Blaauwberg market bullish

Right now, says Mike Abrahamse, franchise principal for Rawson Properties Blaauwberg franchise, there are, in his estimation, close to 2 000 homes on the market in the greater Blaauwberg/Table View/Parklands area.

“Any home up for sale in so large a precinct,” he said, “is likely to find that it is competing with some 30 similar properties in the same price range and location that are possibly, equally attractive and equally well placed for schools and transport and other such sought after facilities.”

In today’s market, said Abrahamse, the chances of a property not selling are, therefore, quite high. It is a fact that - at this time, in this market - only 40% of properties sell. The other 60% are typically withdrawn from the market by frustrated and despondent sellers. In his experience, if this happens there are two main reasons, the price and the condition of the property.

“No amount of marketing and advertising spend is going to sell an overpriced property in today’s market. We are often urged by sellers to increase the advertising spend on their homes – in search of a miracle – but the truth is that today’s buyers are well educated and informed, they know their market and can take their time as they have so many options. They cannot be persuaded into paying too high a price even if they really want the home. Buyers nowadays want to view up to 30 properties in order to be fully informed of prices.”

On the other hand, says Abrahamse, fairly conventional and quite ordinary properties can be made a great deal more attractive if only the seller will ensure that the homes and gardens are in spick and span condition. Ninety percent of buyers want to move in and live, not move in and renovate. The sellers who understand this are going to be the sellers whose homes are sold first.

“Agents,” he said, “have a duty to educate sellers that homes should be spruced up in anticipation of visits by potential buyers. To neglect to do this is simply not in the best interest of sellers as it will lead to low offers and greatly reduce the chances of a sale. R10 000 spent with a painter, a tiler and a garden service to make the home presentable, will often add as much as ten times that sum to the overall price the value of the restoration costs.”

Abrahamse said that his franchise is now reaping the benefits of ongoing training and of its move to higher profile new offices (which he owns) on Blaauwbergstrand Road, the main entrance to Blaauwberg and Big Bay.

This, he said, has resulted in a huge increase in walk in customers and in sales this year being up a “whopping” 248% on those of the first nine months of 2009. He has, he said, doubled the number of agents employed from eight to sixteen to cope with buyer demand and in anticipation of the ever improving property market.

Rawson’s Blaauwberg franchise was rated the number one Rawson franchise in Western Cape for the first six months of this year and third in South Africa. In the year-end results, said Abrahamse, they expect again to be in the top three countrywide.

“It is not difficult to sell property in Blaauwberg,” he said, “we have 30% more sunshine and 40% less rain than much of the Cape Peninsula.”

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