Two essential qualities of top-performing Estate agents



Selling or buying a property is one of the most important transactions most people will make in a lifetime, so finding the right agent to handle it is essential.
Perhaps more than anything, a good agent enjoys his or her work, and draws satisfaction from doing it, and not just the rewards it offers.” Says Richard Gray, CEO of Harcourts South Africa.

The choice of the ‘right’ estate agent is about more than following reputations, important as that is. Acting as an agent is very much about forging and maintaining relationships, and however well regarded an agent is, the quality of service will depend on how well he or she can match the client’s personal needs,”

  1. Expertise:


A good estate agent needs to have his finger on the pulse of the local property market. He or she must understand how prices for properties are determined in a dynamic market, and know what it takes to market a property for optimal returns. Harcourts, a global real estate company, offers their agents industry-leading training and advanced technological support to sharpen their competitiveness in the local South African and Ballito property market. With this support and training Harcourts Dolphin Coast agents’ skills are honed to better serve their sellers and buyers.


  1. Enthusiasm:


A good agent is one who enjoys relationship building. He or she will communicate conscientiously, and explain the opportunities and limitations that a transaction faces and will look for means to improve its prospects. Harcourts Dolphin Coast agents are committed and will always be honest and truthful. Ensuring a happy experience and a foundation for a mutually beneficial long-term relationship is our priority. Such relationships are forged by the Harcourts values and a culture which we, locally at Harcourts Dolphin Coast whole heartedly subscribe to:

People First                (Never ‘me’ first)

Do the right thing      (Integrity)

Being courageous       (Facing problems head on)

Fun and laughter        (Enthusiasm)

“Rather than seeing enjoyment, ethics and fulfilment as incidental or even supportive of our work, we see them as fundamental,” says Gray.

This is an important and unique value proposition, offering a culture of long-term relationships. It stresses rewards both in personal contentment and financial prosperity – each supporting the other.

Harcourts International is represented in 9 countries from Australia to America with South Africa having 150 offices country wide. Globally all Harcourts agents adhere to the four core values, always looking at how we can improve, mindful of the changing arena we operate

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Steps to selling Luxury Homes

8 Steps to selling luxury Homes

Minki Matthews – Harcourts Dolphin Coast.

Selling a home is not the easiest of tasks but it also doesn’t have to be as hard as figuring out the rubrics cube! The level of difficulty does increase though when selling a luxury home, as it requires an increased level of expertise. It is important that the proper steps are taken to ensure the home is sold in a timely fashion and for a fair, market value price!
8 Tips for selling luxury homes:
1. Is The Price Right?
Pricing a home correctly from the beginning is extremely important. Whether selling a regular home of R1 million or a R10 million plus luxury home, getting the price right from the outset is crucial. A common real estate pricing mistake is hiring the real estate agent who suggests the highest price. It’s extremely important that a luxury home is priced competitively or aggressively from the beginning to attract the right buyers .It is common for a luxury home to sit on the market for longer than a lower priced home. However, if priced correctly this does not have to be the case.
To ensure the price is right, an in-depth comparative market analysis must be completed. BUT, more than that agent should have comprehensive knowledge of other comparable luxury homes currently sold and for sale. It is rare to find a luxury home that is identical to another, so knowing every amenity and qualities of luxury homes are crucial when determining the price!
2. How Will The Luxury Home Be Marketed?
The price of a luxury home that enters the market at the right price does a fair amount of the marketing in itself; however, there are other marketing tools that should be used when selling a luxury home.
Print advertising and direct mailing should still be apart of any real estate agents marketing plan/system. The internet, however, has significantly changed how consumers shop. It is extremely important that a real estate agent who is selling a luxury home uses the internet and has a Luxury Property Selection website like Harcourts Dolphin Coast’s :
3. Selecting your Luxury Real Estate Agent.
Many Real estate agents treat all listings the same. Selecting your realtor to represent your property needs to be taken as seriously as any other business decision you make. Research your respective agents and ask them for their marketing plan on how they will go about selling your home. When selecting a real estate agent to sell a luxury home, it’s critical to know where the luxury home will be marketed, how it will be marketed, and how frequently it will be marketed. When selling a luxury home, a real estate agent must have a comprehensive marketing plan/system and should not list a luxury home with the attitude to wait and hope it sells. These types of real estate agents are also known as a “post and pray real estate agent.”
4. The quality of marketing for Luxury Property
Most have heard the saying, “quality over quantity.” This relates perfectly to the quality of photographs and videos of a luxury home for sale. With over 90% of buyers beginning their home search online, it’s critical the photographs and videos of a luxury home are outstanding and nothing but the best!
Every real estate agent will offer to take photos of a home, but it shouldn’t be as easy as just leisurely taking photos. When selling a luxury home the use of a professional photographer to take photos of the home and /or the use of great equipment should be non-negotiable. Top real estate agents will know this and will ensure that when taking photos of a luxury home all things are considered such as best lighting and the setting that the exquisite location is being highlighted.
A picture may be worth a 1,000 words, but how much is a video or virtual tour worth? A Billion? When selling a luxury home, a professionally created video or virtual tour can be the difference of whether or not the luxury home sells. A video is a great way to allow potential buyers the ability to “walk-through” the luxury home in the comfort of their present home.
5. Is It The Right Time To Sell?
When selling a luxury home, timing plays a larger role than when selling non-luxury home. For instance, if a waterfront luxury home is being sold in Zimbali, it’s important to select the correct time of year to sell. Often sellers are of the opinion that selling a home over the December holidays is a good time, as most sellers have family and friends around and might be on vacation. Most serious buyers know that buying a luxury home requires their full attention and not impulsive buying.
6. Will There Be Any Open Houses?
There is much debate whether public open houses help sells homes or not. When it comes to luxury homes, there is the fear of people just interested in seeing how the “rich and famous” live. There is absolutely no way to determine whether the people coming through the open house are qualified to purchase the luxury home or not! Here is where your chosen Real Estate Agent will be able to make sure that only serious buyers view by appointment.
7. Are The Location & Lifestyle Being Portrayed Correctly?
Luxury homes are often luxurious because of their location and lifestyle. If a luxury home is part of a development which includes facilities such as a golf course or community centre privileges, it is important they are being showcased in the listing information. This is another reason why utilizing video or virtual tour when selling a luxury home is a great marketing tool as it is a very good way to present a luxury home’s location as well as the lifestyle.
8. Will Any Staging Be Done?
Staging does not sell homes but it certainly can help! There are many sellers who believe that by hiring a real estate agent who has a staging designation, their home will sell. When selling a luxury home, staging will help maximize price and minimize time on the market. When staging a luxury home, it is important that the amenities which make the home luxurious are being showcased. For example: If there is an outdoor braai, is it staged so that potential buyers can envision their summertime gatherings? A luxury home with an grand formal dining room could be staged with elegant place settings and fine china to help a buyer envision what their fine dining parties may look like.
Finally: Can You Be Patient?
Patience is one of the biggest things that a seller needs to consider when selling a luxury home. Selling a luxury home will normally take longer than a non-luxury home.
Face it, there are not many buyers who can afford a R10 million plus home entering the market on a daily basis. For this reason alone, it’s important to be patient and understand that if the above tips are being practiced, a buyer will surface!
At Harcourts Dolphin Coast we know that selling a luxury home presents a different level of difficulty and expertise. It doesn’t have to be impossible either and by considering the above 8 tips when selling a luxury home, the process can be smooth and less stressful. We can help.

Call on us when selling your luxury home – 032 946 2331 or e-mail:

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Sole Mandate – Yes or No ?

Sole Mandate – Yes or No ?
Ida du Plooy

Harcourts Dolphin Coast.

“A home you own is always so much more than bricks and mortar,” says Harcourts Africa CEO Richard Gray, “and this emotional attachment tends to grow stronger over time. However it can become a serious obstacle when the time comes to sell the property and to make the decision on awarding a sole or exclusive marketing mandate to only one agency.

Giving the exclusive responsibility of selling ones property to a single agent can be a difficult concept to wrap one’s head around, however equipped with the right information there are many benefits in choosing this option.

Will my house not sell faster as an open mandate?

In thinking that your property will sell faster on the open market with every agency in town, has in so many cases turned into a nightmare with no one taking responsibility or caring about you, the seller. In so many cases the initial excitement will see a rush of people walking through your home at all hours , but, as time goes by without any offers, your property fades away attracting less and less interest. Because no-one is responsible for the mandate to sell your property, you are left in the dark not knowing that your house is now “out of sight and out of mind”

Can a Sole Mandate guarantee the sale of my house?

In opting to use a sole mandate, the home-owner is entitled to reward commission to the specific agent, if the property is sold within the specified number of days declared within the mandate. “When entering into this legal contract between seller and estate agent, the seller needs to bear in mind that the mandate does not guarantee the sale of the property, it should rather be regarded as a commitment from the agent to perform at the highest standards of marketing and promoting your property”, Richard Gray.

A sole mandate offers exclusivity. It deliberately focuses a pool of people in one place and when people are focusing in one area it then creates competition. Your agent will be working for you and not use your property as a comparison to sell another. Being able to effectively market the property through the right channels is an essential marketing strategy and is a key benefit of mandates- to draw people in and create competition.

The Website:

A good exercise to see the effects of a house on the open market will be to go to any property website (such as Property 24 or Private Property) and find a property listed by multitude agents. Compare the quality of each agents listing of the same house and read it carefully The results may leave you with a hair- raising view of what buyers are faced with. In many instances buyers will search out the lowest priced listing of your property and may even be of the opinion that you are desperate to sell the house, resulting in low offers from bargain hunters. Where you property is exclusively listed by a single and reputable agency, the serious buyers will take notice and make contact with the sole agent. Fear of loss and exclusivity will have buyers compete for your property, whereas many and different web-listings of your property will have agents competing against each other in getting your price lowered to attract the bargain hunter. A quick sale for them by driving down the price.

The fear of Double Commission:

Confusion can arise in a situation where an agent without the contracted mandate gets an offer on a property. It goes without saying that it is going against the Code of Conduct of the Estate Agents Affairs Board, when another agent knowingly sells a mandated home. In doing so, that agent will in most cases have to pay the commission over to the rightfully mandated agent. In the event that a seller knowingly accepts an offer from an outside agent, the seller can be liable in paying both agents commission. However, if the correct procedures are followed and the outside agent works with the mandated agent, a “finder’s fee” can be negotiated in which the agent bringing the sale will receive a percentage of the agreed upon commission.
Who to choose?

Once the difficult decision of choosing to work within the parameters of a sole mandate has been decided, an even harder decision presents itself in whom to choose to represent your property. It is the responsibility of the seller to make an informed choice with clear knowledge of agency as well as the estate agent’s past sale record.

“It is absolutely necessary for the relevant questions to be addressed to agents who are being considered for the task. Questions pertaining to their track record of past sales, the names of the last three successful sellers they worked with, the percentage of mandates that they are selling and on average, how long it takes for them to sell a property. It should be an absolute requirement that an agent provides their client with a presentation addressing the questions mentioned,” Gray states.

Armed with the necessary knowledge of the benefits a sole mandate offers, it is at the discretion of home-sellers out there if they choose whether or not to decide on a sole mandate.

At Harcourts Dolphin Coast we encourage clients to work within a sole mandate. This guarantees a tailor-made approach to the sale of your property, which in return equates to the swift offer to purchase from potential home-buyers. We take our commitment to our mandates so seriously, that we offer all our exclusive mandated sellers our written Harcourts Promise to:

• A Detailed marketing plan
• Post-inspection Feedback
• Written progress reports
• Marketing review meetings, and
• All offers presented in writing.

Our commitment to you is to prove that a sole mandate is the best option for a smooth and pleasant selling experience.

Why don’t you call on the property professionals of Harcourts Dolphin Coast today, to re-asses your house that has been on the market for such a long period?
Office: 032 946 2331
E –mail:
We have a vacancy for a dedicated full status agent to join our dynamic and winning team. Contact us today.

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Sold Your Property? What happens now?

Tips to help you stay on top of the process.

Ida du Plooy Harcourts Dolphin Coast.
During my fifteen years as an Estate Agent selling property in Ballito, I have found that many people do not understand the complete process of selling their property. They may have a good idea about some aspects such as the presentation of their home but often times feel ‘lost’ once they have accepted an offer to purchase their property. It is during the last stages that they often discover that all is not going the way they have thought it would. With this in mind, I would like to offer some basic tips to warn sellers of some pitfalls they were not aware of, and that the agent may not have communicated to them.

First things First:
After your decision to sell, and once you have established your reasons and timeframe when to move, it is time to look at how to go about it as painlessly as possible.
Sellers Remorse:
Now that you have received an offer to purchase, do you accept it outright?
If there is one thing that cannot be stressed enough, it is the fact that neither you nor the agent is responsible for the price offered for your property. The price the buyer brings to the table, and that you, the seller agrees to, is the true market value of your property. I have seen so many sellers regretting the fact that they have not accepted the first offer they have received – In retrospect that was their best offer. Accept the reality and get ready to move on.

I have signed the agreement, what happens now?
I fondly remember an incident where a fellow agent once sold a property to a Russian investor. The day after the documents were signed and handed to the conveyancer, he insisted on the keys and wanted to move in immediately. Unfortunately the transferring process can take up to three or more months, and patience will be required.

The Conveyancing Process Simplified:
• The Transferring Conveyancer receives the Offer to Purchase and calls for the title deed of the property. ( Attorney 1)
• The current bondholder (Bank) advises on the amount required to settle the existing bond. The bank instructs an attorney to attend to the cancellation of the existing bond. (Attorney 2)
• If the buyer is using a bond to purchase the property, an attorney will be instructed by the bank to register the new bond.(Attorney 3)
• The buyer pays the deposit and transfer costs into the Trust Account of the conveyancer (Attorney 1)
• The Conveyancer draws up documents and calls both seller and buyer to sign the transfer documents
• Guarantees for the balance of the price are issued by the bank who granted the bond (Attorney 3)
• Municipal rates/ levies are paid up in advance
• Certificates – Electrical/ Entomologist/ Gas and Electrical fences are called for
• All conveyancers Attorney’s 1, 2 and 3) collaborate and all documents get lodged at the Deeds Office. Often with a fourth attorney ( Correspondent attorney near the Deeds Office in Pietermaritzburg )
• About 7 to 10 days pass before the registration takes place.
• The conveyancer does the final disbursements, pay’s the agents commission, settles loans and bonds and pays all costs to electricians/entomologists and others
• The nett proceeds of the sale are paid over to the seller.

Who Pays for What?

The Seller:
• The agents commission inclusive of VAT.
• Penalty Bond Interest. Three months’ notice must be given to the bank to cancel the sellers existing bond. This equates to approximately on month’s bond instalment for each completed month of notice not given or pro rata thereof.
• Bond Cancellation Fee: If the property has been bonded you pay between R2000/R2500. It applies even if the bond has a nil balance.
• Rates and Services: Any arrears, current amounts owing and a 120 day advance collection amount.
• Levies owed to Body Corporate or Home Owners Association.
• Any repairs agreed to in the contract
• Certificates: Electrical
Beetle (If applicable)
Plumbing (If applicable)
Gas Installation (If applicable)
Electrical Fence (If applicable)
(Approximately R2500 if no repairs necessary.)
• Other: Financial undertakings by the Seller
Bridging finance for the seller
SARS directive – (withholding tax scenario)
WHAT the Buyer pays for:
Transfer Costs:
Transfer Duty – payable to the conveyancers (Attorney 1 ) approximately one month before transfer.
If the Seller is a VAT registered and the property forms part of a VAT-able enterprise. The Purchase price will either be recorded in the contract as inclusive or exclusive of VAT.
The buyers cost may include the cost to obtaining Home Owners Associations consent to transfer.
Rates clearance certificate.
Levy clearance certificate.
Bond cost: if registering a new bond
Occupational Rental: If the buyer moves in before transfer.
It is important to always stipulate an amount in the Sale Agreement even if occupation is on or after transfer.
Plans: If the agreement does not oblige the Seller to deliver copies of approved plans, the buyer has to incur the cost thereof.


At Harcourts Dolphin Coast, we offer experienced and trustworthy service to all our clients. We make selling your home a Smooth ride
Property is our business but People our passion.
Call on us at Harcourts Dolphin Coast
11 Jack Powell Road,
Close to Willard beach behind the Boulevard Centre.
Tel: 032 946 2331
E mail:

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Ida du Plooy – Harcourts Dolphin Coast.

Parenting can often seem like an endless tight-rope act. My husband often jokes that your kids may leave your home, but never your pocket! The question that begs to be answered is: Do I help my adult child to purchase a property, or let them rent?
Once your child has flown the coop, you may be free of the day-to-day parenting challenges synonymous with bringing up children. However you can now find yourself playing a whole new roll: that of relationship mentor, advisor, loan shark, unpaid nanny, live-in cook and cleaner, free gardener and …… the list can go on.
According to Lightstone Property Researchers, 40% of Ballito homeowners are between ages 50 to 64 years old; and 20% are 65 years and older. That makes 60 % of all Ballito residents in the age group who may have adult children. According to a 2009 Pew research study, 13% of American parents have at least one adult child staying at home. It would be interesting to research how many middle-aged and older parents still have adult children living at home.

Should you help your adult children with the purchase of their first home?
Property ownership is synonymous with financial stability. Helping your adult son or daughter purchasing their own home will probably be their biggest asset in their life, setting them on their path to a healthy credit profile and giving them a head start in life towards financial security.
However, there are a few aspects that will require close attention before committing to help:
Questions to ask yourself:
1. “Will I be in the position to still take care of myself and my spouse?” How many of us can answer yes with very little concern about the future? “Did your parents buy you your first house?”
2. Is your child responsible enough to take on the financial responsibility?
3. Can he/she commit to the upkeep and maintenance of a property?
4. Will he/she be able to carry all the additional costs of owning a property such as rates, levies, consumables etc.?

As the parent you need to make your child understand that buying a property, is a long term commitment. Not only must one discuss the financial implications, but also what their plans are for the future. Are they planning to travel, what will happen if they change jobs or towns? Are they considering immigration?
If they don’t have a definite plan for at least the next 3 years, it is clear that it could be a risk helping them with a 20 year bond commitment? This could become your responsibility, eating into your pension.

One of the aspects often ignored is the affordability of your children. Carefully sit them down and consider all costs and possible future cost that they have not given any thought to, such as transfer fees, bond fees and interest rate hikes.
Run through different scenarios with them and let them consider all outcomes before you commit to part with your hard earned equity you have worked for.

Five Ways to help your child Buying a property:
1. Stand surety
2. Be a joint purchaser and bond applicant
3. Gift – pay their deposit or part thereof.
4. Should you not have cash – raise your access bond for part payment or for paying the transfer costs
5. Some parents live-in with their children and contribute towards the household expenses. For bond purposes it may be better to pay a monthly rent into their account. A rental agreement should be of great helping securing a bond for them.

As a parent nothing makes you happier than knowing that your children are secure and settled down building a future for themselves to become independent and self-sufficient. What a privilege to be able to help your children, not only financially, but also through departing with your wisdom and good advice.
At Harcourts Dolphin Coast, we pride ourselves to assist in every way to make property sales possible. You and your children are very important to us, that’s why we truly care.

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Factors Influencing the sale of a property

The three BIG W’s of selling property.
1. Why?
Contrary to popular belief price is not the only factor that influences the sale of a property, the truth is that there is much more that goes into selling a property.
As an agent the first conversation with a seller looking to list their property normally focuses on the price they want for their house. However, some of the main factors in selling your property are:
1. Motivation
2. Time
3. Pricing
4. Marketing
The question you should ask yourself is: “Why do I want to sell my property”
Your reason for selling is actually the most important factor when listing your property to sell. Reasons for relocating may be to move to a different town because you have landed a new position, or your health is forcing you to down scale. More often than not financial realities are the reason to move into a new location. Your motivation to sell will have a huge impact on your property listing.
The question you have to ask yourself is: “Do I have Time to wait for the market to pay me the price I think my property is worth, or is the sale urgent to move on and price accordingly?

2. What?
The second important factor in selling your property revolves around the WHAT you are placing on the market.
So often sellers list their properties without taking a good look at how their homes are competing with other properties on the market. Comparing the condition, location, size and appearance of their property should tell them if their property will attract the right buyer at the best price. Many of the property owners live elsewhere and may have rented their property. Without assessing the current status of the property they may find that that their valuable investment has lost its appeal due to neglect. It is wise to contact a reputable agent to do an honest assessment as to what you should do to make the property appealing to the public. Often something as simple as de-cluttering is all it takes to help sell your house. Ask yourself: Would a beautifully staged property attract more buyers than my old, cluttered and tired looking house? Spending some money towards the presentation of your property before you list to sell may just result in a quick and profitable sale.

3. Who?
As a real estate agent of 15 years in Ballito, I suggest that you carefully consider who you entrust with the sale of you property’s marketing. Make sure you check that the agent is a registered agent with the EAAB. Ask the agent for a marketing plan on how he/she will go about presenting your property to its best advantage and to the widest audience. There are many excellent agents in Ballito but it remains your responsibility to select the ones you trust most.
The question of Sole Mandates are often feared, but as any agent worth his salt will tell you, a well-priced and presentable property sells quicker if you entrust the agent of your choice with the mandate. When you are every ones listing, you are no-ones concern.
Don’t fall into the old trap of open mandates and un-cared for properties. Check out your competition:
4. The truth – Stats to consider.
Stats by Light Stone regarding the property market in Ballito from April 2013 to March 2014:
Number of properties competing in the market:
Sectional title properties on sale: 2496 (39.30% of the market)
Freehold properties on sale: 1417 (22.31% of the market)
Estate properties on sale: 2438 (38.39% of the market)
TOTAL: 6351 properties on the market
Age of recent buyers:
18 – 35 years old +- 18%
36-49 years old +-34%
50-64 years old +-38%
65 and older +-10%
Income distribution:
Average household income range in Ballito:
Wealthy LSM10High R51000 – R67000 6074 adults
Super wealthy LSM10 High R75000 and above 1098 adults

Number of Sales:

Sectional Title   Freehold
2010 :       310       238
2011:         313       223
2012:        328      256
2013:        385      289

Realizing that 6350 properties were competing for 674 buyers’ attention is a sobering reality. As an Estate Agent it is our job to give the seller sufficient validated facts about the current market conditions. The challenge is to price and present the property competitively in order to reach the sellers goal to have his property sold aligned to his time frame and reason for selling.
Harcourts Dolphin Coast will get the job done in a professional manner – we deliver the results everyone wants: SOLD!

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Ida du Plooy

“ I am the basis of all wealth, the heritage of the wise, the thrifty and the prudent.
I am the poor man’s joy and comfort, the rich man’s prize, the right hand of capital, the silent partner of many thousands of successful men.
I am so common that thousands, unthinkingly and unknowingly, pass me by.
I am real estate.” – Lou Scott.

As South Africans are facing the second half of 2014 with trepidation amidst fears of economic recession and potential interest hikes, the question arises how this will affect the property market, especially here on the Dolphin Coast.
One of the advantages of living in South Africa is the fact that we have a 2500 km shore line dotted with beautiful beaches and coastal towns. During each yearend all of these towns experience the annual migration to the beach by city dwellers hungry for the opportunity to enjoy what the beach and ocean have to offer. These migrants are looking for different destinations and different accommodation. Some prefer staying in complexes overlooking the ocean close to shops and entertainment, while others prefer a cottage at the beach far away from everyone and everything.
Using information by Lightstone the following is a comparison of property values of different areas, especially the Western Cape and Kwa Zulu Natal’s Dolphin Coast. This analysis was done of properties within 500 meters from the beach.
It was found that on average beachfront properties in the Western Cape is valued at R2 060 000.00 and 32% more expensive than beachfront properties in KZN which is on average valued at R 1 560 000.00. Properties in the Western Cape are on average 175% larger at R4 400 per square meter compared to R1 600 per square meter in KZN.
The most expensive properties in South Africa can be found in Cape Town with an average value of just below R8 000 000. Second most expensive properties can be found in Plettenberg Bay valued just below R 4 200 000. Compared to Cape Town and the eastern cape, properties in Ballito are comparable at R2 800 000 .
Sectional title properties follow the same pattern with Cape Town sectional title properties reaching an average of R2 500 000 with almost 38% of all sectional title properties located there. In Ballito the average sectional title property prices are observed to be R1 700 000.
The statistics from OOBA, South Africa’s biggest bond originator, show that the property market has entered 2014 on a continued high note with bond approval rates increasing by 3% year on year to 68.7%. This is the highest ratio since June 2008.

It is predicted that house price inflation is to remain stable for the rest of the year within the range of 5.6% and 7.85. However this Lightstone forecast can only remain if:
• Interest rates are contained
• Labour tensions do not further lower economic growth, and
• Banks risk providing bonds do not increase further.

Owning a seaside property in Ballito offers homeowners the peace of mind that their seaside property is a valuable asset and in keeping with the best in South Africa.

To own your piece of real estate, call on the property professionals of Harcourts Dolphin Coast:
Now accredited selling agents for Zimbali.
032 946 2331

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So much has been written and talked about Ballito and the North Coast investment opportunities, that it has almost become a cliché’. For so many years, whilst living in Johannesburg, all I ever heard was that Ballito was the best place in the country to holiday. Today I believe Ballito is the best property investment area not only in Kwa Zulu Natal, but in South Africa.
There is no deigning it; Ballito offers excellent weather all year round, some excellent swimming beaches, fishing spots and not to mention surfing. One of the unique features of the Dolphin Coast, is that we are only two hours’ drive away from the Drakensberg Mountains to the west, and two hours’ drive to the north to the big five game reserves.
I recently went on a trip to attend the Harcourts annual conference, and coming home to our Beautiful Ballito I could not help to answer the question: Why Ballito?
As the plane descended, I looked out the window and saw our beautiful coastline, lined with the dense lush tropical bush and many green hills of sugar cane. Once the plane had landed and I stepped out, I was greeted with the familiar fresh warm moist Indian Ocean air. The first thing that came to mind is why anyone would ever leave to go and live anywhere else in the country. I hope the Ballito residents realize just how blessed they are to live in, dare I say, paradise! Everywhere else pales in comparison.
Being an ex Jo-burger investing in Ballito was the best thing I ever did. Ballito certainly has grown beyond my or anyone else’s wildest expectations and is no longer that sleepy hollow of 20 years ago. Ballito has exploded with growth. It now offers many commercial opportunities with major new developments and investment; including a new and almost completed interchange off the N2 freeway . The new road will offer an easy entrance into town. One of the biggest assets to Ballito has to be the New King Shaka Airport , all this has led to an influx of new people to the area now seeking accommodation and no longer visiting our shores only to enjoy a holiday. Rentals are booming and so are property sales. Ballito is so conveniently situated, that there is a mere 15 minute drive to the Airport, making it attractive for business men who deal with the global market and have to travel continuously.
Another reason why Ballito is so popular is due to the magnificent secure residential estates making it attractive for families now want to relocate to.
PORT ZIMBALI: One of which is the highly secure Zimbali Estate. This estate has attracted many affluent buyers seeking the unique environment it offers. Comprising approximately 1 200 homes and apartments set in an exquisite, natural setting overlooking the sea and with its own coastal forest and expanse of beachfront, Zimbali estate is home to a variety of game such as Bush buck and Duiker so tame and wandering through the gardens and golf course. Due to its strict building codes and regulations, one can rest assured that when you buy property in the estate, you are buying a quality property. Harcourts Dolphin Coast is now proudly accredited agents to beautiful Zimbali.
The stunning Simbithi Eco Estate offers an exceptional lifestyle for both young families and more mature buyers. The estate offers sectional titled apartments with magnificent sea views and many free hold opportunities. The major attraction to Simbithi is the safe and child friendly atmosphere, with a variety of community centers, hiking trails, fish catch- and- release, horse riding and a golf course activities to name but a few. Simbithi is so popular that all the developers land has been sold out. We at Harcourts Dolphin Coast are proudly accredited Simbithi agents.
Other developments set in tranquil and secure settings include the very exclusive and immaculate Dunkirk Estate offers a unique ultra-modern beach clubhouse with a variety of facilities like tennis, a gymnasium and a delightful restaurant. Here too we are accredited agents helping buyers and sellers to buy or sell.
Brettenwood is estate is another magnificent residential estate also offering a retirement village with excellent facilities. The newest Mount Richmore Estate will soon offer some 2 300 property opportunities and the new Curro school.
Some eight kilometers from Salt Rock, Palm Lakes development is well under way. This is an exciting development to watch as it caters for the majority of new buyers and when completed will incorporate some 1 800 units.
Ballito is a great family destination with a sophisticated infrastructure – which includes wall-to-wall developments and loads of beachfront self-catering holiday accommodation and Hotels.
Why Ballito? There is only one answer – It’s the BEST PLACE to be !

Let the professional estate agents of Harcourts Dolphin Coast assist you to become part of this enviable semi-tropical paradise. You can call us on : 032 946 2331 or send an e-mail to : We are always available to help you to become part of Beautiful Ballito.2013-02-21 07.06.21

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Would you buy your own house?

Would you buy your own house?

“Lost time is never found again!” – Benjamin Franklin

A sound way of determining if your house is market-ready is to ask yourself: “ Would I buy my own home ?”
That’s according to Richard Gray , CEO of Harcourts Real Estate South Africa , who says it’s a question that calls for an honest answer, best arrived at by an objective analysis of its best and worst features.
“And if you find it difficult to be objective, get input from someone else who will be honest,” he adds, “since an honest answer will help you arrive at a realistic selling date as well as an achievable selling price.” So often the “wish- for -price” you want for your property will not be acceptable to the buyers out there and will be time wasted on the market, and :‘lost time is never found again.”
Sellers generally don’t see their homes with the same eyes of prospective buyers. Broken windows, peeling paintwork, missing roof tiles, sagging gates and mould in the shower – these tend to go unnoticed by owners after a while. Yet, they are detractors that will stand out a mile to buyers, who will either be put off the property completely or they’ll use them to justify a low offer.
Buyers who are prepared to upgrade or renovate – and they are in the vast minority – will not pay a premium for the property because of the danger of over-capitalising.
Where to start?
The best place to start is in the street outside. This is where buyers will form a first – and lasting – impression of your home, so you need to assess its verge appeal. If you don’t like its appearance, buyers probably won’t either. Look critically at the overall state of repair as well as the garden.
Consider the paintwork as the next step. Painting is one of the quickest, most effective ways of sprucing up a property.
Still outside, take a tour of your neighbourhood to see what other properties are on the market. You need to know what you’re competing with, so ascertain the asking prices and the length of time they’ve been on the market, which will allow you to set a realistic selling price.
It’s now time for the interior analysis.
Good advice on entering the front door is to stop and sniff. The smell of animals is extremely off-putting for buyers as well as any other odours you may have gotten used to.
Your home inspection should also focus on mess and clutter, the condition of the interior paint, the cleanliness of the kitchen and bathrooms and how well lit it is. These are just some areas one should take into consideration.
Prospective buyers like to picture their own furniture and pictures in a house, something that will be almost impossible for them to do if the place is jam-packed with tables, chairs, boxes and ornaments. Once more a coat of paint and having the grouting re-done in discoloured bathrooms and kitchens, tackling dripping taps and cleaning light fittings and switches will help to present your home at its best.
Most of these are cosmetic fixes that would be recommended by any competent estate agent, bearing in mind that the majority of buyers want to be able to move in and live.
Having done a thorough inspection of your home, you now need to establish what price you would be willing to pay for it. “If you arrive at a selling price based on how much you need to pay off debt or upgrade to a better property, you’re going to spend a long time on the market,” warns Richard Gray . In this vein, he also cautions against choosing an agent on the basis of who gives you the highest valuation.
“The bottom line is that if you want the top price for your home, you have to give the market a top product. If you don’t, the buyers will simply move on to the next property.”
At Harcourts Dolphin Coast we are proud to “do the right thing” and to put “your needs first”. Call on us to give you an honest and professional evaluation of your home before you place it on the market.
Property is our profession, but PEOPLE our passion!!!
Call us on 032 946 2331


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Selling your home in today’s times – Mike Buchanan

Selling your home in today’s times

084 306 8390
When did you last sell your property? Chances are that it was before the launch of property portals on the internet. Perhaps even before internet became available in 1995. Things have changed and buyer behavior has changed.
Here are some things to consider when selling your home in today’s times:
General feedback from the industry shows that sellers are making mistakes which often scare off buyers. Top of the list is pricing. Sellers list their property at a higher price to see how the market reacts. Realistically speaking – little happens.
Today’s buyer flags properties within a price range and being outside these parameters means that qualified buyers seldom see the property on offer and after a few weeks activity ceases.
Today’s buyers are well educated on property values and will not be fooled by over pricing, leaving the seller living with unrealistic hopes and expectations.
So how do you go about doing things right first time?
Firstly spend time choosing an agency with a good track record. Resist choosing friends or the agent who gave you the highest valuation. Evaluate your area agents before making a choice, do they operate on social media, how wide is their marketing platform?
Open mandate vs Sole Mandate:
Then, once you have chosen your agent decide on an open mandate or a sole mandate. Each property that is listed can be seen by buyers searching the internet in their price range. Sellers are often afraid of sole mandates thinking that it is better to have many agents to do the listings and marketing.
However, in this day and age it is prudent to select an agent with a sole mandate who is accountable to you for your sale and with whom you can meet periodically to discuss your selling strategy.
Having a sole mandate gives you the advantage of being included in print media advertising and the opportunity to get a free bank valuation which is invaluable in determining your price. Remember the sole mandate can include an “ opt- out “ clause if the agent falls short of their commitment.
Market comparison:
Make sure your agent gets you a CMA (comparative marketing analysis). This document gives you all the property marketing activity in your area including current listings, properties sold and withdrawn listings. Also included are analytical statistics showing price averages, highest and lowest selling prices, market trends; all are helpful when making a price evaluation.
Be open to viewings:
Next, when you have set your price, be prepared to open your home to prospective buyers. Understandably this is intrusive and very inconvenient, but no agent can sell your home if it is difficult to view. If you are a serious seller you may arrange to leave your keys with the agent or friend when you are not available, otherwise be prepared to receive a call at any time from your agent requesting to visit.
Then you will need to give up your home for a few hours a month for a show house. Show houses may attract buyers who have seen print advertising but not necessarily contacted an agent or they may be browsers looking for property and will buy when they find the right one. The bottom line is that the more your property is available to buyers the better your chances are of selling it sooner and at your price.
Presentation is important:
Finally, go through your home and look critically at it as though you were the buyer. See to the small cosmetic things that may need fixing or painting, your buyer will see them. Are the rooms tidy, is the garden manicured?
Then step back and ask yourself honestly: “If I was buying, would I buy this house at the asking price?” If your answer is yes then you are ready to go!
Here’s how we can help you:
At Harcourts Dolphin Coast we take pride in our listings, offering professional service to all our clients. Call us today: 032 946 2331
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