House hunting golden rules

Private Property South Africa
Property Power

Hunting for your new home can be a daunting task. Never buy in a hurry, allow yourself to 'sleep on it'. If, in the morning you are still set on that property, then go for it.

Three important things to remember:

  • The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) protects consumers by way of a “cooling off” rule when the property is sold by means of direct marketing, which could prove very helpful when buying “off-plan” from unscrupulous developers. This rule has much wider application than the right, contained in the Alienation of Land Act 68 of 1981, to a cooling-off period of 5 business days. This right only applies to the sale of properties with a purchase price of up to R250 000.00, whether the right is stipulated in the Offer to Purchase, or not. The Alienation of Land Act 103 of 1998, Section 29A, states that the threshold is R 250 000.00. Please also read the article about “The ‘CPAs’ Cooling Off Period- Explained”, in the Property Power Magazine.

  • If you arrive at a property and realise that another agent has already introduced you to the property, let the estate agent know immediately. If you decide to purchase the property from the second estate agent, the first estate agent may be entitled to claim the full commission on that sale as well as the second estate agent. This is called double commission. However, this is an issue that the estate agents must resolve with the seller. It should not affect you as the buyer.

  • Be careful not to dismiss potential problems when you think that you have found your dream home. You may end up paying a lot of money on repairs or alterations, if you do not consider everything with care.

Your Wish List…

Before you go hunting, take a few moments to write a “Wish List”. This will help you to stay focused on exactly what you are looking for, without getting swept away by one or two features of the house – and not keeping in mind other essentials that you are going to regret not having (or having, as the case may be).

This article originally appeared in Property Power 11th Edition Magazine. To order your copy at the discounted price of R120 click here.

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