The property market is currently packed with opportunities for sellers, but it is vital that sellers ensure their property is compliant for selling so that the transaction can be executed as smoothly and expeditiously as possible and to avoid costly contract breaches, says Gerhard van der Linde, managing director of Seeff Pretoria East.
There is a lot of groundwork that sellers can do so that transactions can be finalised without delays, and Van der Linde says that if these are well attended to, can add value to the transaction and entice buyers. Compliance offers the purchaser peace of mind and can avoid costly implications if not addressed at an early stage.
Many sellers make the mistake of waiting until they have an offer on the table, and then as a matter of urgency need to address issues to make the property compliant.
Van der Linde says that every homeowner should in any event establish if their property is compliant, even if it is not the intention to sell at this time.
In addition to ensuring the property is sellable in terms of its general appearance by decluttering, undertaking the necessary repairs and neatening the property up with a coat of paint and good interior and garden clean, certain compliance aspects are regulated by law such as plumbing and electrical. Some municipalities have additional requirements such as a beetle certificate in certain coastal areas. The banks also require compliance certificates when a mortgage loan is needed.
Significant delays are often caused by situations where sellers are not in possession of approved plans. When the submission of the plans becomes a condition of the sale of the property, or a pre-registration condition of the prospective purchaser’s bank, which is an increasingly more frequent situation, irregularities are detected that could ultimately result in the cancellation of a transaction.
Van der Linde recommends that sellers consider making use of a service provider that can undertake the necessary compliance vetting and recommend actions to be completed before the house is put on the market. Such aspects should include discrepancies on building plans, zoning conflicts, title restrictions and servitudes and building lines.
Aside from electrical and plumbing compliance, there may also be additional compliance issues unique to the particular municipal area or property type that needs to be dealt with.
These may include a gas installation certificate of conformity, electric fence certificate, regulations relating to the safety of swimming pools or a lightning conductor on thatched roof properties.
Having these in place means that you can put your property on the market with confidence, says Van der Linde further. It means that once an offer to purchase is accepted, the transaction can move forward quite quickly without any delays.