Episode 13: How to make an offer to purchase on a home you love?

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Making the offer to purchase. The property experts take you through the process of making an offer to buy a house that you've fallen in love with.

Presenter: Welcome back. This is your feel-good breakfast espresso on SABC 3 as we continue in our series of Private Property, learning all about what it takes to be a first time home buyer, especially once you've made that very crucial and critical offer.

Along with Private Property, we are experiencing the process of buying a home. Being Valentine's Day, we thought we would romanticize about making that big offer on your future home. But as with any big purchase, there are a few things to consider. That's why we have Simon Bray on the couch to help us out. Simon, how are you?

Simon Bray: Very good. Happy Valentine's Day, Zoe.

Happy Valentine's Day to you, too. We are talking about making that big offer on a home that you love.

Is there anything we need to keep in mind before making that big offer?

Simon Bray: Well, making the offer to purchase is the biggest step you're going to make in this property process. It's the binding contract between buyer and seller. So you've got to be absolutely sure. You've fallen in love with the property, but this is now getting married to the property. So it's worth testing the commute times between work and school, understanding what the neighborhood really has to offer, perhaps talking to a couple of neighbors. And if you're absolutely sure, then take the plunge.

Take the plunge. Now you mentioned a binding contract. How can I ensure that when I went and viewed the home that all the fixtures and all the things that I saw, like the finishes, remains in the house because that's essentially what made you do the final decision as well?

Simon Bray: Absolutely. I think when you see the house on a show day or by appointment and you're walking around, you just assume that everything you're seeing is part of the contract, part of the deal. Sometimes there's disagreements between buyers and sellers about what's a fixture, what's permanent, and what's not. A great example would be curtain rails. The curtain rail itself is screwed into the wall. It's part of the property. It's a fixture. It should stay. The curtains, well, that's up to the seller. They could take those when they leave. But all of that can be done through agreement. So it's worth going through the property itself, having a discussion with the agent or with the seller directly and saying, "You know, what are the items that are staying and what are the items that are going?" And then that minimizes any of that kind of conflict.

I think that discussion point is very important. But when we come to the price, I think, are we allowed to have a discussion around that as well? Can we give an offer that's less than the value of the house?

Simon Bray: Absolutely. Property in South Africa is all about that game of buying at the best price and the seller getting the best price that they can. So you can certainly offer less than the seller is asking. Offer too little and the seller's going to get upset and you might lose the deal entirely. But it is worth negotiating on price. It's certainly something that you want to meet in the middle and both feel like you've done a tough deal.

Now is it possible to change your mind once you've made an offer?

Simon Bray: That's a great question. You sign this offer to purchase, you get all the excitement, and then you wake up the next morning and you're like, "What have I done? Is this the right call?" There is a cooling offer period for property below 250,000 rand. That basically means that if you've signed a deal on a really cheap property and it's not the one for you, you can walk away from that deal within a certain period of time. But it doesn't apply to properties more than 250,000. So you really have to be sure when you sign that deal because if you meet all the expensive conditions and that contract goes ahead, well then it's binding and you actually have to purchase the property.

You have to. So you need to be absolutely sure before signing that offer. Well, Simon thank you for sharing those tips with us. And I hope that you were able to get some insight into making an offer that has helped you to take that one step closer to buying your first home. Don't forget to also go to privateproperty.co.za and answer the question posted there to stand a chance of winning a 20,000-rand voucher to spend at a store of your choice. You will also find all the T's and C's and information there.

Whether it's your first apartment in the city, a trendy suburban townhouse, or that dream family home on the golf estate, there's a home for everyone on Private Property.

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