What’s on an estate agent’s hotlist – and why you should be on it

You may have heard about an estate agent’s “hotlist” and may wonder if such a thing exists. According to Graham White, managing director for Seeff North Coast, it does indeed exist, and you should be on it if you are buying or selling.

When an agent lists a new property, they are not wanting to necessarily do fifty viewings, spend copious amounts of money on marketing and, even more importantly, waste lots of time.

Property portals and social media are cluttered with property listings, so the “hotlist” is becoming important to both buyers and sellers, said White.

If you are buying

A regular client recently called White about a property listed as they wanted to see it. However, the branch had already secured a buyer. In reality, the client needed to sell their current property to buy, and their property was not even on the market.

He said the client also seldom returned calls, often cancelled appointments at the last minute, and even suggested once they were “just browsing”.

Even in a hot buyer’s market, properties often get offers even before the marketing goes live. For a buyer, being on an agent’s “hotlist” means they are notified the instant a new listing which meets their needs comes onto the market.

“As a serious buyer this means you do not lose out if a property in an area or complex that you have your eye on comes onto the market. There is nothing worse that spotting a property only to see that it is already under offer,” said White.

He said that professional agents go to their best qualified and most serious buyers first. “These buyers will get the first call. To get onto the list, start by being serious about buying as the “hotlist” is all about buyers who are ready to put in an offer on the right property.”

He advises that buyers should be realistic and clear about what they need, or are looking for, including your price parameters.

“Be sure to respond to the agent, turn up for appointments on time and importantly, have your finances already in place with either a deposit available, a bond approval or agreement in principle signed.”

If you are selling

Tiaan Pretorius, manager for Seeff Centurion said that a “hotlist” property starts with a sole mandate as the agent will focus all their efforts on marketing and selling your property.

He said that when you sign a sole mandate it usually triggers a number of marketing activities. Apart from listing it on the agency website and the various property portals, the agent will immediately notify their “hotlist” of buyers and add the listing to their hot property email blasts.

“A hot property should also be priced correctly from the get-go. Research shows that properties attract the highest interest during the first month of listing. Correctly priced sole mandate properties sell faster and for higher compared to market average.”

A property becomes stale if it sits on the market for too long. Worse, said Pretorius, the seller may need to reduce the price to reignite interest, but it is unlikely to be a “hotlist” property unless the price drop makes it an attractive proposition for buyers.

A “hotlist” property can also be a new listing of some interest such as a property which rarely comes onto the market, a sought-after complex or area or a home with rare and exclusive features.

The agent will immediately identify such a property and include it on the “hotlist” to ensure it gets maximum exposure, Seeff said.


Read: Here’s what to expect from the property market in South Africa in 2021

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What’s on an estate agent’s hotlist – and why you should be on it