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Real value is based on what a buyer is willing and able to pay – Editor’s letter

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Close friends spent a lot of time arguing with the municipality over the municipal valuation of their home. It was way over what it should be, they argued – and lost – with the consequence they were forced to pay higher municipal rates than they regarded as necessary.

And the home is now on the market for at least 35% less than the municipal valuation because, as we all know, real value is based on what a buyer is willing and able to pay. Estate agents with a keen eye and who know the areas in which they work, are easily able to tell a seller what they can expect in the market.

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In some cases I’ve known some sellers to stick to their guns, and refuse to lower the asking price to what the agent says their property is worth.

For sellers the issue is critical. They may need a certain amount of money to buy something else, or they may truly believe their home is worth more than the agent’s assessment because of all they have put into it. Some may have overcapitalised on renovations and others may find it hard to part with a beloved property.

Hard-headed sellers can be the bane of estate agents’ lives, with properties languishing on the market until the seller lowers the price. Sadly, in today’s economy many sellers need to make a quick sale, and buyers may be surprised that their cheeky offers are accepted.

And then there is also the subjective valuation that happens when a prospective buyer walks into a place and falls in love, willing to sign on the dotted line even if they have to pay a whopping price.

It takes all types to buy a home, and while valuations are vital, sometimes no matter what you think something is worth, the heart wants what the heart wants – and it’s not always a bad thing as property has often been shown to be one of the best investments you can make.

Warm regards

Vivian Warby


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