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4 types of property buyers

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14 Dec 2012

When it comes to selling property in today’s competitive real estate market, sellers will need to have an edge to stand out from the crowd.

Goslett says different features of a particular home will appeal to different kinds of buyers, depending on their criteria and type of property they are looking for.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says the key is for sellers and their estate agents to make a distinction between the types of buyers they are targeting in order to market the property in the most appropriate way.

Goslett notes that establishing the type of buyer they are dealing with will assist in determining the buyer’s needs and how they should be approached.

He says different features of a particular home will appeal to different kinds of buyers, depending on their criteria and type of property they are looking for.

Goslett explains that generally property buyers will fall into one of four main categories:

1. Retail buyers

Although this type of buyer can be subdivided into smaller groups such as family buyers, young working couples, first-time or retired buyers, this is the average home buyer who is in the market to purchase a primary residence.

They are buyers who have access to finance or enough money saved up to purchase a property for cash. As the large majority of these buyers will require financing, an important aspect for this type of buyer will be the home’s price and their level of affordability. 

Features that will be important to them will be proximity to their place of work and amenities such as schools, medical facilities and shopping centres.

2. Buy-to-let investors

A property that can generate revenue while it appreciates in value over the long term is the main concern for this buyer.

They are generally looking for a secure long-term investment that will be relatively low maintenance.

Goslett says these buyers are normally looking for sectional title units that require little or no renovation and can be rented out immediately to start earning income. In some cases they are also looking for larger homes that can be rented to upmarket tenants or students in a commune set-up.

3. Fix-and-flip investors

Fix-and-flip investors are normally full-time property investors looking for property that is selling substantially below the market norm in a specific area.

This type of investor will be looking for a property in need of renovation that they can restore and sell in a reasonably short period of time for a return on investment. 

4. Hybrid buyers

According to Goslett, these buyers are not full-time property investors but they have 100 percent cash or a large deposit and good credit records.

These buyers normally wait for the property market to fall or for a really good deal to come along before they make an investment.  They generally prefer properties that don’t require renovations and can be leased out as soon as possible.

Goslett says although it is important for sellers to know the type of buyer they are dealing with, it is equally important that the seller is serious about selling their home and is open to negotiation.

“With the market currently favouring buyers, sellers will need to be willing to negotiate. If a seller is merely putting their property on the market to see what they can get and they are not willing to budge on their asking price, it will be difficult for them to sell their home, especially if their price is not market related.”

Goslett says a successful sales transaction occurs when the criteria of a buyer is matched by a property on sale from a serious seller.

An experienced agent from a reputable real estate company can help to connect the right buyer with the right property and facilitate the sales process to ensure it is a hassle-free experience, he says. 

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