PROPERTY NEWS - Although prices rise and residential property marketing conditions are improving noticeably month-by-month, South Africa is still definitely not yet a home sellers' market - and bargain hunters are still able to buy homes at big discounts on the prices that would normally be set for the homes in question.
"This," says Tony Clarke, Managing Director of Rawson Properties, "can be a worthwhile and highly profitable exercise. How-
ever, time-and-again we find that these bargain hunters are missing out on chances and becoming totally disillusioned because they are determined to get the ultimate good buy but in doing so wreck their chances of getting any buy at all."
Such buyers, he said, tend to spend far too long hunting for homes and to look at far too many properties without making a decision. When they do make a final choice they often put in an offer that is so ridiculously low as to be almost certain to be rejected.
"Those who behave in this way will always in the end lose the co-operation of the estate agents and will not be fed information about new buys," said Clarke.
They will also cause great emotional stress to the seller because he sees himself as being exploited and trampled on and he will do his best to see that he and others in the same predicament do not get involved with these buyers.
The ultra-low price tactic in buying, added Clarke, will almost never succeed if the pro-perty is repossessed because the banks themselves will always baulk at taking too big a loss.
On the other hand, those buyers who are still determined to get a bargain and are prepared to offer of 75% to 80% of the current value and who are able to sympathise with the seller's situation and to give him a fair treatment are still picking up excellent purchases, the true value of which, Clarke said, will become evident in two or three years' time.
"Never before in all my 22 years in property," he said, "has so much good value property been available at such reasonable prices. Now is, I am convinced, a good time to buy - but the current situation will not last long. Already, there are clear indications of a rise in house prices and in many areas an increasing shortage of stock."