Make room for more support on your property journey

Make room for more support on your property journey

Private Property South Africa
Sarah-Jane Meyer

Buying or selling your first property can often be fraught with confusion. However, tapping into the wide range of available resources will help you easily negotiate the path to home ownership or a successful sale.

Credit bureaus

When applying for a home loan, your credit record is your most valuable asset, so before you apply, you should check your score at one or more of the credit bureaus operating in South Africa. You are entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the bureaus, of which the two largest are Experian and Transunion.

You can log a dispute through the credit bureau if any of the information contained in your credit report is incorrect. The credit bureau will remove the disputed information for 20 business days while contacting the information provider for more details and evidence during the dispute period.

If the credit bureau does not receive credible evidence from the credit provider to support the data at the end of the dispute period, the dispute will be resolved in your favour.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the dispute investigation, you can contact the Credit Ombud at 086 166 2837 or

Mortgage originators

Before starting your home search, you need to determine what price range you can afford and the maximum home loan you qualify for. Keep in mind that home ownership comes with additional expenses and responsibilities beyond merely repaying a bond. You will need to maintain and furnish your new home, and additional expenses always crop up. Take these into account when calculating what you can afford.

Banks won't generally grant home loans for which the repayments are more than 30% of your gross monthly income. To decide whether or not to grant a loan application, banks also look at your disposable income after deductions and expenses.

Most estate agency and bond originator websites provide bond calculators like the one found here.

A mortgage originator will apply to more than one bank on your behalf. Each bank has its own set of lending criteria, and bond originators are familiar with these. They can advise you where you will likely get the most favourable interest rate.

Getting a home loan approved also involves lots of paperwork, some of which can be very confusing. This is another good reason to use the services of an originator to manage your application.

Online search

You should start house hunting sometime before you buy to get a good idea of what is available in your price range and what compromises you may have to make.

Property websites like Private Property are ideal starting points for checking your options. With many of the properties for sale, you can do an online walkthrough that will give you a great idea of what the home will look like in reality.

Estate agents

Selling a home is not a simple task – particularly if you are doing it for the first time. However, a good property practitioner should be able to smoothen the way and help you make the most of your property to increase your chances of making a profit.

When choosing an agent, you should look for someone you can trust and get along with as you will be working closely. You also need to assess the marketing tools used by the agent and decide whether these will effectively promote your property.

Before the house goes on sale, ensure that you are organised and have all the documents you will need for a sale at hand. These documents may include utility bills, property tax bills and other relevant documents concerning the home you want to sell.

It's a good idea to invite a few agents who are active in your area to put a value on your home. However, you need to be realistic in your expectations and don’t be persuaded to sign a mandate with an agent simply because they promise to sell your home for a higher price than the others. An overpriced property is challenging to sell and tends to stay on the market much longer than a correctly priced property. In the end, you may be obliged to drop your price in any event, and you will have wasted time and effort in the meantime. To assess which agent is closer to the mark, compare their valuations to the selling prices of other similar properties in the area.

The journey towards property ownership should be exciting, and having the proper support will make this possible.

Writer : Sarah-Jane Meyer

Looking for a new tenant?

Advertise your property to rent FOR FREE quickly and easily on our website.

Find out more


Found this content useful?

Get the best of Private Property's latest news and advice delivered straight to your inbox each week

Related Articles

Benefits of owning a home remain constant amid rate fluctuations
Interest rate increases and fluctuations have not stopped excellent property investment opportunities. Here is how you can navigate through the fluctuations.
Demand in coastal areas here to stay
The coast is a prime property investment market. What is the current state of affairs?
Overcoming the obstacles to buying a new home
The home purchasing process involves different steps. How can you overcome the obstacles?