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
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