How to get a property bargain

How to get a property bargain

Each day another headline tells us just how bad the property market is, but loads of savvy investors are piling in and picking up bargains in this period of weakness. So how do you find a property bargain?

Ben Seymour-Brown, manager of group direct sales for ooba (formerly MortgageSA) says that ooba advises home hunters to follow these five tips:

1) Learn to negotiate

For those wanting to hunt down a bargain, a buyers market holds plenty of opportunities especially if you're prepared to haggle on price. Estate agents will always try and get the best price they can for a property, but their businesses rely on transactions and they will be eager to shift homes that have been sitting on the books. Sales volumes have dried up dramatically so they will be very eager to notch up a sale.

2) Check for reductions

Thanks to the internet and websites like propertygenie.co.za it has been possible to see what comparable properties are selling for and get a good idea of what's on offer.

It is also possible to see properties that have had their prices reduced, by saving them in property search engines, or using the website, which shows properties that have had reductions. Anyone interested in a certain area nearby should also keep a close eye on estate agent windows.

If you are serious about buying, use your knowledge of any reductions and how long a property has been on the market to try and negotiate down the price.

3) Register with reputable agents

If you are looking for a bargain, register as a buyer with several good agents in your target area. Tell them what you're looking for and what your price range is and they ring you as soon as they have a matching property on their books. They'll also let you know about price reductions.

Bargains don't last long so you'll have to move quickly.

4) Get pre-qualified

Closely related to the above, when a bargain comes up you'll need to know if you can afford it. If you let a reputable bond originator like ooba do all the homeloan hunting for you, you'll be sure to get the best rate and know in advance how much you can spend- all at no cost to you.

Sellers are also much more comfortable dealing with someone who already has finance in place and will likely give your offer greater weight than someone who has yet to secure finance.

5) Do your homework

You won't know a bargain unless you know what prices are in the area you're targeting. There are many websites like South African Property Transfer Guide that for a small fee will show you the actual selling prices of properties. These are often quite far removed from what the asking prices are. Be informed of what the recent selling price trends are so you can grab a bargain when one come up.

Hello ooba news

The latest oobarometer stats reveal that the average purchase price growth among first-time buyers remains strong at 12.1% in June. This, together with the continued easing in lending criteria, is good news for potential homebuyers in South Africa.

With the property market beginning to show signs of a recovery, it is more important than ever to ensure your home is correctly priced. Jenny Rushin, property finance manager at ooba, SA's leading mortgage originator, said that a property listed at the right price will give sellers the greatest chance of attracting buyers.

South African banks have loosened their lending criteria which has supported a revival in the property market and helped new buyers enter the market says South Africa's leading mortgage originator, ooba.

South Africa's leading bond origination company, ooba, has seen a 55% increase in the value of approved loans from April to September this year, with a 21% surge from August to September alone.

With house price indicators like the oobarometer perking up, smart buyers are slowly returning to the market and need to be armed with how to make the best purchase possible. Ben Seymour-Brown, manager of group direct sales at ooba, said: "We expect more people to return to the property market this year and certainly next as the economy recovers, the effect of lower interest rates is felt and confidence returns to bricks and mortar investment.