Get your offer accepted

02 July 2018

Buying a home is often an emotional decision, which starts with a feeling of wanting to own something yourself.

When you look for a property, it will be the one you feel most at home in that you will put in an offer on, sometimes forgetting to do a fair bit of practical legwork beforehand regarding property ownership.

"When putting in an offer to purchase a property, the first thing to consider is whether you're putting in the best possible offer you can," says Rene Barry, partner at Henkes Nolte-Joubert Attorneys.

Putting in the best possible offer means that the market related value of the home has been matched, you are offering the full amount you can afford, you have your finances in order and have strengthened your position by obtaining pre-approval from your bank before you started looking for a property.

"When assessing your financial situation on the full amount you can afford, all the expenses pertaining to buying that property have to be taken into account. Apart from the monthly bond repayments, there are other expenses that will affect you a great deal, such as insurance, rates, water and electricity, levies if living in a sectional title or home owners' association run scheme, maintenance on the property and possible increases in interest rates or increases for services.

"In other words, when establishing what you can afford, it's not just the bond repayment you have to take into account. You have to make sure that you have enough leeway and extra money each month to cover any unforeseen expenses as well as the full upkeep and running of your home," says Barry.

Once you have established that you can wholly afford the property you are putting in an offer on, you should then ensure you have cash put aside for the transfer fees, transfer duty, bond registration fees, and a sizeable deposit on the property - if you intend putting down a deposit.

"Putting a deposit down conveys a message of seriousness about buying, and strengthens the chances of the seller accepting the deal. When a deposit is offered, however, it must be cash available immediately, not money that will take days or weeks to be available, such as funds that are in fixed accounts or overseas funds, as this can cause delays which could sway the seller into rejecting or waiting for a better offer," she advises.

"If all this is established beforehand, your offer will stand a high chance of being accepted, as the seller's needs will have been met without a lot of negotiation or complications. Most property sellers would like their home to sell in a short time with minimum fuss and will welcome a buyer who has everything in order before submitting an offer," says Barry.

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