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Tips for your property search

22 Nov 2013

While finding the ideal home may sound like a relatively easy process, it may take a little more time and effort than buyers expect, especially if it’s not handled in the correct manner. However, there are methods that buyers can use to reduce the stress of finding a property and assist them in finding their perfect home in a fairly short period time.

Buyers should make notes on each and every property that is viewed. With today’s technology this can be done on an iPad, smartphone or the traditional pen and notebook.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa , who says one of the biggest challenges that most buyers face when starting out on their property buying journey is knowing where to start when sifting through the vast volumes and wide variety of properties that are available to them. He says few buyers actually buy the first home that they view, and often it is the viewing of random show homes that can add to the buyer’s confusion and make the decision that much harder.

He says not having a plan and simply looking for as many show houses as possible can make it difficult to keep tabs on what the buyer has seen, what they liked about the various properties and for what price they were selling. Goslett says setting out with a clear plan can simplify the matter and make the ultimate buying decision a lot easier.

"Regardless of how urgently the buyer may need to find a home, it is best not to rush the decision. Buyers should rather take some time and systematically work through small numbers of properties at a time. Taking things slowly and viewing only a few properties at a time will help the buyer retain as much information as possible about each of the properties they have seen."

Goslett says buyers that are looking for a property urgently may want to rush the process by utilising various estate agents and seeing as many listings and attending as many show houses as they can in one day. He says while this may give them an idea of what properties are out there, it will also make it impossible for them to keep track of which one of the houses appealed to them the most, which agent showed them the house and why it appealed to them in the first place.

He advises that buyers should ideally only use one estate agent that they feel comfortable with and view no more than four properties on any given day. A reputable, good agent that specialises in the area that the buyer is interested in will have a wide variety of listings on their books, but will be able to narrow down the search and viewings based on the information and criteria that the buyer has provided them. Doing this will save the buyer massive amounts of time that would have been spent on viewing properties that don’t fit their criteria.

Goslett says there are ways to keep tabs on the various properties that have been viewed in order to compare them and these include the following:

• Buyers should make notes on each and every property that is viewed. With today’s technology this can be done on an iPad, smartphone or the traditional pen and notebook. The pros and cons of each property should be logged, listing likes and dislikes and features, as it is easy to become confused as to which home offered which feature.

• Most cell phones will have a camera so document the homes that are viewed. Use your cell phone to take photos of the inside and outside of the property. This is particularly important when you find aspects of a home that are especially appealing.

• Only keep records of properties that you are really interested in.

• If there is anything you are unsure of, talk to the agent who showed you the property. They will have a record of the homes that they have showed you and will have a list of each property’s features. Agents will know their listings and will be able to provide guidance through the often complex process of finding the right house.

Goslett says buying a home is an exciting time for buyers, but it can also be rather stressful. He says taking the stress out of the process by handling it in the correct way and adopting a calm and logical approach, will allow the buyer to fully enjoy the process and find the perfect home.

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