Don’t make these mistakes!

When selling your home, it’s easy to get stuck in a vacuum. You have a certain idea of what the market should pay for your home and what may or may not be an issue. After all, you know your home, right? Your home has x, y and z. The location can’t be beat. It’s just around the corner from the fabulous restaurant’, park, coffee shop, school, and so forth. However, buyers and agents coming through your home might not see the same picture. Sellers often fear that if they disclose too much or provide too many details it could affect their ability to sell for the best price. However, failure to disclose could open you up to liability after the sale.

  1. Overpricing your home

If your home is overpriced, two things won’t happen: showings

or offers. The price is what sets the tone for showings. It is the

nonverbal message that either invites or discourages activity. If your home is priced too high, buyers that can afford it may be interested in something else, as they can go higher in price range, while the audience for whom it was actually intended price-wise is usually shut out. To avoid frustration over offers much lower than your set price, have an open discussion with your real estate agent to set the right price for your home.

  1. Making showings difficult

Restricted showing times or having to be present for all showings

can impact the ability of showing traffic through your home. If there are umpteen instructions or restrictions, agents and their buyers will simply move on to those properties with fewer rules. Work with your real estate agent to find a way to make showings convenient for both you as the seller as well as for potential buyers.

  1. Not countering an offer

While everyone would love to get the most for their home, a seller also needs to keep a realistic balance. It is too easy to get hung up on the starting number in an offer, when the focus should be on what the end result is. The opening offer is simply that: a starting point. It gets the conversation going and results in, hopefully, a happy medium that is amenable for the buyer and seller. Not countering an offer is like having a one-way  conversation. It won’t work. How can you move to “sold” if you can’t have a dialogue of back and forth? It doesn’t mean that the buyers aren’t serious, they are simply being conservative in their first offer to get a feel for how the negotiation is going to go. It also doesn’t mean that that is the most they are willing to pay, unless the offer was positioned that way. Failure to counter sends a discouraging signal to the buyer that can create an uncomfortable situation, perceived or real. Buyers want to do business with sellers who are eager to do business with them.

The DO’s and DON’TS of housebreaking your new Puppy!

I recently found this article by Cesar Milan I thought may be of interest to new puppy owners.

The process of house training often brings on feelings

of apprehension, but the process does not have to be stressful for either you or your puppy.

The truth is you have Mother Nature working with you right from the start while puppy training. When the puppies are born, they eat and they relieve themselves inside the den, but the mother always cleans them. There is never a scent of urine or feces where the puppies eat, sleep, and live. When they are old enough, they learn to use outside areas as they imitate their mother. In this way all dogs become conditioned to never mess in their dens. From 2 to 4 months most puppies pick up on the concept of housebreaking quite easily since its part of their natural programming.

Another built-in plus when it comes to housebreaking is our puppy’s digestive tract, which is extremely quick and efficient.

Five to thirty minutes after eating the puppy will want to defecate. So a consistent eating schedule, and your attention to the clock, your puppy can maintain regular trips outside. When housebreaking make sure your puppy feels safe and that the smells are familiar, the scent of a previous visit seems to act as a trigger.

When your puppy is taken outside try to have the experience as quiet as possible without distractions.

Once your puppy has done his business lots of praise. Don’t punish your puppy for an accident or do anything to create a negative association with natural bodily functions, just stay calm and assertive and quietly remove your puppy to the place where you want him to relieve himself. Correctly and patiently done house- breaking should not be difficult, all it means is just putting a little extra work into getting your puppy trained. Just relax and enjoy the new member of your family

who will love you unconditionally.



Can You Evict Someone Else’s Tenant?

One of the frustrating elements of communal living is noisy, unruly neighbours who refuse to respect the body corporate rules. Often, the culprits are tenants of an absent owner.

In some instances, trustees come under pressure to do something about the situation. The usual route is to speak to the owner who is then tasked with reigning in their tenant. But what happens when the tenant simply refuses to toe the line? Can the body corporate have them evicted?

The short answers is ‘NO’ The tenant is not contractually bound by an agreement with the body corporate – only with the owner of the property.

However, they can enforce the body corporate rules.

The body corporate has every right to insist that all tenants comply with the body corporate rules, and even has the power to levy and recover fines from the offender if this is stated in the rules.

According to Tiaan Smit, an associate at legal firm Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes, the body corporate can also take legal action against the owner or landlord of the property if the tenant has breached a conduct rule.

“They can apply for an interdict compelling the tenant to abide by the conduct rules,” Smit says.

“If the tenant fails to comply, the body corporate can apply for an order holding him or her in contempt of court and authorising a warrant of arrest. “

But this is a fairly drastic step, and sometimes the best approach is to simply be relentless in bringing the matter to the owner’s attention.

In a complex in the City Bowl, an owner had bought a flat for his daughter, who turned out to be quite a handful. Her transgressions included the usual loud voices and music far into the night, and knocking on her neighbours doors at all hours to borrow everything from sugar and coffee to washing powder and fabric softener.

In addition, whenever she forgot her remote to the gate in the parking area, she simply got out of her car and forcefully took the gate off its railing so she could squeeze inside, leaving the gate that way overnight and her car parked in the street.

Worse still, she decided to run a laundry service from her flat. As it was one of two ground floor properties, she had a small garden and would string up a washing line in full view from the flats above, which was against the rules. Not to mention the fact that she constantly filled the one communal washing line so that other tenants had nowhere to dry their clothes.

The body corporate embarked on a strategy of being a thorn in the owner’s side by continuously bombarding him with complaints. Eventually, the owner sold, and moved his daughter out.


This story first appeared on Property

Some useful tips to ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Collect newspapers and boxes a couple of weeks before the move.
  • Pack one room at a time.
  • First pack the goods that you do not use often.
  • Donate the goods you no longer use to a charity… PLEASE REMEMBER… The SPCA collects paper, which they sell to recycling companies to generate funding. They also sell your old give-aways on Jumble Sales for income.
  • Clear out as much of your frozen foods as possible in the time before you move and be careful not to stock up. Your fridge and freezer may be defrosted for a while during your move.
  • Mark your boxes clearly and indicate in which room they are to go.
  • Make a list of what is inside each box, for easy reference in case you need something out of them urgently.
  • Mark the boxes with breakables clearly with the word “FRAGILE” and/or “THIS WAY UP”.
  • Draw a rough floor plan of where your furniture must go, to avoid having to move it there yourself.
  • Arrange to visit your new home so you can measure up curtains, get the previous owner’s forwarding address and make other arrangements that you might need to, such as agreeing to transfer phone and electricity accounts.
  • Pack a basket complete with kettle, tea, coffee, milk, sugar, salt & pepper, cold ready-to-eat food, snacks, cold drinks, cups, plates, knives & forks & spoons, paper towel/serviettes, tin opener and don’t forget a water bowl and food for the dogs if you have any.
  • Pack an “essentials basket” with screwdrivers, hammer, toilet paper, tissues, bar of soap, hand towel, light bulbs, candles, matches, cleaning detergents and cloths.
  • Arrange for your new and old home to be cleaned on the moving day.

This article originally appeared in Property Power 11th Edition Magazine.