How to minimise red tape during the home buying process

Buying a property could be a challenging process and buyers need to be very mindful of every single aspect that could impact on their property at the time of buying and also in future.

Getting side-tracked by something like the financing or transfer process of a home is of course very likely, but losing track of important factors as stated below could have negative repercussions if not addressed at the outset.

Steve van Wyk from Seeff Centurion offers the following tips to keep in mind when buying a home in order to avoid unnecessary pitfalls and red tape:

Ask the agent for a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) of the property. Let the agent explain how the value of the property was determined. 

Establish the cost involved in the purchasing of a property.  Not only is the purchase price important, but also the transfer duty, bond cost, attorney cost etc. Find out if there are any hidden costs, such as the replacement of equipment in the property which is not included in the sale.  Also determine affordability, for example what the effect of a hike in the interest rate would be. Will you still be able to afford the repayments should the interest rate go up by 2 or 3 %?

Establish exactly what is included and not included in a sale.  If anything has to be removed and replaced by the seller, stipulate that in the sales agreement.

Ask the agent about patent defects. Did the seller disclose everything? Make sure that everything is specified in the sales agreement. You don’t want any surprises when you first move into the house.

Do a proper inspection of the property.  Look for any sign of dampness, cracks etc. 

Are the plans of the property approved, and is there an undertaking by the seller to provide these plans?

Establish whether there are any major changes in the area on the horizon, for example a change in the road structure (are new roads, bus routes etc planned?), or is there the possibility of a commercial development taking place in the immediate surroundings?

Do not negotiate anything verbally. If it is not contained in the written agreement of sale, it is not part of the conditions of sale that has been agreed between both parties.

Does the property comply with all legal requirements, and is there an undertaking by the seller to supply confirmation thereof eg Gas Certificates, Certificate of Electrical Compliance, Electric Fence Compliance, etc?

Lastly keep in mind that a professional Estate Agent will guide the buyer through the process and help to make the transaction a happy and stress free.

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