Selling Your House - Residential Property Sales in South Africa

Published: 07th October 2008
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When selling your property, there are some basic guidelines to follow to ensure that the process is simple and hassle free.

Initialising the Process

Firstly, a good start to the selling process is by ensuring that you do sufficient research into all aspects of the property market.

Selecting a real estate agent who is a prominent figure in your area is adviseable as they are likely to have gained a certain element of knowledge and trust within the community.

Generally the process begins with the agent coming into your home so that they can conduct an evaluation of the property. Photographs of the residence will be taken during this course of action. The seller will also have the opportunity to bring attention to any further information regarding the property that would assist the agent in establishing a sensible market value.

When this procedure has been concluded, the agent should return to the seller with an inclusive valuation and marketing plan for the real estate sale. The agent will also examine the reasons that prompted them to reach the estimation which they present to the sellers and the marketing plan which they will put into practice when selling the property.

At this point in the process, the seller has the chance to bring up any concerns they may have. Essentially, this is part of the research for deciding on an agent and agency that will manage the property sale successfully.

The majority of agencies will insist on a sole mandate, nonetheless, that does not mean that they will not acquire the services of other agencies to assist in selling the property. Most agencies subscribe to listing services, meaning the property will be exposed to numerous agencies that may have buyers for the residence. This has obvious advantages for both the seller and the agent.

When finally satisfied with the marketing plan and commission proposal, the seller will instruct the agent through a signed mandate, after which they begin marketing the property.

Many people are unaware how necessary a signed mandate is. It is crucial that the seller understands that any agent will not jeopardise marketing the property at a substantial expense if there is a chance that the seller will award the sale of the property to a competing agency unexpectedly.

A mandate protects the agent in some ways and also ensures that the seller receives the levels of service they require on the sale of the property.

Putting the Marketing Plan Into Action

It is vital to guarantee that the home is clean and presentable and that it looks appealing to potential buyers. Try and ensure that the home appeals to as wide a range of people as possible. Remember, potential buyers need to be able to visualize themselves living in your home.

The amount of time it takes to sell a property can differ. The agent should bring attention to the property and eventually, get a written offer from an interested buyer.

Presenting the Offer

The last stage of a real estate sale is the presentation by the estate agent of a number of offers for the property. This allows the seller to have the advantage of being able to choose as well.

A party selling their property is certainly not compelled to accept any offer that they are not entirely satisfied with.

If the seller is pleased with an offer, it is mandatory to accept the offer in writing.

The Payment and the Transfer of Homes

Usually a percentage of the purchase price is paid to the agent at a certain commission price. The commission is supposed to have been earned upon completion of the conditions enclosed in the deed of sale, and is paid at a stage no later than the registration of transfer. The seller should instruct their conveyancer to make the payment of the commission.

When the agreement of sale is finished between the buyer and the seller, the buyer may (but is not compelled to) make the first payment. The buyer then receives a copy of the deed of sale, and the original is filed by the estate agent. The purchaser will apply for a bond (if needed) and the financial institution will send an assessor to examine the property.

Once the bond has been approved, certificates need to be supplied by an entomologist and electrician. Instructions are usually given to the entomologist to inspect the property for beetles and other insects, whilst a certified electrician will inspect the electrical installations.

Both parties will then be called by a conveyancer to sign the required documents in order for the transfer to be passed. At this stage, the buyer will be requested to pay a transfer duty.

The conveyancing attorney will then apply to the City Council for a rates clearance certificate, where it is stated that there are no rates and taxes outstanding for the property. Lastly, the conveyancer will pay the transfer duty to the Receiver of Revenue and attain a transfer duty receipt.

After this process has been completed and finalised, the property is officially sold and ownership will be transferred, whilst the transfer is documented at the Deeds Office.

Author Bio:

PropertyGenie is a leading online estate agency offering South African property to first-time buyers, including new property developments, houses, flats, apartments, farms, vacant land and smallholdings for sale throughout South Africa.

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