Property 24/10 - 67

Big 5  mistakes to avoid when selling
Staying emotionally detached is one of the biggest challenges for any home seller, but necessary if you don’t want to put buyers off and lose the sale. 

“Once you decide to sell your property, it’s a  mistake to see it as anything more than a commodity to be packaged, priced and marketed,” says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group. 

He says this might sound callous, but the truth is that potential buyers are going to come in and ‘kick the tires’ and you can’t afford – emotionally or financially – to get upset if they make negative comments or fail to appreciate all the hard work it has taken to get the property into good condition.

Everitt has the following advice on what to avoid for home sellers: 

- Shrewd buyers, he says, will often deliberately make negative observations to try to put sellers on the back foot during price negotiations. “But with the help of an experienced and reputable agent, sellers can usually avoid this trap, as well as the four other major mistakes that can easily scotch a successful sale.”

Cape Town land shortage hurts housing
Cape Town’s housing developments are being stymied because there is a shortage of land in the city and the council says it would have to pay at least R2-billion to buy the state-owned land that the government has refused to sell.

A city official claims that the council has been negotiating with the Department of Defence and the Military Veterans to buy Wingfield land for the past 15 years and these negotiations have amounted to nothing.

Jens Kuhn, manager for housing land and forward planning in the Cape Town council, says that if 400 000 people need to be housed on small plots of 100 sq m each then the city would need at least 4 000 hectares of land to accommodate them.

Saving electricity in a hurry
A new publication, ‘Saving Electricity in a Hurry’, has been launched by Energy Minister Dipuo Peters to help the country deal with its electricity issues. 

The publication, commissioned by the International Energy Agency (IEA), is a brief case study which highlights lessons from recent electricity shortfalls in Chile, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and the United State. 

IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said international cooperation was needed to address energy challenges. “It is imperative to have discussions around the issue so we could get a solution to address the challenges we are faced with. ‘Saving Electricity in a Hurry’ would ultimately help with the problem of climate change,” Tanaka said. 

Rosebank property undergoing revival
Rosebank is fast becoming Johannesburg’s third largest high-rise business centre, after Sandton and the inner city, according to the research conducted by Broll, a commercial property services group. 

“Rosebank is reviving, with great retail and new office developments which are well-supported by the surrounding residential nodes and the Gautrain station,” said Jane Parker, area specialist and commercial broker at Broll. 

Leasing in the area has been busy in the early part of 2011 and demand for space is good. 

Bo-Kaap residents forced to sell homes
Property prices in Bo-Kaap, Cape Town have pushed the average rates bill to about R1,5k a month and now residents in the suburb say that they cannot afford to live there anymore and are selling their homes for millions of rands and moving to cheaper suburbs.

According to the Bo-Kaap Civic Association chairman Osman Shaboodien, even the rates rebate granted to qualifying residents was insufficient and many working families did not qualify for the rebate anyway.

He says the rates and hefty electricity bills make it difficult for people to continue living in the area as they end up spending about 30% of their meagre monthly income on rates and utilities.

The association has written to the city officials asking them to reduce the rates but they have made no progress on resolving the dispute. The civic association now intends to call on the national government to intervene and offer the community some sort of relief.

Green buildings keep you healthy
Your home or workplace can make a major difference to your health. 

Results from various studies are indicating that people in green buildings have fewer incidents of colds, flu and asthma.

Results from various studies are indicating that people in green buildings have fewer incidents of colds, flu and asthma as a result of access to fresh air, better ventilation systems and environmentally-preferable paint and furniture. 

A green building is a building that is energy efficient, resource efficient and incorporates design, construction and operational practices that significantly reduce or eliminate its negative impact on the environment and those who live or work in it. 

The benefits of green buildings are extensive, which is why theidea of using environmentally-preferable building methods and materials when constructing new buildings and improving older ones, is becoming more and more important.The bottom line is that sustainable building is increasingly being considered a best building practice by everyone from major commercial developers to affordable homeowners. 

Smart home for your smart life
There is no doubt that that smart homes are the homes of the future – however, home automation technology evolves at such a rapid pace that most homeowners are left in the dark as to how to plan ahead in order to include it in their homes.

Home automation is a must-have for any modern home worth its salt, so says Ryno Goosen, product specialist on new technologies for leading audio and visual and home automation distributor, HFX Systems: “In today’s modern age, technology influences practically every aspect of our home environment. As a result, home automation is becoming increasingly popular in residential homes, especially those at the upper-end of the market.”

However, he notes that unfortunately many homeowners are not aware of the enormous benefits of home automation and therefore, do not plan for it when renovating their existing home or building a new one. “The two main stumbling blocks when it comes to the installation of home automation are ignorance and cost. With regards to ignorance – one only has to look at the pace at which technology is being brought into our homes to understand that it would be wise to plan for future developments.

Agencies must invest in training
Although a fair number of old-time estate agents still refuse to accept it, the plain truth is that the future in residential property marketing lies with the well trained, fully qualified agents – and those groups which are taking training seriously, says Luke van Vuuren, group training manager of Rawson Properties.

There are still, says van Vuuren, some “old fashioned” often successful agents who think that the cut-off date (currently set at 31st December 2012) for passing the NQF4 training programme will be extended indefinitely – but this, he says, is highly unlikely.

“It is true that if an agent has started his training but not completed it by the end of the year, an extension might be granted – but those who think that this educational requirement will go away and that they can ignore it, will find that eventually they are barred from operating.”

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