How agents can prosper in a buyer’s market


For the first time since 2008 South African estate agents are now confronted with a definite buyer’s market.   This means that, because there are now far more sellers than buyers, home buyers are becoming very picky and are driving asking prices down.

So, as an estate agent, what is your best strategy?

John Graham, CEO of national home inspection business HouseCheck, says it is simple:  Estate agents should focus on building bridges of trust with picky buyers.  Agents can build trust by ensuring that both the agent and the seller are fully transparent about the condition of the seller’s property.

The simple way to do this is to explain to the buyer – at offer stage – the implications of the voetstoots clause and then to recommend that the buyer pay for an independent home inspection.

Estate agents recommending an independent home inspection is generally accepted business practice in most parts of the world.

The imminent Property Practitioner’s Bill will soon compel South African estate agents to better protect buyer’s consumer rights by adopting policies of full disclosure.

Graham says agents can get ahead of the pack and capitalise on this buyers’ market by routinely explaining the full implications of the voetstoots clause and advising buyers to protect themselves by getting an independent home inspection.

Graham points out that HouseCheck works to assist agents to manage this process and so stay in full control of their deal.

  • The HouseCheck quote system allows the estate agent to manage the process by requesting a quotation direct from on behalf of the buyer.   HouseCheck will then email the agent a no-obligation quote for HouseCheck’s various inspection products within 30 minutes.  This system gives the agent opportunity to first read the quote before forwarding it to the buyer together with a recommendation.
  • HouseCheck also tries to supply the agent with a copy of the inspection report so that the agent fully understands any defects which the inspectors may have identified. HouseCheck’s unique policy of sending the agent a copy of the report ensures that the estate agent remains in full control of your deal. Graham says HouseCheck empowers agents to provide realistic advice to both seller and buyer regarding a fair price for the property.

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“Grateful to have a good report for Agent to offer prospective buyer”

- Nell Browne

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