Property 24/10 - 250

Rawson adds escape clause to sole mandates
Many home sellers are wary of giving their estate agent a sole mandate, and the reason for this is that they have picked up reports of sellers who, having committed themselves in this way, have found themselves stuck with a non-performing agent who has failed to live up to his marketing promises, and who might even resort to legal action if the seller tries to cancel a sole mandate.

According to Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, who says this fear in sellers’ minds, placed them in a quandary because, if there is one thing they are all absolutely convinced of in the marketing of residential property, it is that with a good agent, the sole mandate system will give the best possible price in the shortest possible time with the least inconvenience to the client.

Clarke says the public has to realise that if a good agency or agent is entrusted with a sole mandate, they will devote far more of their time and resources to advertising and promoting it because they know that so long as the mandate is operating, they cannot be pre-empted by another agent who comes in with a rival offer which the seller may be persuaded to accept even though it is not as high as it might have been.

10 Things you should do before selling your home
With a large percentage of buyers in the market purchasing their first property, it can be assumed that at some stage in the future, these first-time buyers will become first-time sellers. As with purchasing a property, selling a home also requires some homework and research on the owner’s part.

Another important aspect is selecting a reputable, experienced real estate agent who will be able to provide sound guidance and advice with regard to improving the home’s presentation to ensure it appeals to the highest possible number of potential buyers.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says an experienced real estate professional will be able to provide the homeowner with very useful tips and information regarding what buyers can expect in that particular market and what the selling points of the home are.

Build your dream home? Know your rights
After much consideration and thought, you and your spouse have decided to build a brand new home. Immediately, friends and family will start recounting their unfortunate experiences in this exercise, and you will know you are taking on a daunting yet hopefully rewarding task.

The search for the perfect builder starts, and soon you realise that the project must be managed by a professional builder and not the cheapest quote received that, very likely, will be using unskilled labour according to Wendy Williams, a director of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa, who says this is exactly the time to contact the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) who are the regulator statutory body of the home building industry, which began operating in March 2001.

Homeowners and billing: court case defines rights
Chantelle Gladwin, Partner and Ramon Pereira, Associate at Schindlers Attorneys recently handled the landmark case, Friedshelf 837 (Pty) Ltd versus COJ and Others, and won.

In this case a client purchased a property, and took vacant occupation. The COJ took over 9 months to present the client with its first account, which included massive charges for electricity.

After querying the massive charges (on the basis that the building was vacant, as it was being renovated), the City responded to advise that there was nothing wrong with the account, which was correct, because it was based on actual readings, and the client should pay it.

Unsatisfied, the client engaged electrical engineers, who determined that the owner was being billed for the supply of the property next door. The City installed a new electricity supply for the building next door, but the owner’s account kept arriving each month with inexplicably high charges for electricity.

Government condemns land invasions
Government does not condone the occupation of private and state-owned land, Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Tuesday. “No person has a right to allow, encourage, motivate, organise and instigate the occupation of land,” Minister Mapisa-Nqakula said.

Addressing a media briefing as the chairperson of the Justice, Crime and Security Cluster (JCPS), the Minister urged communities to work with government and report people who are instigating the illegal invasion of government or private-owned land. “We urge South Africans to make use of laws and processes that prescribe how land issues should be handled.

Can and should SA subsidise firt-time buyers?
The South African First Time Home Buyers Subsidy, which was increased from R68 000 to R128 000 and is awarded to people in various categories of the lower income groups, has been praised by those concerned about the large number of South African citizens still unable own to their own homes, but it has not been widely publicised or promoted by the prime mover behind the subsidy, The Department of Human Settlements.

This is according to Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, who says it has to be appreciated that many, possibly most, of those who would benefit from state help via this subsidy are not regular media readers and are often unaware that such assistance is available.

“The only real promoters of the scheme have been those banks, which as a result of a praiseworthy social commitment, have become involved in this type of funding, but even they, I suspect, are not really reaching the target market.”

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