Selling? Don’t Forget These Important Issues

So you’ve listed your property for sale.  These are exciting times for you.  Sometimes, in all the excitement, sellers forget a few important issues that could be costly later on.

This first thing to consider is that, if your property is bonded, you will need to give your bank 3 months notice of your intention to settle your bond.  If you don’t, the banks are within their right to charge you the equivalent interest as a penalty.  This can come as a nasty surprise later – so avoid it now by giving your bank written notice that your property is on the market and you intend to settle the bond.  Ensure you get written acknowledgment from them.

When you do sell your property you will be responsible for providing Certificates of Compliance for the electrical installation, gas installation, electric fence (where applicable), and plumbing installation.  The certificates themselves are not too costly, but the rectification works needed in order to comply can present an unpleasant shock later.

Whilst the rectification works are unavoidable, it may be possible to remove some of the risk relating to your electrical compliance if you have the inspection done shortly after listing.  For example, there may be garden lights that were installed, but not with full compliance.  Rectifying this could cost some serious money.  If you know this in advance you may take the decision to take out the garden lights before the property goes to market. If you sell the property without the garden lights then you save the cost of rectifying their installation.

As the seller, you will also need to nominate your conveyancing attorney.  Don’t leave this to the last minute.  Give this careful thought and ask for recommendations.  There is often a significant difference in the service levels and abilities of conveyancers.

It goes without saying that you will want to ensure your property presents at its’ absolute best to purchasers.  So deal with all your maintenance issues promptly.  Where there are structural or damp issues, have these done by a reputable contractor that will issue a warranty, and be sure to disclose the facts to your potential purchaser.

You will also want to determine whether or not your property has approved plans at Council reflecting the improvements as they now stand.  If the plans are not up to date, then you cover yourself by informing your agent and purchaser.  Alternatively, you can have the plans updated at your cost and approved, thus removing the concern from your future purchaser.

Ask your listing agent for suggestions on how to improve the saleability of your property.  There may be small things you can do create that “wow” impression to give your property the edge.

Caring for these matters early on will not only improve your chances of a sale at maximum price, but will remove the risk of certain costs to you later.  Forewarned is forearmed.  Happy selling!

Steve Caradoc-Davies

Principal of Harcourts Platinum
Director of Harcourts South Africa

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