We understand that selling or buying a property can be a confusing and daunting task, especially for first timers. You will have questions, and we try to provide as much clarity as possible.
Should none of your questions be answered below, you are very welcome to contact us, and we will answer as best we can.
General Property Sales
Who decides on the attorneys - buyer or seller?
The seller gets the choice of attorney. However, it is possible for the buyer to request their attorney if, for example, the transfer is being done together with the sale of their home.
If I don't like the attorney chosen, can I use my own?
No, unless the seller has agreed to this.
What is a COC? - A Certificate Of Compliance
Why is it necessary? - The law requires these certificates to ensure all is compliant with current regulations.
Who is responsible for arranging it? - Your property professional will normally arrange all of these for you.
Who pays for it? - The seller is responsible for the payment but this will be deducted from the fees on transfer, so no payments needed before hand.
When is it done? - This will normally be arranged once the bond has been approved and the file opened at the transferring attorneys office.
What COCs are needed? - Gas, electric fence, wiring (electrical) and wood-borer and dry rot.
How long does a transfer take?
This is normally a 6-8 week period. Contact us for a more detailed explanation.
When a house gets sold, what happens to the existing tenants, if any?
The law says "huur voor koop" which translates into the tenants being able to stay on till their contract expires unless mutually agreed upon to terminate earlier.
Do tenants have first option to buy the house they are renting?
Not by law, but they certainly should be the first option when the seller decides to sell.
Why should I use an agent and not try to buy privately?
Agents are trained to deal with property and all the people involved, and will negotiate on your behalf for the best price possible. The process goes much more smoothly when you use a professional, so it is best to leave the sale in their capable hands.
Will it not save me costs to buy privately?
It may save you the commission, but did you get a good deal? And was the amount you received really the best?
Things can go wrong with a deal, and the property professional is trained to deal with all of the possible problems.
What is a Bond Originator?
This is a trained professional who sources a bond with a financial institution on your behalf.
Why is it beneficial to use them?
Bond originators work with many different banks on a daily basis, and can get you the best deal possible as far as the bond amount and a good interest rate is concerned. They also know the system and can streamline the process so you don't have to deal with automated systems and set parameters. They fight for you to make sure you get what you need.
What is the difference between being pre-approved and pre-qualified?
Pre- approval is a process during which you provide information concerning income, debts, assets and credit to the bank or bond originator, which they check and verify. All necessary paperwork is done, you are sure of the amount you qualify for, and you are now ready to buy.
Pre-qualification is a non-binding process during which you provide preliminary information concerning income, debts, assets and credit to the bank or bond originator. They estimate the amount you will likely qualify for, based on the information you have given them.
Which one is better?
It is definitely better to be pre-approved. You can look at houses in the right price range and the buying process will go a lot smoother and faster, as all the paperwork has been done.
Why should I use an agent and not sell privately?
A property professional has experience in the field, has knowledge of the area and what has sold, knows what the selling trend is, and will look after your best interest. They are trained professionals who know what to expect, what the law requires, and what potential buyers look for.They will also protect your property and privacy, and form part of security as to who will enter your premises.
Will it not save me money to sell privately?
It may, but it can also cost you more when something goes wrong with the deal and you are held liable.
What is your commission?
Commission is normally 7% plus VAT.
What exactly am I paying my agent for?
The commission you pay doesn't go directly into the agent's pocket. It has to cover advertising and printing costs (show house booklets, online advertising fees, any printed ads in publications), fuel (show houses, appointments to view with potential buyers), and various other expenses.
Agents also have to pay for their compliance certificates, and continuous training to remain up to date in the industry.
How do you price my home?
A Comparative Market Analysis is done to determine what has sold in the area and what buyers are willing to pay. The knowledge of the property professional is vital to determine what people would be willing to pay. This comes with experience, and remaining up to date with local market trends.
Will I be charged for a Comparative Market Analysis?
No. We offer this service with every valuation that we do, and it is free of charge. You do not need to be an existing client for us to do a home valuation.
Is it compulsory to have a show house every Sunday?
It is not compulsory, but it is highly recommended as this is what often sells your home. If not every weekend, at least for the first 3 weeks and then maybe every second week, or whatever is convenient for both the agent and seller.
Are my possessions safe during a show house?
The property professional will try their best to make sure that all is safe. The responsibility remains the owner's to lock away any valuables or sentimental items.
Is constant access to my property needed?
This is preferable, but the property professional will try to accommodate the seller with reasonable times as far as possible. Access is vital if you are eager to sell.
Will the agent have a key to my property before a sale goes through?
This is not necessary, but it can make the life of the seller much easier if this is the case.
Can I decline an offer?
Yes, you can decline an offer before signing any documents, but it is always best to counter offer and thus start a line of communication.
Can I accept more than one offer?
Yes, definitely. You can take as many back up offers as you want. The property professional should have control of who is first, second, and so forth.
Can I change my mind after signing an offer?
No, once you have signed and accepted an offer, it is a legally binding document, and the process will continue once started.
Are buyers pre-qualified? Screened, and credit checks done?
Not always, as this is normally a lengthy process. Most buyers usually wait until they find the house of their dreams.
What is a disclosure of defects form, and why is it important to sign one?
It is exactly what it sounds like. The seller discloses all knowledge of defects in the home/property that they are aware of, from a leaky spot in the roof to unauthorized building plans. Not only do disclosure documents serve to inform buyers, but they can also protect the sellers from future legal action.