Don’t be duped by real es­tate jar­gon

George Herald - Private Property - - Property News -

While words like Javascript, codec and do­main might make per­fect sense in the mind of an IT pro­fes­sional, to the av­er­age Joe, these words make about as much sense as al­ge­bra to a six-year-old. The same can be said for the prop­erty in­dus­try. Real es­tate agents and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions can of­ten for­get that some of the ter­mi­nol­ogy they use is un­fa­mil­iar to those out­side of their in­dus­try.

"Buy­ers and sell­ers should never be afraid to ask ques­tions," says Adrian Goslett, re­gional di­rec­tor and CEO of RE/MAX of South­ern Africa. "Af­ter all, the main func­tion of an es­tate agent is to as­sist buy­ers and sell­ers through the pro­cesses which are un­fa­mil­iar to them."

How­ever, it is un­der­stand­ably in­tim­i­dat­ing to be in a con­ver­sa­tion in which you can­not hold your own. These sit­u­a­tions hold the po­ten­tial to lead you into mak­ing less than ideal de­ci­sions about things that can have some se­ri­ous longterm fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions. To help you guard against this, RE/MAX of South­ern Africa sheds some light on some of the terms that could lead you astray if you're un­clear on their mean­ing:

Voet­stoots Clause

A term used by the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act to de­scribe the sale of an item 'as is', this clause ex­ists largely to pro­tect sell­ers. To un­der­stand what your rights are in re­la­tion to this, you need to un­der­stand the dif­fer­ence be­tween two sec­ondary terms:

Patent De­fect

"These are clearly vis­i­ble de­fects that can be dis­cov­ered on in­spec­tion of a prop­erty. Be­cause patent de­fects are vis­i­ble with­out a pro­fes­sional in­spec­tion, the buyer has no re­course against these types of de­fects and it is their re­spon­si­bil­ity to spot patent de­fects be­fore pur­chas­ing the prop­erty," ex­plains Goslett. To en­sure you're pro­tected, list all patent de­fects in the of­fer to pur­chase and state who is re­spon­si­ble for fix­ing them. La­tent De­fect "These de­fects are not eas­ily picked up by a su­per­fi­cial in­spec­tion, such as a leak­ing roof or faulty geyser. Legally, the seller is re­spon­si­ble for these kinds of de­fects for a pe­riod of up to three years from the date of dis­cov­ery. But, the voet­stoots clause pro­tects the seller against all de­fects that are un­known to him/her. Un­less the seller de­lib­er­ately con­cealed a de­fect from the buyer, and the buyer can prove this, the seller can­not be held li­able for the de­fect," says Goslett.

Qual­i­fied Buy­ers

De­spite the some­what am­bigu­ous term, the dif­fer­ence be­tween a qual­i­fied and un­qual­i­fied buyer is not a de­gree - but, you'd be closer than you might think in that as­sump­tion. A qual­i­fied buyer is some­one who has been pre-ap­proved by a fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion for a home loan and is there­fore qual­i­fied for the po­si­tion of buyer. These are the best kinds of buy­ers as the seller has less risk of the deal fall­ing through af­ter the ini­tial of­fer has been ac­cepted. So be sure to spruce up your home even more than usual if your agent says they're bring­ing around a qual­i­fied buyer. Con­di­tions of

ti­tle

If you don't know what this is, you're un­likely to ask about it. The con­di­tions of ti­tle are the re­stric­tive mea­sures that limit the owner's rights over the prop­erty. These con­di­tions can af­fect whether or not you'll be al­lowed to make the al­ter­ations you had in mind, so it's worth find­ing out about be­fore mak­ing a pur­chase. "If you are ever in a sit­u­a­tion in which your es­tate agent hap­pens to men­tion a phrase with which you're un­fa­mil­iar, don't pass on the op­por­tu­nity to ask for clar­i­fi­ca­tion.

“You might not re­alise the im­por­tance that phrase can have on the trans­ac­tion. And, even if the word turns out to be unim­por­tant, you'll still walk away from the con­ver­sa­tion hav­ing gained a piece of knowl­edge which would have oth­er­wise have re­mained un­known to you," Goslett con­cludes. Web ref: 2044

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