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Property 24/10 - 261

2 July 2015

Advice for commercial property managers
With winter upon us and the inevitable slump in retail sales, property managers need to work with their tenants to ensure ongoing success and sustainability through tough economic times according to Sean Paul, executive director of Spire Property Management, who says successful property managers would be well advised to enter into a strategic partnership with their tenants.

“A retail centre is as reliant on its tenants for its ongoing success as the tenants are reliant on the centre for their business; they have a mutually vested interest in working together.”

He says property managers need to be in constant contact with their tenants to assess how they are weathering a retail slump and must also ensure that they have accurate turnover figures from each tenant to assess their performance.
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What if a seller gets a better offer?
Most standard property agreements of sale contain a “72-hour clause”, sometimes also labelled a “continued marketing clause”. For the purposes of this article, we shall refer to it as a 72-hour clause.

This article seeks to explain to buyers and sellers the essence and operation of this clause commonly found in standard property sale agreements.

Many agreements of sale in property transactions contain suspensive conditions, which make the agreement subject to the happening of a future uncertain event. If the suspensive condition is not met, the agreement will not be binding on the purchaser.

Common examples are, “this agreement of sale is subject to the purchaser obtaining a bond”, or “this agreement of sale is subject to the purchaser selling his/her existing property”.
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Fewer distressed properties on the market
The number of distressed properties coming onto the market has stabilised, and this is a good sign that consumers are managing their debt situations better and are planning ahead for tough financial times according to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says this sentiment is supported by the TransUnion SA Consumer Credit Index for Q1 2015, which indicates that consumer credit health improved in the 1st quarter at its fastest pace since 2011.

The index also states that household cash flow continued to improve in the first quarter on the back of a sharp decline in non-discretionary consumer inflation, which has helped household budgets.
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Multigenerational living on the rise in SA
When looking at trends in the property market, there seems to be an influx of buyers in a new category, which many people are calling the “Sandwich Generation” as they have their parents and children living in the same home according to Matt Mercer, sales manager at the Knight Frank Residential SA Hout Bay branch, who says several of these families even have “boomerang children” that have come back home to roost after travel and studies or marriage and divorce.

In the last year in Hout Bay, Mercer says there has been a 35% increase in requests for homes that can be shared by more than one family, and homes that have separate "homes within homes" that can afford each family with some independence and privacy.
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Rawson Property Group's expansion plans
The Rawson Property Group’s goal is to have 400 franchises up and running across the length and breadth of South Africa, as well as in certain neighbouring African countries by 2020. The possibility of overseas expansion has also not been ruled out according to Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, who says right now, his group is expanding at an approximate rate of one new franchise established every two weeks.

He says this expansion rate is not quite as high as that of last year, but it is satisfactory in view of the care being taken to select suitable franchisees; on average, only one in 12 applicants is accepted.

To date, the Rawson Property Group has set up 238 franchises, and although the vast majority of these are involved in residential sales, the group is also active in the rental, commercial and auction fields, and the franchises here are also being regularly expanded.
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9 home staging tips for selling fast
When it comes to selling your house, first appearances count for everything. If you want your house to sell, it's up to you to do everything you can to show off your home's best assets according to Carel Ferriera from Electricians Johannesburg, who says that's where home staging comes in. He says you could hire professional home stagers, but they are often costly.

Ferriera shares how you can do a little home staging of your own.

1. Clear the clutter
A good first step in home staging is some clutter busting, as clutter is unattractive and makes your home look smaller.
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Interest on overdue levies: what can BC charge?
Those who live in sectional title schemes and pay their levies on time are not affected by the interest rates charged on overdue levies, but those who habitually pay late will most likely be hoping there is a maximum percentage of interest set by law on overdue accounts according to Michael Bauer, general manager of property management company, IHFM, who says the truth is that there is no limit. Prescribed management rule (PMR) 31 (6) allows the trustees in the sectional title scheme to determine the interest rate charged on overdue amounts, and to recover the interest owed to the body corporate.
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