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Dos and don’ts for buyers and sellers

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There is so much to consider when selling and purchasing a home that it can be easy to overlook some important factors.

To help individuals avoid common pitfalls, Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, shares a few of the top dos and don’ts for buyers and sellers.

Ask as many questions as possible
Whether you are a first-time buyer or seller or you have done it thousands of times before, it is always better to ask than to leave things unknown. Even if it seems obvious, voice questions or your concerns to avoid potential future issues or misunderstandings.

Particularly when you are buying a home, it is better to ask as many questions as possible regarding the condition of the home and the terms of the sale.

Sellers are legally required to provide disclosure of any known property defects but the voetstoots clause protects the seller by forcing the buyer to prove that the seller deliberately withheld information from them.

It is also a good idea to ask questions such as whether there has ever been a death in the house or, if there is vacant land in the vicinity, ask if the owners know what plans have been approved.

Don’t forget about the practical concerns
When buying a home, do not overlook the practicalities such as:
• What are the key dimensions of the home? If you have a large SUV, for example, make sure that your vehicle will fit into the garage.
• If you have a large family, it is also useful to find out how large the geyser is.
• For future budgeting purposes, find out how much the monthly utilities cost so that you can budget accordingly.
• If high-speed internet is important, check if the area is fibre-ready.

When selling a home, consider the practicalities of the sale process and ask these questions
• Is the home in optimal condition to go on the market and can you do anything to improve the overall appeal of the home?

• Will you sign a sole mandate? What commission rate are you prepared to pay your real estate agent?
• What price are you hoping to achieve and what is the lowest amount you would be happy to accept?

Do budget and plan carefully
There are various upfront costs involved in buying and selling a property, such as transfer costs, bond registration fees, compliance certifications, rate clearances, and so much more.

These costs can easily add up to large sums of money, which is why it is important to have enough readily available cash saved up before any offers are made or accepted.

To get an idea of the costs, speak to your local RE/MAX agent or play around with online transfer and bond calculators.

Don’t do it on your own
“Property sales are possibly one of the largest transactions a person can make. Leaning on the advice of an experienced and trustworthy real estate professional can help buyers and sellers avoid costly mistakes.

“Property sales can also be a lot more complicated than many initially realise, which is why it is invaluable to have a real estate agent at your side to help guide you through the process.

“If you are about to start the process of buying or selling, contact your nearest RE/MAX agent to help you become better prepared for the journey ahead,” concludes Goslett.

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