simple solutions to
complex legal problems
when you chose to sell your own property
For property owners it has become much easier and more lucrative to sell their own properties, without the involvement of any estate agent and without the obligation to pay agents commission. With the information and assistance which are available through the internet, social media and the support of property lawyers, more and more owners are selling their properties themselves.
To sell your property, you need 3 things:
- A fair indication of what your property is worth in the open market;
- A willing and able purchaser of the property at market value;
- A property lawyer / conveyancing attorney to assist you with the necessary support, advice and relevant documentation, including a Defects Disclosure List and a customised Offer to Purchase reflecting the intention of both parties, full and correct details of the transaction, and to attend to the transfer of ownership.
If you choose not to involve an agent, make sure you involve a property lawyer before any deal is concluded, on an agreed or time-based professional fee basis.
Ideally, you should speak to your conveyancing attorney as soon as you first consider selling your property. He/she can assist you by ensuring that you have all the necessary documentation, as well as up to date information, at hand so as to advertise your property correctly and to provide interested purchasers with all the relevant information and documentation, and to ensure that the contract is correctly drafted and reflects the intention of both parties, contain full and correct information of the property, the parties and other relevant factors including whether the transaction is a VAT transaction or not, the tax status of the parties and other relevant aspects. The cost of involving your property lawyer at an early stage will be a fraction of the estate agents’ commission saved by selling your property without the involvement of an estate agent.
Most sellers and/or agents will consult property websites for comparable properties in the same area, obtain fair market valuations from property professionals or agents active in the area, and get an online valuation through one or more of the property websites (such as Windeed, Lightstone, CMA Info and various other websites).
Buyers are found by advertising your property on websites, using recent photos to showcase your property, combined with accurate and appropriate property information. www.property24.com and www.privateproperty.co.za are 2 of many websites where you can advertise your property at a fee.
When purchasers enquire about the property and make appointments with you to view the property, ensure that you also obtain information about them. Ask questions as to what kind of property they are looking for, what their specific requirements and needs are, whether they require a mortgage loan to pay for the purchase, and whether they need to sell their property to pay for your property. It is as important to know your prospective buyers as it is for them to know your property.
When you have an interested purchaser, provide them with detailed information pertaining to the property. Have copies of your title deed at hand, a copy of your latest approved building plans, the management and conduct rules of the body corporate if you are selling a sectional title property, a completed defects disclosure form in which you declare any defect in the property that you are aware of, a copy of your latest sectional title levy account, a copy of your latest municipal rates and services account and any other documents or information which may be relevant to your property.
You can also include the option of Virtual Reality Tours (VRTs) for example: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=km94vLpjsEM. By means of this technology interested buyers from anywhere in the country, or the world, can view your property to see if your property is what they are looking for.
Selling properties privately is not a new concept and increasingly more and more owners in affluent areas are doing so already. In our practice, we are regularly required by owners to assist them in this regard. Private selling is almost standard practice for most property owners in the poorer townships, to a large extent because they have been compelled to do so as conventional agents are hardly visible in the townships. This could be because township sellers just cannot afford to pay agents commission. Township buyers and sellers meet each other through word-of-mouth in the community and often have a handshake deal before they eventually liaise with a conveyancing attorney to attend to the necessary contract and conveyancing steps for the change of ownership.
Contact us for a meeting to discuss your options in selling your property. Our first meeting will be held at no cost to you and with no obligation for any further assistance.