What must a person do before buying a property to call home?

  • A person (“buyer”) must contact his/her bank to find out whether or not s/he qualifies for a home loan and if so, what amount s/he qualifies for.
  • A buyer must make sure that s/he can afford the monthly loan repayments and other costs like, rates and taxes, water and electricity, insurance premiums and so on.
  • A buyer must find out about any once off costs, for example, legal costs, transfer duty or value added tax, loan administration, initiation and registration fees and so on.
  • A buyer must also consider his/her future needs, for example, whether the property that s/he intends to buy is close to his/her work, shops, schools, hospitals and so on.
  • A buyer must examine the property s/he intends to buy thoroughly for any defects or potential defects, for example, cracks in the walls, damage to the roof, faulty plumbing and so on. The defects may be taken into consideration when negotiating the purchase price of the property.
  • A buyer must ask the person selling the property (“seller”) to provide him/her with the following documents: copies of the title deed and diagram; any existing lease agreements; approved building plans; and any other relevant information (such as zoning, town planning or municipality requirements). These documents must also be taken into consideration when negotiating the purchase price of the property.
  • After examining the property and perusing the documentation, the buyer must decide whether or not s/he is interested in buying the property. If the buyer is interested in buying the seller’s property, s/he must make an offer to the seller or his/her estate agent.
  • When the terms and conditions of an offer to purchase are being negotiated, the buyer will be asked for the date that s/he intends to move into the property (occupation date). If no date is set, the seller has the right to remain in the property until the property has been registered (transferred) into the buyer’s name and the seller has received the purchase price.
  • After the buyer and seller have reached an agreement on the terms and conditions of the sale, the offer to purchase must be reduced to writing (if not already done so) and signed by both the buyer and the seller in acceptance; a sale agreement comes into existence.
  • Any change to the sale agreement must be done in writing and signed by both the buyer and the seller.

What must a person do when s/he wants to sell his/her property called home?

  • A seller can sell his/her property privately or through an estate agent.
  • A seller may appoint one or more registered estate agents to list his/her property.  The estate agent must be registered by the Estate Agency Affairs Board and hold a fidelity fund certificate.
  • The estate agent and the seller will enter into an agreement called a mandate in terms of which the estate agent will be entitled to receive commission for selling the seller’s property. The estate agent must explain the terms and conditions of the mandate to the seller.
  • When the seller’s property is on show, the property must be kept neat and clean so that it is attractive to potential buyers on the day of the showing.
  • Estate agencies have their own standard sale agreements that can be used for the purpose of buying or selling a property.
  • If a seller decides to sell his/her property privately, s/he must rather approach an attorney to draw up a sale agreement, than using a sale agreement downloaded from the internet.
  • A seller must inform the buyer of all defects or potential defects relating to the property, even if s/he is selling the property voetstoots.
  • Upon receipt of the buyer’s written offer to purchase (“offer”) the property, the seller must read through the offer carefully, cross-out anything that s/he does not agree with, cross-out any open spaces, and add anything that must form part of the offer. The seller must initial next to the places on the offer where s/he has crossed-out or added something and provide the offer back to the buyer for his/her consideration.
  • If there was nothing to be crossed-out or added, the seller may accept or reject the buyer’s offer.

Thinking of buying or selling a home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my expertise!

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