We have put together some recommendations and advice for you to make your property experience as smooth as possible. There are lots of things to consider when buying and selling a property or when renting or letting a property. It is important to choose an agent who is experienced and will provide you with the right and honest information to assist you in your property transaction.
A government body, instituted in terms of Act 112 of 1976, was formed to protect you, the member of the public in your dealings with Estate Agents, and to regulate the affairs and activities of Estate Agents between themselves. All Estate Agents have to be fully qualified, are governed by the "Code of Conduct" and have to hold a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate. www.eaab.org.za
This is a private institution, aiming at a higher standard of education for Estate Agents, offering specialist courses and keeping their members abreast with forever changing legislation. The majority of professional agents belong to the Institute and are obliged to abide by the ethical obligations of members. www.ieasa.co.za
It is recommended to produce "Mandates to Sell" in writing. All Sole Mandates must be in writing (Code of Conduct 3.4) and are to be respected by other agents (Code of ethics 9.15). When you grant a Sole Mandate, make sure other agents, who handled your property are informed of this fact. Granting a Sole Mandate "until sold" is undesirable. A mandate can be a sole mandate, joint mandate with 2 or more agents or an open mandate. Open mandates do not have to be in writing but then also have no obligation from either party to be loyal. Open mandates can also give a Buyer the sense that a Seller is not serious or also desperate especially when 5 or 6 or more for sale signs are positioned on the property.
An Estate Agent is entitled to his commission if his introduction of a client leads to a sale, or if he managed to secure you an acceptable offer at the full asking price. As a rule, commission is payable by the seller and the percentage is agreed with the Agent when agreeing that they will sell your property for you on your behalf. The max percentage commission for the sale of a residential property is usually 7% plus VAT.
If you, the Buyer, have been introduced to a property through one Agent, don't view or buy it through another agent. This could lead to disputes or possible litigation.
If you, the Seller, are aware of any faults and defects in your property, your agent should be made aware of this, who in turn is obliged to disclose this to any prospective purchaser. Non-disclosure of hidden defects could result in costly legal disputes, even after transfer has taken place. The Agent will ask you to complete a Immoveable Property Condition Report which you will sign and forms part of the Sales Agreement.
The Seller is responsible for providing the Purchaser where applicable with compliance certificates for: Beetle, Electrical, Water, Gas and Electric Fencing. These must be provided on transfer and should be in writing in the Offer to Purchase. There are various companies that will do a full inspection of all the above and if compliant will issue you the compliance certificates, costing roughly between R2,600 to R3,000. If issues are found, the cost for addressing the issues is again for the account of the Seller and will need to be completed before the certificates will be issued. Looking for someone to perform these services for you: DOSS, Inspecto, and many more. Read here for more detailed information regarding the Compliance Certificates.
Know exactly which fixtures and fittings are included in the sale, and which are not. This should be in writing in the Offer to Purchase.
Be sure you are familiar with all the conditions of the Offer. Your agent is obliged to explain every clause to you.
If you have a choice, sell at a time that favours sellers and in the season that shows your particular property to its best advantage (houses with outdoor living facilities in Summer, with indoor features and fireplaces in winter).
Almost any home can benefit from some cosmetic treatment:
Setting the price is of vital importance. A house with an unrealistically high price makes a poor impression in comparison to other houses, gets shown to the wrong buyers and stays on the market too long, leaving possible buyers with the impression there might be something wrong with it. The right price is what a keen buyer will pay to a willing seller in free negotiation. Getting to know the market by visiting show-houses in your area is a good idea. However, remember not to confuse asking prices with selling prices as these obviously differ. A good agent will be able to help you set a realistic price by providing you with a competitive market analysis.
Appoint an attorney in good time, so they will be forewarned and in a position to give good advice when needed.
Your house and garden is looking its best, agent and attorney have been appointed, you are ready to sell! Here are yet a few more hints to achieve the highest possible price.
To conclude - most good sales are a result of good strategy. We wish you a smooth selling experience and the best deal that the market offers.
If you have a choice, let at a time most suitable to your property. If you have a furnished beachfront flat or a Clifton bungalow and are only interested in a short lease, you are probably best advised to let at maximum rental during the Season. Unfurnished properties can only be let on long leases.
Almost any home can benefit from some cosmetic treatment. Paint, if necessary, and see that your garden is neat and attractive.
Setting the price is of vital importance. A property with an unrealistically high price stays on the market forever. A good agent will be able to help you set a realistic price.
To conclude - most good leases are a result of good strategy. We wish you a smooth letting experience and the best deal that the market offers.
Careful planning and organisation can make moving a pleasure. Here are a few tips to make things easier.
If possible, get your new home thoroughly cleaned before you move your furniture in - it will probably be the only opportunity you will get to scrub the whole place down.
Not every certificate is compulsory or required, it will depend on the location of your property and what has been installed at your premises. The certificates that are required for every sale are the Electrical and Water Certificates unless you are part of the Swartland Municipality, then the Water Certificate is not a requirement. Certificates vary in length of validity so ensure that you keep this in mind. It is sometimes better to wait until you have a firm offer on the property before requesting the compliance company to proceed with the inspection but it may be good to have the inspection done so that you are at least aware of what will need to be done and the cost thereof before accepting any offers on your property and finding yourself with a large bill to complete compliance work. You can then complete the work on acceptance of the offer so that the certificates will all still be in date.
This certificate is compulsory and valid for 2 years from date of issue. The Electrical Certificate verifies that the electrical work and installations that have been completed on the property are up to standard. The electrical certificate covers the distribution boards, all wiring, as well as earthing and bonding of all metal components (antennae’s and satellite dishes). It will also cover the socket outlets, light switches and all isolators for fixed appliances. The certificate does not cover any fixed appliances such as the geyser, stove, motors, fans, and under floor heating.
The Electrical Fence System Compliance Certificate is only compulsory if you have an electric fence installed at your property and is valid for 2 years from date of issue. The Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 issued the Electrical Machinery Regulations of 2011 that places an obligation on the user of an electric fence system to have an electric fence system certificate of compliance. This requirement does not apply to a system that was installed prior to 1 October 2012. This certificate is required where an addition or alteration to the system has been undertaken or where there is a change of ownership of the premises on which the system exists. The electric fence system must be certified by an approved installer.
This certificate is compulsory and valid for 6 months from date of issue. This water by-law was introduced in 2010 by the City of Cape Town so is only valid to home owners falling under the City of Cape Town Council. So this by-law is not applicable in the Swartland municipality which Jakkalsfontein falls under. This certificate must be issued every time the property is transferred. It ensures the following; that the hot water cylinder installation is up to standard, that the water meter registers when a tap is open and stops completely when no water is drawn, that no storm water is discharged into the sewerage system, and that there is no cross connection between the potable water supply and any grey water or groundwater system which may be installed. However, this certificate does not cover the plumbing of wastewater, or any leaks on waste or sewer water or drainage, since this certificate is not a plumbing certificate.
This certificate is compulsory only if as a homeowner you make use of gas equipment on your property e.g. gas stove and is valid for 5 years from date of issue. The Regulation 17 (3) of the Pressure Equipment Regulations came into effect on 1 October 2009. This certificate ensures the following; that gas components are in a safe, working condition, do not have any leaks, that the emergency shut off valves have been installed in the correct positions, that gas components are correctly positioned in relation to electrical points, and that outside cylinders are the required distance from doors, drains, windows and electrical appliances.
There is no law that obliges a homeowner to provide a Beetle certificate, but it has become standard practice and is now a condition written into the sale agreement, valid only for 3-6 months from date of issue. Many financial institutions refuse to provide bonds to buyers without this certificate. This certificate is mainly provided by homeowners whose property is located in the coastal areas. Sectional title property owners, or property owners whose property is situated inland where beetle and woodborer problems are less common than in coastal areas, are not usually required to provide this certificate. Once the property has been inspected for any visible signs of wood destroying insects and deemed to be free of any such insects, the Beetle Clearance Certificate is issued. Some of the most common species of beetle that are checked for:
The Seller will always be responsible for providing the compliance certificates and where it is a law, if it has not been written into the contract the Seller would still have to provide it unless it has been specifically stated in the contract that the Purchaser will be responsible for arranging and paying for it.
The Seller is responsible for arranging the inspection, paying the inspection company and arranging and paying for the work to be done to achieve compliance. It must be done in time not to delay any transfer of the property. The compliance certificates are sent to the transferring attorney who will require these before being able to lodge the transfer.
There are many inspection companies that will provide an all round service to make the Sellers job easier. They will charge from approx. R500 for one compliance certificate to approx. R3,000 for all. Some example companies are DOSS, Inspecto, Techno Compliance and many more. You are also able to contact your regular service providers and ask if they are able to provide you with a valid compliance certificate for the sale of your property. This may be your preference if you have already a good working relationship. You can also have one company do the full inspection and then get your own supplier to do the work. Just remember if he cannot issue you with the required certificate the inspection company will have to recharge you a full inspection before they will issue the compliance certificate. This would have to be decided on a case by case basis and would only be worth it if there are many items that need to be corrected to achieve compliance. Home News can assist the buyer in arranging and obtaining these compliance certificates.
In using the above companies mentioned or any other that Home News put forward to the Seller, the Seller must decide for themselves if the service that company provides is of the standard they require. We cannot warrant any service and have no relationship with any of the above companies and cannot warrant the standard or workmanship they provide.