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How the internet is changing the property market

October 2, 2017 • East Africa, General, North Africa, Online & Social, Southern Africa, Sponsored, Top Stories, West Africa

How the internet is changing the property market

How the internet is changing the property market.

Today more and more people looking to buy a home are doing so through the internet. A recent report from the National Association of Realtors indicates that 42% of people looking for a home first go to the internet to do their search, while other statistics reveal that nine out of every ten prospective home buyers rely on the internet when starting their home-buying journey. The idea of selling my house privately is also an easy process thanks to the internet. We, therefore, can’t argue the fact that the internet is changing the property market.

The future of the commercial property agent model
According to SA Commercial Prop News, in a report by Deloitte titled “Commercial Real Estate Industry Outlook”, the authors highlight that “a possible effect of technological disruption is disruption on the current brokerage and leasing model”. Technology can break barriers between tenants and property owners through cloud-computing and social media, presenting cost-effective ways to acquire property information and making it possible to process transactions digitally.

The Deloitte report particularly forecasts various scenarios including the emergence of an Uber-like or Google market victor – “an entrant which completely disrupts the commercial real-estate and industrial property markets”. This, however, also prepares the way for smaller companies by reducing entry barriers.

Estate agent commission
For years estate agents have enjoyed good commissions on sales made, but this is changing as technology is changing the way property is sold. Thanks to technology, the hard costs of selling property are much lower now – consumers can pay less for arguably a more convenient service as offered by traditional agents. More and more owners are turning to this cost-effective way of selling their property.

Finding the perfect property online
While it has become easier than ever to search for your dream home online, a Private Property article – Tips for finding your perfect home online – points out that the volume of listings available on property search portals can be rather overwhelming.

The article provides the following few tips to help filter down search results and make it easier for prospective buyers to streamline the list of homes they would like to view in person:

Know what you can afford
Know what you can afford before starting your property search online. Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX Southern Africa, advises that you should “Bear in mind that it is best to leave a bit of cushioning in the budget. It is important to remain within a price range that doesn’t stretch the budget to the absolute high-end of the scale. When entering search criteria online be sure to choose a price range that fits comfortably into the budget’s limits.” Searching for homes that are within your budget price range makes it possible for you to negotiate should you find yourself in a multiple offer situation.

house pad

Check the location
Don’t let the images of the location take all your attention. While a home may be newly renovated and perfect, it’s where it is located that will determine its potential for appreciation in value over time. Check the map to see where the home is located to determine whether the location will be suitable for you.

Only select your preferred neighbourhoods
No two neighbourhoods within a city are the same. Each neighbourhood will have a different subculture and feel and will cater to different kinds of buyers and lifestyles. Family buyers are more likely to want to move to the quieter suburbs that are not far from schools, while younger buyers may prefer to be where all the fast-paced movement is.

Don’t finalise your decision based on images
Technology now allows you to take a virtual tour of a home. While this is great because you can view the entire property without physically being there, viewing a property this way is still not enough to make your decision based on those images. A physical tour of a home in person will erase any uncertainties you may have and will help you to make an informed decision.

Final thoughts
Technology has done a lot of good for the property market. While this may not be good news for real estate agents, the internet has made buying property a far easier process for many people.

Staff Writer


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