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How to get the home you want

You can often negotiate a better deal on a purchase if your property is under contract or you already have the cash in hand.

The property market has been incredibly active and listings are becoming scarce in many suburbs.

To make sure buyers have the best chances of securing the home they truly want, RE/MAX of Southern Africa provided a step-by-step guide for buying your dream home.


Step 1: Get ready

Talk to a bond originator about your financial situation and credit history to determine your loan options and to get pre-qualified for a home loan. It is important to know how much you can afford based on the down payment you plan on paying, the related closing costs of the sale, as well as your disposable income.

Attaining a strong letter of pre-approval can add to your bargaining power and will increase your chances of having your offer accepted when you finally find the perfect property.

Step 2: Partner with a real estate professional

To make sure you are privy to any new listings as soon as they come to market, enlist the help of a local real estate expert.

Discuss your needs and preferences and establish the best method for your agent to send listings and communicate with you about available properties. Tap into his or her knowledge of the local market to find the homes that suit your needs.

Step 3: Shop smart

Keep in mind that you will pay more for a move-in-ready home. Also, when listings are scarce, sometimes a fixer-upper can be your best option for finding a home in your preferred suburb. If you are considering a fixer-upper, judge structural deficiencies more harshly than cosmetic flaws.

It can be costly to replace major components or to change the layout, but redecorating with flooring, fixtures or paint is relatively easy and sometimes offers instant equity potential. Ultimately, location is key. Think about whether the home will appeal to a large pool of buyers if you should decide to sell in the future.

Step 4: Make a competitive offer

To write a winning offer without overpaying, look at the prices of comparable sales. Consider whether the property is in a high-demand area or if there is plenty of competition. Ask your agent to find out if the seller seems motivated.

If you accommodate the seller’s preferred closing dates or other terms, he or she may be more flexible with the price. If you must sell your current home to afford a new one, consider putting it on the market before starting your search.

You can often negotiate a better deal on a purchase if your property is under contract or you already have the cash in hand.

Step 5: Do your diligence

Schedule a home inspection after your offer has been accepted. Make sure all your questions or concerns regarding the home’s condition are answered through the inspection process.

Address all issues that are pointed out in the inspection and make sure to state (in writing) who will be responsible to pay for the repairs or if a credit will be negotiated so the repairs will be for the buyer’s account.

“There is a lot to consider when searching for your dream home. Having a reliable real estate professional by your side who you can lean on for advice and guidance can be incredibly useful to buyers and will help simplify the process of purchasing the property,” said Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX Southern Africa.

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