Ricochet News

Top 5 Points to check when signing an offer to purchase a property

By Bardine Hall (BA LLB) - Dec 6, 2018
Top 5 Points to check when signing an offer to purchase a property

These days it is so easy to obtain a template for an offer to purchase on line and to purchase a property without consulting an agent or attorney. Certain aspects are however important to consider and expert advice will be required to ensure that the agreement is binding.

Points to check when signing and offer to purchase include the following:

  • How are the seller married?

If the seller is married in community of property, both spouses must sign the sale agreement. Or if the seller is a foreigner, the spouse of the seller may have to assist by signing the offer to purchase. The domicile of the husband at the time when the marriage was concluded will be relevant.

  • Is the property being bought in another entity?

If the property is to be bought in a trust, a trustees’ resolution must be passed by the trustees before the agreement is signed, authorising one of the trustees to bind the trust. If it is a company and someone signs on behalf of a company to be formed it is important to know the consequences of doing so and how to go about it to ensure validity and no personal liability.

If the property that is being sold vests in a deceased person the executor of the deceased estate must sign the agreement. The Master of the High Court must approve the sale and beneficiaries of the estate must consent thereto.

  • Are there conditions in the Title Deed?

The Title Deed must be checked to determine whether the size of the property as described in the offer to purchase or offer to purhace corresponds with the details on the Title Deed. Restrictive conditions should be checked, for example whether there is a usufruct on the property, or any servitudes.

  • Does the seller have copies of approved plans for the property?

It is advisable from a purchaser’s perspective especially, to make it a condition of sale that approved plans be provided.

  • Are there any suspensive conditions?

An offer will often be subject to the approval of a mortgage bond in a stated amount in favour of the purchaser or be subject to the sale of the purchaser’s current home, or both. It is important to ensure that a suspensive condition is properly drafted.

It must be clear and stipulate a due date.

Contact Goldberg & De Villiers for assistance with the sale or purchase of your property on 041 501 9800.

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