Seek bond approval before hunting for homes – agent
BEFORE setting out to find a home, buyers should get their chosen financial institutions or bond originators to approve whatever bond they might need, says Anton du Plessis, chief executive of Vineyard Estates.
“If you don’t know the size of the bond to which you will be entitled, sort it out now. If getting a bond is a condition of your offer, it could prejudice your bid if the competing buyer’s offer is condition-free.”
Some out-of-touch buyers have unrealistic ideas of the bond amounts for which they qualify. To safeguard yourself, it is advisable always to make offers free of the qualifying-for-bond condition but subject to bank valuers agreeing to the estimated value of the property.
Buyers should also ask about other recent sales in the area.
“If your agent cannot produce this information it will pay to take a month’s subscription to any of the data-providers, such as CMA Info or SAPTG (SA Property Transfer Guide), which provide up-to-date information on this subject. It is imperative to find out for yourself just what has been paid for homes in your area.
“If you make your offer to purchase conditional on selling your own home, arrange an immediate assessment of its price by a professional valuer – so the seller with whom you are dealing can see the price is realistic and there is a good chance your home will sell.”
After nominating an estate agent, give the sale agreement to your attorney for scrutiny – even if the agency at that point shows no signs of finding a buyer. You may need to make a snap decision while your attorney is away.
“If you appoint a sole mandate agency, ensure that your agreement allows you to cancel the agreement if you are not satisfied with the service. Alternatively, you can stick to shorter periods with the stated intention of renewing the mandate periodically if you are satisfied with the service.”
Do not allow your agencies to festoon your home with sale boards. This can give the impression of desperation in the seller, says Du Plessis. One or perhaps two boards are all that should be allowed.
Allow the agencies you are dealing with to advertise in the same publication at the same time for the first three weeks. Then, the agencies should advertise on alternate weekends so that the property is not overexposed. Make sure the agents change the picture and the wording from time to time. A different angle or interior instead of exterior photograph may arouse the interest of buyers who would otherwise not have been interested.