The Property Industry is very complex with different service providers providing vastly different services at all levels. Even the very simplest property transaction involves a buyer, a seller, a conveyancing attorney and a municipality.
But from there the list is endless and to be quite honest although each service provider is expected to be proficient in their field of expertise, most of them are not, nor are they expected to be proficient in giving advice at other stages of the transaction.
One would not ask an attorney what you should expect to get for your house, nor should you ask an estate agent about the intricacies of a building loan.
There are Regulatory Authorities that are in place to regulate the service providers and the industry, but they are there to look after the interests of the industry as a whole and do not necessarily act in the consumer’s best interest.
We at Property Friend SA will guide you through the information that you need to know before you embark to ensure that you are forewarned of anything that could happen.
Before you decide on an area read local newspapers to get up to date on statistics that could affect you, eg. crime, traffic, facilities, etc.
While searching for a few houses to view www.property24.com provides a directory of sold houses history so you can study the number of houses on the market and the prices houses are selling for.
Once you have decided on a few houses to view – for a nominal of approximately ZAR80, you can purchase a property report from www.propiq.co.za on a specific property, that includes owner and history, valuation and suburb trends, etc.
Never, ever purchase a house or even a vacant stand un-seen, even if it seems to be the bargain of a lifetime. The house may have been condemned or there may be squatters on the property.
If you intend upgrading or extending the property, ensure that you obtain a copy of the municipal plans on file with the municipality to check that the current structure is legal.
Ensure that you give yourself enough time to obtain bond approval and get pre-approval from a bank or bond originator if possible.
If you are buying a vacant stand and intend building as soon as possible, be wary of applying for a combined bond / building bond for the property. The bond conditions relating to the building loan portion may be so onerous that they can delay transfer and jeopardise your chance of buying the stand.
Ensure that you have sufficient funds for the purchase including deposit, occupational interest, removal costs, electricity deposit, etc. If you are building or extending, then be prepared for architect’s fees, NHBRC enrolment fees, municipality fees, prior to registration.
These are all points that the estate agent may not encourage you to do, but are very important before making any offer.
Do your research and be informed as to the current trends in your suburb by getting the sold property information from www.property24.com
Have a reputable electrician do an evaluation of your house to ensure that you are not in store for a shock, if you’ll excuse the pun, to make your house compliant before the sale.
Similarly, if you have a liquid gas system you will have to obtain a Certificate of Conformity for this as well.
Ensure that you do not have latent defects, damp, rot, etc. that you are not prepared to disclose as you could be held liable after the sale for their repair.
Look at your property intelligently and consider spending a bit of money that will not break the bank but may well increase the valuation and make it more attractive, for eg. painting, garden, curtains, kitchen & bathrooms all improve the look.
If you are in a hurry to sell your house it is often advisable to give an estate agent a sole mandate as they will be then prepared to invest in the appropriate level of advertising to ensure a quick sale.
If you are selling a vacant stand or a hose that the purchaser is intending to improve, be aware of offers that are subject to a building bond being approved. The conditions of the building portion are so onerous that they can delay transfer up to 6 months and longer.
Ensure you have sufficient funds to fund the sale of your property. Electrical & gas compliance costs, improvements, rates clearance, levies clearance are all costs that will have to be expended before transfer. There are financial institutions that provide bridging finance but the full purchase price must have been guaranteed and all bond conditions complied with prior to the approval of such a loan. One can also ask for the deposit to be released to you but that is at the discretion of the purchaser. After the transfer you may need to apply for a rates refund from your municipality. This does not happen automatically and municipalities are notoriously non-user friendly. It is advisable to use a municipality consultant especially if you are no longer resident in the area.
Once again, certain of the above considerations may take time and you may want to do some of them before consulting with estate agents. Estate agents will often also not advise you ahead of the time of the advantages of some of the above points.
If you would like to ask any questions or raise any queries in open forum please feel free to register on our Consumer Registration page by clicking here.
If you would like to retain your confidentiality and ask us a question privately you are more than welcome to send us a message by clicking here.