PROPERTY: Market Leader Launches Initiatives for Property Buyers
Recent Western Cape Business News
AS FAR back as one can recall, property brokers have always been appointed by and represented the seller. But the launch of market leader Just Property’s new initiative, Buyers Mandate is set to change that and even out the distribution of representation in property deals.
Property agents in South Africa tend to focus on selling properties that have been listed with their agencies. Buyers tend to do their own research, contacting various sellers’ agents about the houses they like. A good agent will do their best to negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement, but even with the best will in the world their first loyalty has to be the seller who is their client and has listed a property with their agency. The seller gets the lion’s share of the support while the poor buyer is left with no-one to fight his (or her) corner. This puts buyers at risk, especially if they are inexperienced and making their first or second purchase.
To meet the needs of a fast-evolving marketplace, Just Property has just launched their Buyers Mandate, which seeks to empower buyers and level the property playing fields. By signing a Buyer’s Mandate, the buyer gets a dedicated property professional, with a wealth of experience and contacts, to guide them first through the search for their dream home and then through the negotiating process.
“As a national franchise group that services multiple customer bases from tenants and landlords to sellers and buyers, we're always looking for new ways to add value to and enhance our clients’ experience with property,” says Paul Stevens, CEO of Just Property. “Buyers are just as pertinent to a property transaction as sellers, so why not give them the option to be represented by an independent expert: someone to unmask the hidden pitfalls of property-buying, a person solely focused on protecting their rights and interests?”
“With our large footprint across South Africa, we believe this offering is another way we can fulfil a growing customer need. Making the most significant investment of your life doesn’t have to be such a stressful process. Inexperienced buyers should not have to feel they’re making this hugely important decision on their own and without guidance. They should be doing it in collaboration with someone knowledgeable and trustworthy, who is looking out for their best interests,” Stevens explains. “Just Property has always been passionate about educating our property partners about how property can be used as a wealth creation tool - the Buyers Mandate is yet another tool that will enable us to do this.”
So what does the Just Property Buyers Mandate achieve? Signing such an agreement solidifies the relationship between the buyer and agent. With a clearly defined role, the mandated agent will use their understanding of how the industry operates to go all out to ensure their buyers make savvy property choices that are informed by the exclusive information available to experienced property professionals.
The process starts with a private consultation where you explain exactly what you are looking for – the type of property, size, area etc. Your agent then uses the powerful search technology to explore not only Just Property’s wide network for available matches but the listings of other agencies and private sellers. Sharing such information, which is difficult to source, consolidate or understand, with transparency and integrity builds trust, and of course, working with someone who has been through the process many times takes a great deal of the stress out of it.
Once a target list has been established, your mandated agent sets up appointments and visits the properties with you, asking all the questions it might not occur to you to raise, checking for faults you may not even consider looking for. Your agent can also pre-qualify you, which can open doors that might not otherwise be open to you. Once you’ve decided on the property you wish to make an offer on, you have your agent’s sound negotiating tools at your disposal. When a price is agreed on, your agent can negotiate and communicate with the listing agent to close the deal, ensuring that your rights are never in question and that you get the best possible outcome. Throughout the process your agent will follow up and follow through and at the end of day, as you move into your new property, you do so secure in the knowledge that you’ve made a sound investment and have forged a continuing partnership that you can call on when next you are ready to sell or start the hunt for your next acquisition.
“It’s a minefield out there and we aim to simplify it,” explains Stevens, “but we get something very important out of this too. That first property purchase will be followed by a second – if the initial experience was a good one then a good relationship exists, and the buyer is likely to return to our agency the next time they’re in the market. We’re very aware of the need to educate and effect change: the real estate market is fraught with frustrations and tensions, many of which are caused by a sparce information, lack of knowledge and poor communication. We are determined to change that perception, one conversation at a time.”
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