21 February 2013

South Africa: Online Express Property-Selling Platform to Be Launched

Homes2Go, a new "online express property-selling platform" is to be launched in South Africa. It will go live on 4 March, 2013, and will not charge commission.

Realising a gap in the local property market, the business concept of Homes2Go was developed by Land Equity, a South African-based property investment, development and private equity company headed by its executive chairman, Stuart Chait, and CEO, Russell Smith.

Homes2Go is aimed at private homeowners who want to sell their properties fast and achieve market value at the same time. The online platform links up sellers and buyers directly, while cutting out the middleman and agency commissions. Further cost reductions are realised through discounts obtained from the Homes2Go conveyancing panel on transfer and bond costs. Buyers are able to view the property online 24/7, thus sellers are not subjected to hosting open days for the public and can arrange private viewings in their own time.

"We aim to offer a one-stop service, eliminating the middleman and commission fees, whilst ensuring that the best possible price is achieved for both buyer and seller," explained Chait. The online platform will also offer rentals.

Extensive media campaign

Chait has launched an extensive media campaign to support Homes2Go. The campaign will reach up to 10 million people at a time, up to four times a day. The site aims to register 10 000 sellers across South Africa within the first 90 days, with the target of 100 000 within the first year. As the subscription base grows, the media campaign will increase proportionately.

A unique online valuation tool allows an instant valuation of a property and guides initial negotiations between seller and buyer. This valuation system is utilised by all the major banks across South Africa. In addition, professional advice from industry and market experts will be available to help facilitate the sale process from start to finish.

"The valuation process of a property is fairly scientific and if sellers use our guidelines, they will be able to sell fast. Likewise, buyers are able to be guided by our methodology. Effectively, it is a reverse-auction system whereby the listing price is the price at which buyers should start negotiating with the seller. There is no reason why property owners need to wait months to attract buyers. If priced correctly, your home will sell fast," said Camilla Corder, Homes2Go's CEO.

"Our business plan and media campaign will ensure awareness of the Homes2Go website to a broad market. This exposure guarantees sellers and buyers of a faster sale than through traditional property selling methods," concluded Corder.

The online platform has been appropriately referred to by critics as an express selling website. This means that the process of placing a property for sale can be completed within a matter of minutes, likewise, the completion time of the sale can be reduced substantially.

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