|Word from the editor|
Dealing with estate agents can be an intimidating experience for the first-time buyer not only in South Africa but anywhere in the world. I found a very interesting article on BBC News Online that offers a brief guide to what home buyers have in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Are your prepared to compare your Agency to this brief?
Will the following notes sell the property?
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|Estate agents laughing all the way to the bank!|
The continuing property boom has estate agents laughing all the way to the bank. Although commissions earned by estate agents are not officially calculated, it is estimated that they earned about R4.8-billion last year as residential property prices rose by 19.8% on average.
|Overseas Investors Bullish|
British investors with overseas properties are bullish about the market's prospects and are gearing up for further purchases in the next twelve months...
A survey carried out by the Property Investor Show North, revealed that 95 per cent of overseas homeowners intend to buy more properties abroad, while 50 per cent are planning to buy within the next year.Confidence in the overseas nest egg is buoyant thanks to the recent expansion of the EU, the strength of the pound, and the build up of equity from soaring UK house prices.
Almost one in five of those surveyed now own more than one overseas property with investment being the main motivation for the majority (46 per cent). Most investors expect the best returns to come from capital appreciation (32 per cent) rather than from rental income (14 per cent).Where are they buying? The most popular locations for overseas properties remain Spain (33%), France (24%) and Florida (19%) but buyers are also piling into emerging markets: Eastern Europe and South Africa are both beginning to make their mark as new hotspots.
Location, Location, Relocation
On average, UK homebuyers spend £129,248 on their overseas properties, including renovation and decoration costs. 68 per cent learn the local lingo and 19 per cent promise to start conjugating Latvian verbs any day now. Apartments are the property of choice for 50 per cent.
Article by: www.findaproperty.com
|The voetstoots clause|
Chairmans corner, Property100.com
The "voetstoots" clause, a standard clause in almost every contract for the sale of property in South Africa, means that the property is purchased exactly as it is described in the title deed and with all attendant faults, whether patent (visible) or latent (concealed), in fact, "as is".
Patent defects are obvious or "in your face". For example,
cracked tiles, broken windowpanes or a gaping hole in the roof. Latent
defects are hidden, for instance, a leaking pool, the absence of required
building plans for an alteration or addition to the property or a structural
defect in a
In essence, the voetstoots clause is an exemption clause which protects the seller. However, in the case of latent defects, the seller's protection is not absolute. A seller will not be protected by the clause if the purchaser can prove that the seller fraudulently failed to disclose a latent defect in the property known to the seller at the time of sale. In other words, the seller deliberately refrained from mentioning the defect of which he was conscious at the time of sale. The courts require clear and convincing evidence of the seller's fraud and all too often purchasers come unstuck due to a lack of evidence.
Whilst the voetstoots clause ensures that the seller delivers the property to the purchaser in exactly the same condition it was in at the time of sale, it can often be the origin of hardship for the purchaser in respect of a latent defect rearing its ugly head after the conclusion of the sales.
Article by: Property100
|CyberAgent and SAPTG|
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Property of the month/week
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Advertising on CyberProp.com
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SMS Appropriate Buyers
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|Q & A: Dealing with estate agents|
Dealing with estate agents can be an intimidating experience for the first-time buyer. BBC News Online offers a brief guide to what rights homebuyers have in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
What is gazumping, and why can I be gazumped?
If you put in an offer to buy a house which is accepted by the seller, but then the seller decides to go back on the agreement and accept a higher offer from a different bidder, then you have been gazumped.
Despite being a frustrating, and potentially expensive, experience the practice is perfectly legal in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Even when your offer has been accepted, the estate agent has a legal duty to pass on any other offers received unless specifically told not to by the seller.
In Scotland a sale is considered legally binding from the moment an offer is accepted.
I've been told the seller has received a higher offer. Should I believe that?
Badly handled offers are one of the top complaints at the estate agents' ombudsman.
People who try to increase the price of a property after accepting an offer can cause heartbreak for a buyer.
But even if it is questionable ethically, if you are the vendor and are offered an extra £20,000, then you are likely to accept.
But could a higher offer simply be a ruse to get you to part with more money? It can be difficult for the buyer to know.
According to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), an agent must not invent a bid or claim to have a cash or first-time buyer unless this is true.
Nor can they state that they have a potential buyer unless this is true.
The OFT suggests people should demand to see evidence if they have suspicions.
This can be difficult in practice, though, particularly if you want to keep on good terms with the agent.
Is the Estate Agent obliged to pass on my offer?
When an offer is made for a property, the estate agent must pass it to the seller promptly and in writing, except those which the seller has told the estate agent not to be passed on, for example, all those below a certain price.
The estate agent does not have to give you details of other offers they have received.
Can I force the estate agent or seller to take the house off the market, or stop advertising, after I have had my offer accepted?
You can not force an estate agent or seller to take the property off the market, or stop advertising - just because you don't want to lose your "dream home".
The agent is working to get the best price for the seller, and is employed by him - not you.
However, some will offer to do so out of goodwill, or if you are seen as a good buyer, for example, because you are not in a chain.
Can an estate agent demand a deposit?
Yes, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but the estate agent should not hold a deposit or any other money unless they are covered by adequate insurance.
And all money must be held in a separate client bank or building society account or accounts, as set out in the Estate Agents (Accounts) Regulations.
Receipts for deposits must be provided.
Estate agents can be known for using rather "creative" language to describe properties. Is this allowed?
One of the most common gripes handled by the Ombudsman for Estate Agents are "inaccurate sales particulars".
While some artistic licence may be acceptable, it is an offence for an estate agent to make certain statements about a property which are false or misleading.
Can estate agents put for sale or sold signs outside empty homes?
This is generally seen as an "undesirable practice" by the authorities, and estate agents can be prosecuted.
Can the agent hit me with extra charges - and misleading contracts?
Estate agents must state either the exact amount you will be charged,
or when this is not possible, provide details about how the costs will
be worked out or give an estimate.
It warns people to watch out for terms, which could catch them out.
For example, if you opt for sole selling rights, and then find a buyer yourself, you will still have to pay the estate agent.
Another one to watch out for, if you are a seller, is a "ready, willing and able purchaser contract".
You will have to pay once a buyer, who is able to exchange unconditional contracts, is found.
This still applies if you withdraw your property before the sale is completed.
In this scenario, you may also be charged for the cost of 'For Sale' boards and advertising.
Can my estate agent discriminate against me, because I don't want its financial advice services?
No. Estate agents must treat all buyers "fairly", under the terms of the Estate Agents Act 1979.
So-called "preferential listing" is also not permitted.
This is when buyers are told they will be put on an open and fast-track priority or preferential service list if they take financial services, such as insurance or a mortgage, offered by the estate agent.
However, with limited sanctions in place, the Consumers' Association believes it can be very difficult for consumers to challenge these sorts of practices when they occur.
What about conflicts of interests an agent may have?
If you are selling or buying a property that your estate agent or his/her close associates wants to buy, you must be told promptly and in writing.
How to protect yourself - and complain if it all goes wrong?
The main problem for consumers is that estate agents are not required to sign up to a membership body - and the area is barely regulated.
An individual's right to reproach about their individual treatment depends on whether an estate agent is a member of a scheme.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the National Association of Estate Agents operate internal complaints procedures.
The Ombudsman for Estate Agents offers a complaints service for its member agencies.
But the current voluntary scheme covers only one third of agents.
The ombudsman can award compensation of up to £25,000 for breaches of its codes, although many awards are for much less.
The ombudsman publishes a list of members on its website.
Who else can I complain to?
If a buyer or seller believes that an agency has failed to meet its obligations they could complain to their local trading standards department.
The OFT can also issue warnings and banning orders if it has sufficient evidence of a breach, of law.
The OFT has a free booklet, called "Using an estate agent", which is available from its website or by calling 0870 6060321.
The guidance covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Article by: http://news.bbc.co.uk