone a friend on his / her birthday, we conveniently just leave a Facebook message! 

Our post modern world WORD OF MOUTH is social media! We talk about the experiences we have, the places we visit and from those actions we relate to other friends what is good out there in the world. 

This is the main reason why the social media branding and campaigns in the USA has exploded into the state that it is, and believe that social media would be the biggest decision maker of the century. That is why all the corporations around the globe and making all advertising in this market - even the banned advertisements attract more views that any other marketing campaigns. We read about some of those in the News as if that is the news! 

Lets talk South African Real Estate - this phenomena has not really taken over the South African marketing world as yet, but Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many more social applications are dominating the thought of the consumer and therefore your agents entrusting with the marketing of your home should have a proper presence in this marketing arena. We are aware that a very large portion of the future market is using social media via smartphones and therefore your agent needs to be aware that it is more important to have a mobile website where properties are being advertised for faster viewing than normal websites. 

What should be in the marketing mix to attract the right buyer for your property? Obviously the agency need to advertise the property with good quality photos on all the major property webpages including,, they should have their own website, blog and more importantly as we are in Africa a mobile website! Each agency should also be active on social media and actively plan advertising campaigns to assist in the marketing of the property. 

For the best exposure you could get - contact your dedicated agent in Bloemfontein and surrounding areas - Barry Spies - 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Why put my home on show? Are Agents only showing it because they believe they will get a buyer for the property?

Why put my home on show? Are Agents only showing it because they believe they will get a buyer for the property? 

Estate Agents make use of this marketing tool as it attracts buyers that are unknowingly in the market! There are a large number of properties being sold by means of first introduction to the property was during a show day. 

Show house Brochures 
There are a lot of impulse buyers in South Africa and by opening up your home to those buyers, you might just strike gold! Some other buyers believe that they do not want to inconvenience Sellers as their schedule is not predictive and they cannot make an appointment to view. 

But I am not going to lie to you - we (as estate agents) like to have properties on show as it supplies us with various buyers that might buy other properties on our books. This should however be seen as a positive, they might just buy the property of the seller that wants to buy your home, but first need to sell their property. 

You need to ensure that your agent takes time planning his show-day and if the agent arrives only a couple of minutes before the show is starting that should be an indication that the agents is not putting so much effort into the showing of your home. On the other hand, if the show boards are up early, and it is advertised on various mediums that the property is on show, it might attract the right buyer for the property. 

We as an estate agency believe that the showing should be advertised on the major website as most of the larger web-sites offer showing times and one can then download the various show houses in an area when you are driving through the area. 

Apart from that when more buyers visit your property it seems more popular, it would attract more viewers and could achieve better competition from the various sellers. 

We tend to the following, when planning a show: 

1. Place property on show on various property web sites.(Property24, Private      Property);
2. Place the property on our own website front page - with the invitations as first pictures;
3. Prepare Invitations and deliver to various properties;
4. Prepare Show house pamphlets for distribution at the show house;
5. Put up the pointer boards on the Friday afternoon to show the location of the property;
6. Plan marketing campaign in terms of social media, including Twitter & Facebook. 

If you are not sure that your appointed agent is doing everything that can be done, give our dedicated agents a call for a listing appointment. 


Monday, March 25, 2013

Looking for a property to purchase in Bloemfontein? These are the BEST

Looking to purchase a family home in Bloemfontein? The most popular area for single family homes is located in Pellissier and Fichardt Park Bloemfontein. 

These average homes offer spacious stands with lots of trees and normally between 3 and 4 bedrooms with spacious lounge / dining room combinations. We looked at these and believe these are the best priced value for money on offer at the moment in time. 

Front View of Property - Tiled Roof. 
 Recently renovated family home offering 3 bedrooms with build in cupboards and tiled floors, 2 bathrooms (1st: Bath, basin & loo; 2nd: Shower, basin and loo), spacious lounge and dining room with sliding door leading to covered braai area, modern cherry wood kitchen with eye-level oven and hob. The home also offers servants accommodation and an outside laundry, double garage and carport. Fully walled with automated gate, and alarm system ensure good security together with burglar bars and security gates. The garden is spacious with an irrigation system and lots of trees. 

 Spacious family home with low maintenance offering modern open plan living areas with Oregon kitchen cupboards, separate scullery and laundry, private lounge, open plan dining room and family room opening up to patio and pool, spacious office with guest loo, could also be used as living room with sliding door to garden and pool, 3 spacious bedrooms with build in cupboards, 2 modern tiled bathrooms, double garage and established garden with sprinkler system set in fully walled garden with automated access control.  

Other Properties FOR SALE - or visit our website for properties in other areas in Bloemfontein or surrounding areas - 

For more detail or if you want to discuss your property needs please contact: 

Barry Spies 082 927 0213 or 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What is a sole mandate and should I sign a sole mandate?

What is a sole mandate? How does it work? Can I cancel my mandate? 

A sole mandate is an instruction to sell a property to one agency. The sole mandate should specify the time, the price and the commission payable together with the terms and conditions of the mandate and further portray the true meaning of the instruction to sell the property. 

As a Seller of the property you employ or rather contract an agency to market your property. You need to stipulate all aspects of the terms and conditions of the agreement, as it is a legally binding agreement. 

This does not mean that you cannot withdraw instruction, there are however certain penalties that may occur when you withdraw your mandate. We will discuss the effects of the CMA (Consumer Protection Act) on the mandate at a later discussion as well as the penalties that it could contain in the agreement. 

Should you sign a sole mandate?
Before we answer this, we think this is important to understand what types of mandates is available as well as the various positive and negative affects of the various types of mandates. We need further to understand why Estate Agents wants you to sign a mandate. 

Lets start by mentioning that only the registered owner can sell his/her property! Not the agent, not the agency, but the owner! The agents market the property to the open market as well as his database of prospective buyers in addition to all the direct, indirect, printed, social and internet marketing. 

Thus the first method of marketing would be - Private Seller - where the seller act as his own agent. Obviously he is not paying a fee for the marketing, but in affect is paying a premium in terms of exposure of the property in the open market, the marketing that the property owner or private seller would do will costs him marginally more than what it would costs the agency, but the best used advertising medium to estate agents would not be available to such a property owner. The expertise of the estate agent with regard to the financial requirements of the financial institutions as well as the costs involved in the transfer of the property would not be available to such a Seller. The problem occurs due to the time-delays that would occur due to the fact that this is not the normal business of the Seller. The biggest risk however remain in security - the Seller open the property to any person without any knowledge of such person. Again this is not something that we as estate agents can guarantee cannot happen when we show your home to the prospective buyer, but we have a couple of contacts prior we start showing a prospective client a home. Just thinking about the risk involving selling a home privately would make me run for the woods! 

The most known method of selling your home would be by means of a sole mandate, where one agency is contracted to attend to the marketing of the property. The terms of the marketing, the exposure, the fee, the access to the property as well as the marketing exposure should be discussed. Normally with agencies that opt for marketing through sole mandates, have certain rules regarding exclusivity in terms of area or type of property. Thus one agent will be the specialist in Farms, and no other agent will be allowed to market or sell a farm. The whole marketing is focused around exclusivity and this is the best and worst feature of such a marketing plan. Let me explain: Agent A working in Area A, then a buyer contact Agent A and view prospective properties, offer to purchase the property but need to sell her property first, which is located in Area B, thus Agent B need to attend to marketing of that property! Will Agent B be the best possible agent? Another problem occurs when Agent A is wonderful and sells 15 houses a month in Area A, how much time will Agent A have to attend to the marketing of your home? 

The second and most popular manner in which to sell your home is where the property is marketed as an open mandate. The common factor is that nothing has been signed with any agency, and anyone can sell the property! First problem is just that, the Seller retains the right to sell privately and where I then introduce a client to the property and he contact the Seller directly could lead to commission claims. The second problem is that any agent can sell the property -??? Only the seller can sell the property, but no one is marketing the property! Estate Agencies does not want to spend money on advertising these properties as it leads to commission claims and normally when the offer is presented to the Seller, he then change the price of the property! This sounds fairly unfair, but this is the norm in the market place, as there are no contractual obligation a lot of sales is lost due to this uncontrolled environment. The third problem is that not all agencies has the same commission or professional fee structure and this leads to the property being advertised in duplicate at various prices and cause problems with potential buyers who is simply not prepared to go into a price war with the Seller. 

The forth manner in which to market a property is by means of dual mandate, where two agencies is instructed to attend to marketing of the property, each independently, whoever obtains the right client will earn the fee. Although better than a sole mandate in terms of exposure is the marketing done independently and price war may occur. Apart from that is the competition between only 2 agencies and whoever introduce the client will be the cause of sale of the property. Normally there would be 2 for sale boards in front of the property and this could also lead to claims for double commission. 

At this point I am sure you think that there is no way that you can sell your property and should we recommend a proper builder? That is not the case, in most areas there are a method that has been proven since 1908 in USA and very successful in South Africa since 1984. Where the best of all worlds are combined - the marketing agreement is with one agency, but the exposure is done by multiple mandate and therefore other agencies is involved. Price and marketing methods are agreed, price is determined and commission is negotiated. This gives the Seller the maximum exposure, limits the risk for the agency as the commission is shared between the mandate holder and the selling agency. This is refer to as Multi Listing. 

The function of the agent is to prepare and follow a marketing plan in accordance with the marketing tools available to him through his agency. As the Seller then "employs" the agent, therefore they require a written contract of employment or mandate! Obviously from an Estate Agency Business Owner, he needs to limits the risks he takes in marketing a property. The functionality is that if such contract exist and the agency does not function is not in accordance with the marketing plan, you can terminate the agreement. 

In the past 20 years the biggest complaint from sellers are that they are not being informed regularly by the agents in terms of the progress they are making regarding the marketing of the property. In most cases I would believe that it is due to the fact that the Agent still believes that he/she sells property! A further effect is that communication has gotten evolved - and again in many cases are the agents still doing things the same way they did back in 1970! This is not effective and the Seller should not employ a person who does not understand how marketing and communication in our day and age function. 

One needs however to understand that is no longer 2006, where properties sold overnight, and that would not happen very soon - thus accept that your agent need at least 4 months to sell an average property and in certain cases even longer period to be able to market the property effectively. 

The answer to the proposed question is thus your decision - just keep track of your decision and be involved in the marketing of your property. 

If you would like to discuss the marketing of your property contact the writer hereof and we will spend enough time with you in order to come up with a practical plan to attend to the requirements of the marketing of the property. 

Bargain Properties For Sale in Bloemfontein

Are there still bargain properties for sale in Bloemfontein? 

This would mainly depend on your definition of a bargain! So where do we begin? What is a bargain property? If you ask a long-term investor, the definition would be a property that paid itself in terms of rental income or at the least where the rental pay more that 70% of the premium. If the question were asked of a person looking for normal residential home, it would most probably be that the property is bought for less than 10% of the average selling price in a specific area for an average house. 

In terms of those conditions - the answer is yes - there are bargain properties available in Bloemfontein. If you are of opinion that a bargain property should be something were the purchase price is 20% of the average price in pristine condition, then I would have bought it, or any agent or attorney where it would have crossed our paths. You will not find it! Not because we have indeed bought it, but because it would does not exists. And for buying such a property, we as estate agents are not allowed to purchase property unless we declare our profession and we have to act within a prescribed manner - thus at that price we would advise the client that the asking price is wrong and supply an accurate valuation - a price according to the urgency of the seller. 

How should you search for bargain properties in the market, if you are an investor, you should determine what type of investor you will be? An investor who is looking for capital growth vs good investment return in terms of rental income. Both is not normally on the table. Buy to Let market normally is the latter with a lower growth rate as it is dependent on the rental income achievable in an area. Thus before you inform your agent that you are looking for an investment property, you should decide what type of investor you will be. This will influence the type of property you will investigate. 

Apart from that you need to decide if you are going to invest in full title properties vs sectional title, and you should be aware of the various pitfalls both of these property has to offer. You should also make sure that you understand the rental statistics of the area as to when rental become normally available and when purchasing a property that has a tenant is not always the correct method as those properties are normally less maintain than the average. You should also be aware that certain Sellers will sell a property because the tenant just isn't nice and they rather make the difficult tenant the next owners problem. 

Various excellent investment units and bargain properties exists in the market, but they are not clearly visible, but with the knowledge of a dedicated property agent, you will be able to purchase the correct bargain according to your needs. 

The best advice I could offer came from a very old varsity friend -- " a bargain is only a bargain if you have the money to buy the bargain" -- thus don't just buy because it is a bargain, buy with passion but also with knowledge! 

Contact our dedicated agents for your bargain property. 

View properties on our website here

The "72 Hour Clause"

What is the 72 hour or escape clause? How does it work, and when should you agree to the clause in your agreement and when not?

There is always questions relating to the use of this clause as Sellers believe that they can actually fall back on this legislation once they receive another offer, especially if the second offer is cash - this is not the case! 

Lets start with the facts of the matter at hand: There are no legislation relating anything as a 72 hour clause, escape clause or anything remotely like such a clause in any legislation. 

We use this clause when we receive an offer from a buyer which is conditional to the sale of another property. With other words, the clause should be inserted into the agreement of sale and purchase when the proposed purchaser still has another property that needs to be sold, prior such Purchaser can actually buy the property. 

Every seller need to understand that such a conditional sale is really not a sale unless such property is sold. It is nice as a safeguard and a great number of these sale materialize due to the fact that such buyer is normally reluctant to sell the property prior finding and securing a new property. It is however very important to ensure that the terms of the agreement has been properly discussed and is reflecting in the offer to purchase document prior to accepting such an offer on property. 

If your agent is not willing to ensure that such a clause is in your agreement when the agent present a conditional sale, find yourself another agent fast - the agent is not looking after your interest whatsoever! The terms of the offer should includes the period which the Buyer have to sell his home, the notice period should be properly defined, as well as the process regarding the notice period.

If you are the Seller should not be reluctant to accept such conditional sale, it could confirm that your asking price is in order, it assists with the demand of the property and many of these conditional sales realize in final sales when confronted with another offer to purchase the home. 

We note that in some instances some sellers wish to include this clause when the sale is only conditional to the obtaining of finance. This should be considered very carefully as this might be great if you obtain a cash offer, but buyers will be reluctant to commit to the clause due to the effort that takes in the current financial restricted loan criteria to obtain finance for the purchase of a home. 

It is further essential to allow enough time to obtain a mortgage loan as buyers are not always prepared for the demand from the various home loan departments requirements. Although we as estate agents prepare clients as best as possible we are not updated with their specific income sources and sometimes these takes more time than anticipated with the financial institutions. 

For more information relating to purchase agreements, loan applications, purchase processes, you can contact the writer hereof per e-mail at mail or the writer below: 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Affordable Family Homes - Prices on the increase!

Affordable family homes in South of Bloemfontein - prices on the increase, buy now rather than later! 

Although we don't see an increase in property prices in South Africa in the immediate future, we noted that less property in the lower prices are being listed for sale in the southern part of Bloemfontein. 

This indicate an increase in property prices in Bloemfontein medium market from R 900 000 to R 1350 000 is on its way with a great speed. Thus if you are in the market for a family home, we recommend that you investigate this market as a matter of urgency as there are limited properties available at this price.

Everybody is aware that the financial institutions restricted lending conditions makes it almost impossible for the Average Joe to purchase a home, it is now the time to do just that - clamp down and buy your property today as changes are that in a couple of months you will find even less properties to choose from and the prices will also increase. 

It is also true that the difference between listing and selling prices is high throughout South Africa, but we note that when a property is priced right, it sells almost overnight! 

It is however very important to understand that the financial institutions are under severe pressure to obtain the right client, and therefore you need to ensure that not your not only your credit rating, but also your credit profile is clear. For more information on how to ensure that your credit rating is correct, you need not only to investigate your ITC profile, but more than that, ensure that your creditors have updated your payment profile correctly. We will continue to place certain articles that would explain the difference and how to repair your profile in the following articles. 

For more information on Properties For Sale or Keep your ITC Clear, Update your Credit Profile in the following posts or contact Barry Spies.