Buying a Home Privately

Private Property South Africa
Julia Hinton

Buying a home is possibly the greatest investment and single biggest purchase

that many people will make during their lifetime. So, it goes without saying

that it is an important decision, which if not carefully considered, could lead

to unnecessary costs and emotional stress.

Many sellers, anxious to save the around 7.5% in commission, are choosing to

sell their homes privately without the assistance of an estate agent. For buyers

who make an offer on a property where it is a private sale, there are a few

things to consider.

What can you afford?

It is best to first find out what you can afford in order to avoid

disappointment. The general rule is that bond repayments must not exceed 30% of

gross income. However, there are other considerations that the Banks will take

into account. Buyers should always remember to factor in additional costs over

and above the purchase price such as transfer duty for properties over R500 000,

conveyancing attorney fees and an assessment fee charged by the Bank for valuing

the property.

What offer to make?

With the property market stabilising and a general slow down in the growth of

prices, buyers are now in a better position to negotiate. One of the advantages

of buying privately is being able to negotiate directly with the seller. This

makes the whole process a lot more transparent because there is no need to

communicate through a third party.

It is important to find out what the market-related price for the property is,

so that you know what offer to make. Buyers can easily get a Sold Price Index

(SPI) report by logging onto the Private Property website and clicking on the

'Price it Right' link. For a fee of R34 that can be paid online by credit card,

buyers can draw a comparative market analysis report, which will allow them to

see what other properties in their street, complex or area have sold for.

The Offer to Purchase

Before making an offer, ask the seller any questions about the property that may

concern you to ensure there are no hidden defects. Unscrupulous sellers are able

to hide behind the 'voetstoets' clause and can get away with concealing property

defects, so it is better to be safe rather than sorry. Buyers can also stipulate

in their offer to purchase to have certain conditions fulfilled. If buyers have

any doubts it is recommended that they use a professional service such as

propInspectors to give the property the once-over before signing an offer to


Track your transfer

Private Property will recommend a conveyancing attorney and all attorneys on the

panel are part of Lawyers Access Web (L@W), which means that buyer and seller

can track their transfer online and will receive regular progress updates. This

avoids any delays with the transfer.

Private Property is the busiest property website in South Africa, assisting

buyers and sellers of property by providing a range of services including home

loan finance, listing of properties on the website, SMS/email property alerts to

buyers, and advice from professional property consultants.

For more information call Private Property on 083 913 1000

Looking to sell your home?
Advertise your property to millions of interested buyers by listing with Private Property now!
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