What to ask before buying a home | Advice

It is quite easy to get side-tracked by financing and transferring issues when buying a property.

Therefore it is essential to address the factors below long before the actual buying process starts and to ensure that they are properly covered and that no surprises await you once the transaction has gone through.

Questions to ask

  1. Ask the agent for a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) of the property and ask the agent to explain how the value of the property was determined.
  2. Ask the agent about patent defects. Did the seller disclose everything? Make sure that everything is specified in the sales agreement.
  3. Ask whether the plans of the property are approved and if there is an undertaking by the seller to provide these plans.
  4. Ask if there are any hidden costs, such as the replacement of equipment in the property which is not included in the sale?
  5. Ask what exactly is included and not included in the sale and if anything has to be removed and replaced by the seller and ask for that to be stipulated in the sales agreement.

Must do’s

  1. Establish all the costs involved in the purchasing of the property. Not only is the purchase price important, but also the transfer duty, bond costs, attorney costs etc. and determine your affordability to purchase the property. What would the effect of a hike in the interest rate be on your monthly repayments and would you still be able to afford the repayments should the rate go up?
  2. Establish the monthly municipal charges and levies if applicable.
  3. Do a proper inspection of the property where you look for any sign of dampness, leaks, cracks etc.
  4. Research the area and establish whether there are any major changes on the horizon, for example a change in the road structure, the possibility of a commercial development in the immediate surroundings, a new shopping mall, etc.
  5. Ensure that all the terms and conditions are contained in the written agreement and are signed by both parties. Negotiating verbally is not good enough.
  6. Find out whether the property complies with all the legal requirements and if there is an undertaking by the seller to supply confirmation thereof e.g. Gas Certificates, Certificate of Electrical Compliance, Electric Fence Compliance, etc.
Courtesty of Steve van Wyk from Seeff Centurion & Private Property