Why all property listings should include physical addresses
More than 60% of prospective buyers, and tenants, begin their property search online, using any one of South Africa’s half dozen or so popular property portals.
As a buyer or tenant, you will have an idea of where you would ideally like to live and what you can pay, so by narrowing down your search criteria using price, number of bedrooms and desired suburbs, you will get a list of homes currently on the market for sale or rental.
Buy by pictures
If the picture of the home and price entices you enough to explore further, you may save the home as a serious contender or at best, contact the agent for availability.
Based on HomeTimes research, less than 5% of suburban homes listed on the portals include actual street addresses. While some estate and complex listings do include their street addresses, a simple Google search of the estate’s name will easily reveal its exact location.
Security concerns, estate agent competition and possibly a degree of ignorance has allowed this very important factor in the home buying and renting process to be ignored for far too long. Potential buyers and tenants deserve to know exactly where they will be laying their roots before they visit the property and see that it is in fact sandwiched between semi-industrial, commercial or low-end retail property.
As a case in point, we searched one of South Africa’s biggest property portals and located a home for sale that had included its physical address with the following description: “House for Sale in Mountain View. This is a 3 bedroom house with 2 flats for extra income in Mountain View. In a busy street close to shops and schools.”
The photos showed that while this was an older property in need of some care, its R1m price tag gave the impression that it was likely the “ugly duckling” on a street surrounded by well-kept homes.
A Google Maps search, using a Street View image, revealed something entirely different: The home did in fact have quite undesirable neighbours. On its right-hand side stood a large parking lot with a church at the back of the property and on its left, a Cash and Carry store adjacent to a BP petrol station (the Cash and Carry’s four dustbins placed up against the boundary wall shared by the house and a number of cars parked on the home’s pavement, likely the cars of the shop’s customers).
The agent selling the home should have rather marketed the home as a potential candidate for redevelopment into a business premises instead of a residential home which, with its current neighbours, will be less than pleasant.
Had this agent not included the home’s physical address, it goes without saying that many potential buyers would have been highly disappointed upon viewing, and not allowed the agent to suggest other more suitable nearby properties on her books.
We applaud agents who believe playing with open cards is the best policy, and encourage more in the industry to consider buyers’ needs as much as they do the seller’s. After all, a mandate to sell means little without a buyer.