Know your zoning (or lose your boodle…)

Sellers could be losing 30% or more of the value of their property when they sell, by simply not being aware of the development potential of their property due to their zoning.

Cape Town estate agent Andre de Villiers said he was shocked to hear of a sale recently, where elderly sellers had accepted a "rather modest offer" directly from a private buyer, a property developer, where it can only be concluded that the seller was probably unaware of the property's valuable GR4 zoning.

"Sellers should remember that an estate agent who is a true specialist in an area, can provide the property owner with a lot more than just a current market valuation that is based on recent sales," said de Villiers.

"The agent can provide you with comprehensive information that will impact on a property's value including the potential for further development.  My agents are required to keep totally up to date with both market and municipal trends as well as local regulations for the area. We can also provide property owners with a free report on their zoning, and what this zoning means.  Even if you are a private seller or have a private buyer interested in your property, it is still highly recommended that you protect your interests by asking an agent to give you a well-motivated valuation," said de Villiers.

Nobody doubts that that an extra room or a garage adds a tangible value to a property, but the fact that the owner could actually build a block of flats on their property could be far more important to the inherent value of the existing property. This is often information that a property owner simply does not know.