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How to get a seller to accept your offer to purchase

13 Jun 2018

When a person decides it’s time to purchase a home for themselves, it is often an emotional decision, one that starts with a “feel” of wanting to own something for themselves. When you look for a property, it will be the one that 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.

"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.

“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, the buyer is offering the full amount that they can afford, and they have their finances in order and have strengthened their position by obtaining pre-approval from their bank before starting to look for a property.

When assessing one’s financial situation on the full amount that one 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 the buyer a great deal, such as insurance, rates, water and electricity, levies if living in a sectional title or homeowners’ association-run scheme, maintenance on the property and possible increases in interest rates or increases for services.

“In other words, when establishing affordability, it’s not just the bond repayment, it’s whether 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 the buyer has established that they can wholly afford the property they are putting in an offer on, they should ensure they have cash put aside for the transfer fees, transfer duty, bond registration fees, and a sizeable deposit on the property, if they intend on 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, Barry advises.

“If all this is established beforehand, the buyer’s 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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