All those tiny flaws in your otherwise beautifully maintained home will add up to one thing to the observant buyer: the dreaded O.N. otherwise known as Owner Neglect. All signs of Owner Neglect must be eliminated.
2. REGARDLESS OF SEASON, TACKLE SPRING CLEANING
Those hours spent thoroughly cleaning your home will be hours well spent when the result pays off in an early and profitable sale. Clean windows, are important! Pay particular attention to your kitchen and bathrooms - they involve personal hygiene, and are areas buyers scrutinize closely.
3. CREATE THE ILLUSION OF SPACIOUSNESS
Make your living space appear larger by eliminating bulky, unnecessary furniture - rearranging to give the illusion of spaciousness.
4. GIVE YOUR ROOMS A LIGHT, BRIGHT LOOK
Most buyers want large, bright, cheerful rooms.
5. USE COLOUR AND LIGHTING TO DRAW ATTENTION TO YOUR HOME’S
BEST SELLING FEATURES
Highlight the graceful bay windows with a colourful arrangement of flowers. Colour has the power to attract. Lighting should be used for emphasis.
6. DISGUISE UNSIGHTLY VIEWS
Disguise those potentially offending views, but always let light into your rooms. Replace heavy curtains with sheer white panels. Above all, don’t apologize for a poor view. Never mention it to a
salesperson or a buyer.
7. ELIMINATE UNPLEASANT ODOURS
Remember that some people are much more sensitive to odours than others. Smokers rarely notice the odour of tobacco that fills their homes, and pet owners may be oblivious to objectionable odours. Regularly use powered products that smell good. Mildew odours are another no-no. Don’t allow wet towels to accumulate in hampers, or laundry to pile up in cup-boards.
8. AVOID ECCENTRICITIES
Smart sellers play down individualistic touches that may express perfectly their taste and personality but at the same time, appeal to the minority of home buyers. In selling, play the odds. If your rooms are painted purple and beaded curtains hang in every doorway, don’t rely on our real estate agent to find the perfect buyer whose tastes match yours. The average buyer will have a hard time looking beyond purple walls and eccentric décor. Two coats of white paint may be the best investment you ever made. It is also not wise to make your living room look like campaign headquarters or your dining room to resemble a sacred temple.
9. RECOGNISE THE FINE LINE BETWEEN CLUTTER AN STERILITY
Notice the small details that make the room particularly attractive and appealing - a vase of flowers, an open book on the coffee table, a brightly coloured pillow in a win chair, a basket of knitting yarns. Accessories can make or break a room on the lookout for distractive clutter.
10. DISPLAY PHOTO’S THAT SHOW YOUR HOME DURING OTHER SEASONS
Go through your photo albums and select pictures of your house and garden during all four seasons. If hung at eye level in a well lighted area, the pictures will speak for themselves and give you yet another selling edge.
FRONT DOOR AND PORTCH
No matter how lovely your home may be behind that front door, a buyer will be turned off by crumpling front steps, a doorbell that doesn’t work, creaky hinges, or chipping paint on the porch columns.
Give special attention to your home’s front entry. Remember, first impressions are likely to colour the remainder of the house tour.
11. CREATE A WELCOMING SPOT OF COLOUR
There should be something special that beckons them to your front door, something that sets your home off from the other houses on the block. A bright red milk can, a tub of geraniums, a pot of floppy petunias, or a basket of nasturtiums. Invest in a new doormat that say’s “Welcome”.
12. OPEN YOUR HOME TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD
A buyer approaches a home with curiosity aroused, he want to have positive feelings. If all the curtains are drawn and the front door is locked and bolted, your home will seem like a forbidding fortress. If the curtains are open, the windows sparkling clean and the front door open (in warm weather), your home will radiate a welcoming spirit and invite the buyer to enter.
13. CAPITALISE ON A SPACIOUS FRONT VERANDAH / PATIO
Take advantage of the nostalgia it evokes. Set the state and stimulate imaginations.
YOUR HOME’S ENTRANCE HALL
Whether a graciously proportioned centre-hall or a small space just large enough for a hall stand and tiny table this part of your home deserves your particular attention.
14. CREATE A DYNAMIC FOCAL POINT
Study your entry hall and ask “what kind of statement” it makes about your home. This area should “greet” buyers and say “welcome, your house hunting days are over”.
Dried flowers can make a striking focal point on a hall table any time of the year. Imagine chrysanthemums, a branch of bright crotons, an arching spray of bougainvillea, or what stalks in a glowing copper planter.
15. ADD SPACIOUSNESS WITH A MIRROR
Virtually any entrance hall’s flooring is observed carefully by the prospective buyer - give them a positive attitude.
16. IMPROVE THE FLOOR’S APPEARANCE HERE, IF NOWHERE ELSE
Your entrance hall’s flooring is observed carefully by the prospective buyer - give them a positive attitude.
YOUR HOME’S LIVING ROOM AND FAMILY ROOM
17. TREAT THESE ROOMS AS IF THEY WERE STAGE SETTINGS
Buyers ask themselves, “can I imagine myself living in this room?” Your job is to make each room project a positive response. What touches make a room look truly inviting? Music is one element, consider leaning a guitar in the corner of your living room, or opening some sheet music on the piano with light shining on it. Think of these things as stage props.
18. HIGHLIGHT YOUR FIREPLACE
Don’t take it for granted and expect the buyer to imagine the flow of a roaring fire, Light one. Place something colourful on the mantel, but don’t overdo it!
19. IMPROVE TRAFFIC FLOW IN THESE ROOMS
Make rooms visually larger by removing excess furniture. Have easy traffic flow patterns. Be sure that all doors open fully.
20. DRAW ATTENTION TO EXPOSED BEAMS OR A CATHEDRAL CEILING
21. DON’T LET A TELEVISION SET DOMINATE THE ROOM
tairways should provide an attractive transition from one level to your home to another.
22. MAKE THEM SAFE
Stair lighting should be more than adequate, stairs must be clutter free, stair railings tight an secure, and runners or carpeting tacked securely. Cheerfully decorated stairs are positive.
23. ADD VISUAL INTEREST TO THE STAIRWELL
A carefully chosen accent might improve the area’s visual appeal. If you have a wide, gracious staircase, emphasise this feature by hanging a few pictures along the wall. Draw attention to handsome lighting fixture by polishing the brass and dusting each small bulb or crystal prism. Any stair landing should also have an attractive focal point, be it a fern on a small plant stand, a dramatic poster, a chiming clock, or a special chair on a large stair landing. If the staircase is narrow, fool the eye by minimizing clutter.
Imagine for a moment that you’re in the “bed-and-breakfast” business. How would you change your home’s bedrooms to appeal to a paying lodger? Naturally you’d make up the beds with your prettiest sheets and comforters. Maybe you’d add a vase of flowers on the dressing table or a cosy armchair in the corner. Every bedroom in your home should invite prospective buyers to settle right in.
24. CREATE A MASTER BEDROOM “SUITE” EFFECT
Large master bedrooms are particularly popular among today’s home buyers. Make your bedroom larger. Paint the room a light colour, remove one of the bureaus if the room is crowded, minimise clutter to maximise spaciousness. Aim for a restful, subdued “look”.
25. TACKLE YOUR CUPBOARDS
Virtually all buyers are looking for a house with plenty of cupboard space. Try to make what you have appear generous and well planned...
Clear out all but your current seasonal wardrobe
A clear floor will make a wardrobe appear more spacious
Wardrobes shelves should look well organized
When prospective buyers open your cupboard door, they should be greeted
with a whiff of fresh-smelling air.
Be sure that every wardrobe in your home has a light so that buyers can
easily inspect the interiors.
26. DEPERSONALIZE TEENAGERS ROOMS
Take the time to explain your house-selling goals to your children. Encourage them to participate in preparing your home for showing, particularly the principal of appealing to the widest possible market ....... store those personal posters until your home is SOLD.
Wise sellers take special pains with preparing their bathroom(s) for scrutiny by strangers. The bathroom is a room, after all and a very personal one. Potential buyers will inspect yours with eagle eyes, so be sure it is immaculate. Don’t forget the medicine cabinet; dispose of those 3 yr old prescriptions, and polish the shelves. The same goes for the storage cabinet under the basin. Replace that caulking around the bathtub.
27. CREATE A LOOK
Decorate and personalize - create a pleasing, individual look; add plants, shells you collected at the beach last summer in an attractive glass bowl or jar, pictures, magazine rack, display fresh towels that co-ordinate with paint colours etc.
28. CONSIDER COLOUR
Remember, appeal to a wide range of buyers. Play down that all-pink look with contrasting dove-grey towels and matching bathroom rug. If your bathroom is mostly white or neutral, add a few cheerful accents of colour. Use towels in the popular new shades. Don’t hesitate to buy a few new towels and a rug, you’ll be taking them with you to your new home.
29. INVEST IN A NEW SHOWER CURTAIN
30. IMPROVE YOUR FLOOR COVERING
Notice the word “improve” not “replace”. Scrub and wax the old floor. Cover the largest area you can with a large scatter rug.
31. PUT OUT FRESH TOWELS AND SOAP
Prospective buyers are very special guests in our home. Give them VIP treatment with fresh-smelling towels and a new soap in an attractive dish. Splurge on a box of fancy sculptured or perfumed guest soaps.
32. GO EASY ON AIR SPRAYS AND ROOM DEODORIZER
A gentle hint of fragrance in the air is fine, but keep it subtle.
REARRANGE YOUR STORAGE SPACE
Get rid of anything that you don’t plan to move to your new home. Remaining stored materials should be neatly contained in boxes and suitcases, and positioned against the walls.
33. HIGHLIGHT A WORK BENCH AREA
Many men dream of having a home workshop for woodworking projects. Clear off the dusty workbench and draw attention to its as a sales feature. Clean the surface, set out a few scraps of wood, a box of nails, a couple of tools, hang a light over the bench and you’ve set the scene for an amateur carpenter.
DRIVEWAYS AND GARAGE
Rutted driveways and junk-filled garages spell owner neglect and can easily sour a buyer’s otherwise positive impression of your home. Give these areas an honest appraisal and see whether a few small improvements might make a difference. Remember that buyers are scouting for flaws, which they can use to justify a low offer. If you hope to get top price for your home, don’t give potential buyers any extra ammunition in a poorly maintained driveway or garage.
34. FIX UP DRIVEWAYS FOR FIRST IMPRESSION IMPACT
The driveway is no place for children’s toys. Not only are such things dangerous, the clutter is unsightly. The surface of your driveway should be beyond reproach, after all it’s one of the first things a buyer will see when he drives up. Repair cracks and potholes, pull up pesky weeds, or get a new load of gravel.
35. ENLARGE AND IMPROVE THE APPEARANCE OF THE GARAGE
A clean, organized garage appears larger. If dark, add more light, if a single car garage - remove your car before buyers visit. An empty garage always looks larger. If a two-car garage with very little extra room, remove one of your cars so that buyers can make their inspection in comfort.
Whether your property consists of fifty acres or a small suburban lot, much of the value is in the land itself. If your garden is well-landscaped setting your home, your chances of selling quickly will be greatly advanced.
36. AVOID AN OVERGROWN, UNKEPT LOOK
Does your garden radiate owner’s pride? So, drag our the lawnmower, sharpen up those hedge clippers and shape up your garden; prune bushes, mow the lawn, and trim trees, hedges, edge along walks/driveways, and spray stubborn weeds.
37. MARK YOUR PROPERTY BOUNDARIES
Paint stakes a bright red or yellow and stick them in the ground on the corners of your property. This will not only show consideration, it will be an effective sale tool.
38. BRIGHTEN UP YOUR PROPERTY WITH SOME FLOWERS
Plop the plants into a well-placed wheelbarrow or an old-fashioned washtub, etc. Such standbys as nasturtiums, petunia, impatiens and verbena are easy to maintain if you only remember to water them regularly. Try a row of sweet smelling alyssum to a line a short sidewalk or pop in some perky dwarf marigolds to form a cheerful oasis of colour in your garden.
39. DRAW ATTENTION TO SPECIAL TREES
Many buyers can’t tell an oak from elm, but they like the notion of having gracious, mature trees on the property they buy. Make sure yours grabs the buyer’s immediate attention. Hang a swing from a strong branch, plant some bright, shade-tolerant flowers like impatiens, or set up your picnic table under the tree’s leafy awning.
40. PLAY UP FLAT AREAS
Set up your old badminton or volleyball net in that flat area of your garden.
41. SET UP A BACKYARD LIVING/DINING AREA
It is important to devote at least one area of your garden to outdoor living. Buyers will still recognise a scene set with a picnic table and chars and respond positively to it. Cover your picnic table with a fringed, red-and-white checked cloth, set out some plastic plates and glasses, bring out the braaing equipment, and buyers will almost smell the braaivleis!
WHEN YOUR HOME IS SHOWN
Of course, like all home sellers, you’re fantasising that the first prospective buyer who walks through your front door will fall madly in love with your home and offer to meet your price right then and there. It can happen, but it’s a rare occurrence. Now your home is in peak sales condition, you’ve employed a top-notch real estate agency and your property is priced realistically. These three factors should give you a distinct selling edge. Before you rest on your laurels, however, study the following:
42. BE WILLING TO SHOW YOUR HOME (PRACTICALLY) ANYTIME.
Play the odds. The more people who see your home, the more likely you are to sell it quickly. Yes, it’s an inconvenience to show your home at dinner time, but if the people buy your home, isn’t it worth the reheated pot roast?
43. HAVE A FAMILY “GAME PLAN” FOR LAST MINUTE SHOWINGS
Prepare for inevitable, unexpected showings with a family game plan. To be effective, this plan should be worked out by all your family and actually written down so that everyone knows what to do if you sound the alarm. No one is talking about major housecleaning at this point. The kind of tasks you ought to be concerned with now are simple ones, dust the dining table top, don’t leave last night’s dirty dishes in the sink;
44. AIR OUT YOUR HOME HALF AN HOUR BEFORE SHOWING
Any home will smell better if you open the windows in each room and let in some fresh air. Stale air isn’t appealing particularly in a home with smokers and pets.
45. TURN ON THE LIGHTS IN EACH AND EVERY ROOM
You can make showing smoother for your agent if you turn on lights in every room before prospective buyers arrive. This also gives you an opportunity to select the lighting effects you want for each room. Be sure not to overlook areas like the attic and basement (if you have one). No area of your home should be dark.
46. TURN ON PLEASANT BACKGROUND MUSIC
Music has subliminal powers. Why else would stores bother to pipe in soft background music if not to put customers in a comfortable relaxed mood for what else - buying? Speaking of sound, every seller should know better than to leave a television set blaring away when his home is being shown. This is rude and distracting.
47. KEEP OUT OF SIGHT WHEN THE SALES PERSON IS SHOWING YOUR HOME
Once you’ve answered the door and welcomed the real estate agent and potential buyer you should find something else to do - preferably outside of your home. This is the time to take a walk or visit your neighbours or go grocery shopping. The shrewd seller sets the scene so that buyers can walk onto the stage and immediately begin play-acting pretending the home is already theirs.
48. NEVER VOLUNTEER INFORMATION
Once you’ve followed the previous tip you won’t be around to chat with the buyers but if you are at home, resist the urge to volunteer information about what you consider to be important sales features. It’s all too easy to develop seller’s “foot-in-mouth” disease.
49. ASSEMBLE HOUSE RECORDS FOR BUYER PERUSAL
In these times of rising energy costs buyers will most certainly ask what your home heating and electrical costs are. If you are including any appliances in the sales price of your home you should keep warranties and instruction booklets in the same file.
50. TELL EVERYONE YOU MEET THAT YOUR HOUSE IS FOR SALE
Why keep it a secret? Our neighbours across the street may have friends who have been waiting to move into the neighbourhood. Word of mouth is a strong selling aid. If each person you tell that your house is for sale tells two more people and those people each tell two more people, word can spread quite rapidly.
51. REMAIN OPTIMISTIC
The buyer for our home will be knocking soon!
RELOCATION HINTS AND IDEAS
Relocating can be a trying experience. Between the people, the belongings and the paperwork, there’s simply so much to do that it can all be overwhelming. That’s why we would like to help!
Included in this booklet you’ll find some hints on how to organize your household belongings in order to make your move a little easier. We also hope to give you some ideas on how to pack and what not to pack!
Then of course, there is some advice from kids to parents on moving, and because they can’t speak for themselves we’ve added some tips from the pets and house plants as well!
The paperwork is the worst.... So many things to remember and seemingly never enough time.
A moving day diary is included which you will find invaluable. Lastly, the conveyancing procedure along with a checklist of your responsibilities in this process, to ensure a speeding transfer into the the purchaser’s name.
It seems a good friend is hard to find - especially when you need help moving! We hope the Dormehl Property Group Handy Helper and your Dormehl Agent will be all you need to complete a successful move.
Best of Luck!!
MOVING DAY DIARY
□ Book the movers
□ Organize Insurance for your possession while in transit
□ Give notice to schools and colleges
□ Apply for a new telephone, arrange that the telephone department re-directs your calls to your new number, & arrange for your telephone to be disconnected and re-installed on moving day (dial 10219)
□ Leave a forwarding address at your old home
□ Change your postbox (if you have one) & arrange for the Post Office to re-direct your mail (there is a nominal
□ Pay electricity and water deposits to the local authority, and arrange that they are connected on the correct date.
□ Arrange that electricity, water and telephone meters are read on moving day.
□ Collect keys for the new house through your Estate Agent, and make plans to hand over keys for the old one.
□ Buy a supply of curtain runners, stoppers, hooks, globes and plugs, and keep them handy during the move.
□ Get a tool kit handy with screwdrivers, pliers, hammer etc.
□ Keep a first aid kit handy
□ Advise your change of address to:
□ Receiver of Revenue
□ Motor Licensing Dept.
□ Insurance Company
□ Home Affairs for your identity document
□ Employers and Schools
□ Friends, relatives and neighbours
□ Public Library
□Newspaper and Magazine subscriptions
□ Sports clubs and children’s activities
□ Credit Card and other accounts
□ Arrange to transfer bank accounts. Remember your safe deposit box
□ Uplift prescriptions, medical and dental records for transfer to your new area
□ Advise movers of your cell phone numbers so you can be reached en-route to your new destination
□ Have extra cash available, in case of emergencies
□ Last, but not least, pack a basket with tea, coffee, cups, teaspoons, milk, sugar and a light snack.
□ Call your Dormehl Property Group Area specialist for assistance if necessary!
One of the biggest mistakes many people make when they move is to “take everything”. It may be hard to do but if you will take the time to evaluate what you really want in your new home, it will save you a lot of aggravation when you unpack and settle in.
The best way to attach this problem is to prepare an inventory of each room, indicating items to be kept, and those to be given away or discarded. Get the whole family involved, and pin a list up in each room. Be “ruthless”’ organize a garage sale and sell or donate all the questionable items you can!
Then make a list of the new items that you may need to buy to fit into, and complete, your new home.
Most well-quipped removal companies will transport the contents of your house without the slightest bother or help from you. However, the biggest saving you can make is by doing the packing yourself. Here are some handy hints to assist you with this sometimes lengthy task:
When gathering empty boxes from the local supermarket, look for some smaller ones that you can lift easily even when full of books. The sturdier the better. Don’t forget to buy packing tape and a large marking pen.
Compartmented cartons (such as liquor comes in) are ideal for glassware and small knick-knacks.
Draw a layout of the new house and number each room
Label each box as to contents, and according to the number of the room to which it is to be taken when unloaded at your new house. When a house is empty the movers will not know which is “John’s Room”. However, if you pin a copy of the house layout at the front door of your new home when you arrive, the movers will quickly see which boxes and furniture are to be taken to the various rooms.
This is a real time saver!
Clearly mark those boxes which contain fragile objects and whether the box should be loaded last, so as to be unloaded first.
Wrap all breakable dishes separately (first in tissue, then newsprint; ink from newspapers may stain fine china) and use washcloths or aprons to fill up the empty spaces. You could also use bubble-wrap for any fragile objects.
Newsprint rolls (without printing) may be purchased very cheaply, and removes the necessity of washing all your crockery when you unpack.
When packing odd items (tools, heavy pans, sports equipment) put the things that weigh most at the bottom for better balance.
Towels, linen and tablecloths make excellent padding for fragile items.
Pack books tightly on end in small boxes. Alternate bindings and wrap valuable books separately.
If your move is a local one, lay your hanging clothes flat in the back of your car and pin, or otherwise secure them to the hangers, so that they do not slip off during moving. Tie the hangers together by the handles with elastic banks in batches of 10 to facilitate easy carrying.
Empty refrigerator & freezer so they can dry for at least 10 hrs to prevent mildew and unpleasant odours.
Perfume, medicine, nail varnish remover and anything else that could leak and ruin other items should be tightly sealed with tape and placed in separate plastic bags.
Empty all gasoline, fuel etc from camping equipment, lawnmovers etc. Have your rugs and curtains cleaned before moving & leave them in their wrappings for easier handling.
WHAT NOT TO PACK
Valuable jewellery, furs, silver, irreplaceable photo’s, car ownership records, insurance policies, medical/dental records, passports, identity and other special documents, coin or stamp collections are best transported by you.
Do not transport ammunitions, firearms, fireworks or chemistry sets. Keep those with you.
Perishable foods should be kept to a minimum and should be transported in your own car.
KEEPING THE KIDS HAPPY
Moving to a new area can be an unnerving experience for adults, but for the kids the experience can be downright traumatic. The prospect of leaving friends, school and familiar settings can cause serious problems at a time when parents already have their hands full. More than anything else, children fear the unknown; what will my new school be like? Who will my new friends be? Can I still be a scout? Will I ever see my old friends again? Will my new room be as nice as my old room? The more information you give a child in advance about his/her new environment, the more secure he’ll feel about the move. Here are some tips to smooth the transition.
If at all possible, visit the new school with your child, preferably while school is still in season, so your child can get a picture of it in his/her mind. Ask the principal and guidance counselor if there are special programmes at the start of a new school year fro new students. School officials may be able to refer you to one or two local kids who will serve as “buddies” once your child starts.
THE NEW HOME
At the start of the home buying process, involve your children very directly - ask them what they like and dislike about your current home, how they would like to decorate tier new room. Open discussions not only generate excitement and give the child some sense of control, they help the parents define their home buying needs.
THE MOVING PROCESS
To keep children enthusiastic about the move during the time prior to moving day, involve them in the preparation process. This will ensure what they have a chance to deal with the move emotionally. Give them a photo of the new home to show their friends and a sketch of the floor plan of their rooms so they can plan where they want to place their belongings.
GIVE THEM SPACE
Give your children a chance to say good-bye to old friends. Allow for the possibility that your children may be depressed or moody for a while - just keep loving them through the process. Don’t keep asking them if they are making new friends - they will do this in their own time and when they feel comfortable. Encourage them to invite new friends around to meet you.
MOVING YOUR PETS
Animals need special care and handling to get to their new home. Here are a few tips on getting your menagerie from there to there.
In general, it is impractical to move an any aquariums with fish in it. Plan on giving the fish away with a promise to restock the aquarium when you arrive at your new home if you are travelling long distances. For local moves, fish should be put into well sealed plastic bags with sufficient water.
CATS & DOGS
Think twice about taking your dog or cat with on a long cross country trip. Not only can animals get car-sick, but being cooped up in a car all day can make them nervous and can cause them to act strangely. They must be fed and watered (make sure you take a water dish) they have to make rest stops and they have to be on a leash to keep them from running off anytime the car door is opened. Some hotels/motels will not allow pets. Others have facilities for handling traveler’s pets. Call in advance and check your route. You may wish to make use of Animal movers.
If you are flying to your new destination, your animals can ride in the baggage compartment. In this instance, you will need a health certificate from your Vet. Call the airline in advance and request details about special holding cages/boxes. To make sure your pet is comfortable, it is a good idea to get some tranquilizers from your Vet. It’s also a good idea to put a piece of clothing with your scent into the box so it will feel more at home. It is sometimes a good idea to take your animals to kennels a few days before you can move to keep them out of the way during the packing process.
Collections of hamsters, birds, mice and such can be transported in the family car fairly easily. Make sure they have enough food and water and are out of drafts or extreme temperatures. It’s good to cover their cages with a cloth to keep them quiet and restful. Remember, a long trip can be even tougher for an animal then a human!
MOVING YOUR HOUSE PLANTS
If you can’t bear the thought of leaving your pot plants, there are ways you can take them with you without hurting them!
A couple of weeks before you move, prune plants so they can be easily packed. This will make the plant easier to move and they will need less water & sunlight to survive.
A week before you move put the plants in a black plastic bag and spray a little bug spray in the bag before you put the plant in. Close the bag and place in a cool area overnight. This will kill any parasites or pests on the plant or in the soil.
The day before your move, secure the plants in cardboard containers use dampened newspaper to ensure they are held snugly in place. More moist paper should be put on top to keep them moist.
On the day, set the boxes aside and mark “Do not Load” so they won’t be taken on the moving van, if that is what you want!
When you are on the road, be careful where you park your car. Park in a shaded area, and leave the window open.
Unpack the plants as soon as you can after arriving at your new home. Take plants out through the bottom of the box in order to avoid braking stems. Let them get exposed to sunlight gradually if they have been in the removal van for a few days.
If you do not have space for the plants, taking cuttings. Place cuttings in a plastic bag with wet paper towels around them.
Plant as soon as possible.
THE TRANSFER PROCEDURE
Once the Agreement of Sale and Purchase has been signed by the buyer and the seller, it becomes a binding agreement. The estate agent will issue instructions to the Conveyancers to attend to the registration of transfer into the purchasers name.
When all the subjective conditions have been fulfilled such as the bond being granted, and the wood-
borer and electrical inspections done and a clearance certificate obtained, the Conveyancers will
start on a set of transfer documents.
2. SETTLEMENT FIGURE
The conveyancer obtains a settlement figure from the Financial Institution holding the current bond
over the property. Written applications must be done.
3. TITLE DEEDS
The Conveyancers must obtain the Title Deeds to the property. These are frequently held by the
Financial Institution holding the bond over the property. Written application must be made.
The financial Institution holding the Title Deeds will only release them if and when a guarantee is
issued that the existing bond balance will be paid in full on transfer.
These are drawn up by the conveyances for the buyer and the seller to sign.
• Power of Attorney from seller to the conveyancers authorizing the latter to effect transfer into
• Transfer duty declaration to be signed by both parties or by the purchaser only if the property is
exempt from transfer duty.
• Insolvency affidavit to be signed by both parties that they are not un-rehabilitated insolvent.
• Matrimonial affidavit to verify marital and personal details of both parties.
• Rates clearance certificate to be obtained by sending a signed application with the prescribed fee
to the local authority. Before a certificate is issued, rates must be paid up to date to the end of the
current rates year.
• Levy clearance certificate for sectional title units - a request is sent to the managing agent of the
Body Corporate with the required fee. Levies must be up to date before a clearance certificate is
• Pro-forma account issued to the purchaser advising him of the total costs payable by him with a
request to sign all the documents and to pay such costs.
6. PAYMENT OF COSTS
Any delay in the payment of the above costs will stop transfer.
7. TRANSFER DUTY RECEIPT
Obtained from the receiver of revenue upon payment of transfer duty.
Once all the documentation is completed, signed and the required certificates obtained, the necessary
documentation is sent to Pietermaritzburg Conveyancers “Agents” who will hold them until another 2 sets
of documents reach them. I.e. bond registration documents and bond cancellation documents.
9. BOND APPLICATION
Normally attended to by the Estate Agent as soon as the sale agreement as been signed by the seller and
10. LETTER OF GRANT
Once the financial institution is satisfied that the purchaser qualifies for the bond in all respects. It will send a letter of grant to purchaser informing him/her at the same time of any conditions relating to the bond & who the bond attorneys will be. The financial institution will instruct the bond attorneys to proceed with the bond registration.
11. ENTOMOGOLISTS REPORT
No bond will be registered unless the wood-borer and termite free certificate is issued.
A cost of obtaining the certificate and any work to be carried out is for the seller’s account.
12. ELECTRICAL COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE
Legislation dictates that an inspection of the electrical wiring be undertaken and a certificate
issued. A cost of obtaining the certificate and any work to be carried out is for the sellers
13. DRAFT DEED
The bond attorney will request preliminary draft deed from the transferring conveyancers as
the bond needs to be recorded against the new title deed.
The bond attorney obtains an official guarantee from the financial institution for the new
bond, and some kind of guarantee for the balance of the purchaser price.
No bond attorney will send a request to the purchaser for signing of all documents with an
estimated account of costs. The purchaser must pay all costs as soon as possible.
16. PRO-FORMA ACCOUNT
The bond attorney will send a request to the purchaser for signing of all documents with an
estimated account of costs. The purchaser must pay all costs as soon as possible.
The bond attorney now send all his documents to Pietermaritzburg.
Once all three sets of documents have been received by the agents in Pietermaritzburg,
these agents call for fees.
The three sets of documents are “married” at the Deeds Office and presented for
registration. They are checked and then the Registrar of Deeds signs them, at which
moments transfer is affected into the purchasers name.
Advise conveyancers of the loan account number of the bond and name of bondholder.
Furnish Dormehl with photocopies of:
Sign transfer documents at Conyancers office when called upon to do so.
Advise Conveyancers of Rates Account number, and whether it is paid annually or monthly.
Apply for bond through Dormehl Property Group
Advise Dormehl Conveyancers which bank applied to:
Furnish Dormehl with photocopies of:
Pay Conveyance’s pro-forma acc when called upon to do so (Transfer Duty/ conveyance’s fees)
Pay bond cost to Conveyancers (Registration & Inspection)
Sign authority of guarantee
Sign “Power of Attorney” to pass bond
Thank you for allowing me to be of service to you!
My function is to assist you in your efforts to find a property that meets your needs. Because of my experience and expertise, I am able to offer you many services to help you through the decision-making process.
Here is what I do for you as we work together :
Explain the steps involved in purchasing a property
Qualify your buying power so that you won’t waste time viewing
properties which you cannot afford.
Create a shortlist of properties that meet your needs and set up
appointments for you to view them
Provide information on the area to help acquaint you with the
Arrange for a Home Loan Consultant to discuss your financing
Prepare and present your offer
Breakdown all applicable costs, including up front and delayed
costs of ownership
I look forward to giving you uncommonly good service !
Where to Start
First things, first. Ask yourself why you want to buy a home …
To stop paying rent?
To start building equity?
To have a place of your own?
To move up to a bigger home?
To scale down to a smaller home?
Next, list what kind of home you would like and where you would like it to be. Be specific. Separate the “must have’s” from the “want to have’s”. Rate both lists on a scale from 5 (high) to 1.
Think of yourself as zeroing in on a target, going from the general to the specific. Consider:
How far are you willing to commute to work?
Think about home styles (1 storey, double storey, townhouse, etc)
How much space do you need, and how much will you need in the foreseeable future (number of bedrooms, baths rooms, living rooms, size and style of property\
Do you want a new home, or an older one to fix up?
Is the community a good area for resale? Someday you or your heirs will want to sell
Consider how long you expect to live in the particular home
Keep going with whatever you want to add…
Knowing exactly what you think you want, makes house hunting and later decisions easier where you get into the nitty-gritty aspects of buying.
Helpful Hints when looking at Homes
• Is the price in keeping with other homes in the area?
• Is the house near schools, work, shopping centres and bus routes?
• How old is the house? Has it been well maintained? If not, what will it cost to renovate?
• Check the hot water system and the size of geyser.
• Check to see if the electrical wiring is in order.
• Open the taps and see if the water pressure is strong.
• Check to see if there is sufficient cupboard space in the kitchen and bedrooms. Is there space for appliances such as fridge, deep freeze, dish washer, and tumble dryer?
• A north facing house is cool in summer and warm in winter.
• Are there burglar bars on all windows – is there a security system?
• If there is a telephone – ask if you could transfer it into your name.
• If there is a pool, check to see if the pool equipment works.
• Ask what the annual rates/ monthly levy is on the property?
• Remember to keep money aside for transfer costs – work on + 7% of the purchase price for transfer and bond costs.
Budgeting for Your New Home
There are a number of costs to pay before you can move into your new home. Therefore, you need to budget for the following costs :
Once Off Costs:
Deposit on the house
Cost of registering the home loan
Municipal deposits for water and electricity
Other Costs – You Decide:
Cost of moving
New Curtains and carpets, etc.
Total cash needed before you can move in
Regular monthly Costs
There are also monthly costs involved in owning a home in addition to your normal monthly expenses such as food, clothing, entertainment, transport, school fees and hire-purchase.
These payments are;
Repayment of the home loan
Insurance on the house
Municipal rates (if you buy a house)
Monthly levies (if you buy an apartment or townhouse).
The levy usually covers Rates, Refuse, Electricity, Water,
Other Monthly Costs:
Life insurance to repay the home-loan
Insurance on home contents
MOVING DAY DIARY
• Booked the Movers
• Organized Insurance for your possessions while in transit
• Given notice in accordance with your lease agreement (if necessary)
• Applied for a new telephone, arranged that the Telephone department re-directs your calls to your new number, and arrange for your telephone to be disconnected and re-installed on moving day.
• Left a forwarding address at your old home
• Changed your postbox (if necessary) and arranged for the Post Office to re-direct your mail.
• Paid electricity and water deposits to the local authority, and arranged
that they are connected on the correct date.
• Arranged that electricity, water and telephone meters are read on moving day.
• Organized keys for the new house, and to hand over keys for the old one.
• Bought curtain runners, stoppers, hooks, globes and plugs.
• Keep a Tool kit handy with screwdrivers, pliers, hammer, scissors, globes and the like
• Keep a First Aid kit handy
• Advise your change of address to:
• Receiver of Revenue
• Motor licensing Department
• Insurance Company
• Home Affairs for your Identity documents
• Employers and Schools
• Friends, Relatives and Neighbours.
• Newspaper and Magazine Subscriptions
• Sports clubs and children’s activities
• Credit Card and other accounts
• Last, but not least, pack a basket with tea, coffee, cups, teaspoons, milk, sugar and a light snack! Just the kind of help you would expect from the
Things I like about my present home
Flat / Apartment
AGE / STYLE
Relatively New ( 1 – 10 yrs)
Old / Traditional
Place of Worship
Cottage / Flatlet
Costs when buying a Home
Remember to make provision for the following costs :
1. Transfer Fees
These are the fees charged by the conveyancing attorney & includes 14% vat.
2. Bond Registration Fee
A charge by the bond attorney as nominated by the Bank and attracts 14% vat.
3. Transfer Duty
A once off property tax payable to the Receiver of Revenue
4. Valuation Fee
All financial institutions charge a valuation fee, which attracts 14% fee
5. Share of Rates
The buyer is liable for rates from the date of transfer or occupation/possession
depending on the sale agreement.
6. Stamp Duty
Charges by the Receiver of Revenue for stamps used on the Bond deeds.
7. Posts and Petties
Charges made by the conveyancing and bond attorneys, which also attract 14% vat.
Comprehensive Insurance covers all permanent improvements on the stand and the
bond value is insured on your life. Sufficient property overage is your duty.
9. Interim Interest
Interest due from the date of registration to the end of the month before the first
payment on the bond. Normally capitalized and redeemed over 20 years.
10. Electricity / Water Deposits
These items can be costly especially if the cost of telephone installation is also
included. Rates paid monthly can be added to the water/lights bill on request.
11. Curtain allowance, Stove etc
These items and others such as fencing for children, dogs, and pools add to overall
cost and must be allowed for.
12. Furniture Removal
Although rates vary widely it would be wise to make allowance for this sometimes
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of deposit is required to purchase a home ?
The payment of a deposit upon signature of the agreement is usually an indication of the purchaser’s serious intent. No amount or percentage is specified, but if bonding is required, the financial institution may require a minimum deposit of between 10 – 20% of the purchase price.
Can I buy a home with another person, if we are not married?
Yes, you can. Property will be registered in both applicants’ names, provided they have contractual powers etc.
What about credit? What if I had some problem in the past?
Your credit record is very important. However, Financial institutions treat each case on its merits and the client will normally be asked to justify or explain any diverse credit records and whether any amounts are still outstanding. The period lapsed since the last adverse information also plays a very important role.
What if I am self-employed?
Financial institutions are lending to self employed persons in the same manner as salaried employees. The difference comes in with confirmation of income and afford ability. The client will be requested to supply his audited Balance Sheets on the business, together with auditor’s proof of income.
How much deposit will I need?
This varies from client to client and depends what amount is being applied for. It is normally10% on an average home, but should the client apply for a package, i.e. Cheque account, credit card and home loan, then a 100% loan up to certain pre-determined amounts may be granted. This criteria varies from Bank to Bank.
I do not have any credit. Can I get a home loan?
Yes, you can. What happens to the deposit ? The deposit is paid into the trust account of the agent or the attorney. The purchaser should stipulate that the interest that accrues thereon must be for his account.
How is the balance of purchase price paid ?
The balance is usually paid in cash on registration of transfer and will be secured by delivery of acceptable guarantees within a specified time period. The guarantee is an undertaking by a recognized financial institution to pay a specified sum of money on the transfer of his property into the purchaser’s name. The guarantee system ensures that both parties are protected. It is desirable that the date on which a purchaser is obliged to furnish guarantees precedes the date of occupation.
Is it possible to inflate the purchase price to secure a higher bond?
This practice is regarded as fraudulent and carries the risk of prosecution.
When is transfer duty payable?
This sum is payable to the Receiver of Revenue, but is usually collected by the Conveyancers. Transfer duty is actually only required to be paid within a period of six months from the date of transaction, or on registration, whichever is sooner. On what date should occupation be given, and what is occupational rental Occupation should be agreed upon mutually. It will often occur, however that one of the parties is in occupation of the property whilst it is registered in the other’s name, thus requiring the occupier (who may be either buyer or seller) to pay a rental to the owner. Entitlement to such rent is not automatic and should be specified in the agreement of sale. The amount of the rental is usually agreed at the level commensurate with rentals available in the market.
What if a tenant has a lease that overlaps the transfer date?
Once a tenant has taken occupation of the property he acquires a real right thereto for the duration of the lease and will be protected by the “huur gaat voor koop” principle. The new landlord steps into the shoes of his predecessor who in turn is relieved of his obligations toward the tenant. Once the lease expires, the new owner may move into the property.
How do I make an offer on a home and negotiate with the seller?
You, as potential buyer, start the process by putting an offer, with price and terms, in writing and presenting it to the seller through your agent.
What price home can I afford?
The overall price is achieved from adding how much you can afford to borrow
to how much you have available for your deposit.
Your agent can help you translate your affordable monthly payment into a total
loan amount. Add this loan amount to your desired deposit and you get the
approximate range of home prices you can afford.
Should I shop for a Home Loan before, or after, I find a home to buy ?
It’s a good idea to let an agent help you look for financing before you find a home. The agent is in constant contact with their Mortgage Originator who will obtain the best possible rate and package for you, without any obligation whatsoever. This leaves you free to contact your own Bank manager, and Compare rates.
If you are actively house-hunting but have not found the right home yet, ask your agent to arrange for you to be “pre-qualified”. This may be done in a few minutes over the telephone with the Agency’s Mortgage Originator, Bond Choice. Knowing where you stand concerning how much money a financial institution will lend you (based on your income and credit rating) puts you in a good bargaining
position. Sellers faced with deciding between two buyers, one who is “pre-qualified” by a financial institution, may favour the offer of the buyer for whom getting a loan is
almost a sure thing. The Bank will require all your personal particulars including a copy of your identity document. Please see the section headed “National Credit Act Check List” for full
particulars and requirements. In terms of the new “Credit Act” the banks will qualify the person applying for a bond differently from in the past. The qualifying criteria will no longer simply be
a repayment of no more than 30% of the applicant’s gross monthly income, but will also require that the application has sufficient net surplus income in order to pay the monthly loan repayment.
The Seller has three basic options:
1. To accept your offer;
2. To counter offer on specific details; or
3. To reject your offer
Keep up the communication open until you arrive at the price you can pay and the price and terms the seller can accept. This is where an agent’s help is invaluable. The agent keeps the
negotiating process running smoothly. With knowledge of both your situation and the sellers plus a complete understanding of financing options, an agent can suggest strategies that bring about a satisfactory transaction.
Legal Aspects of Your Purchase
The Offer to Purchase is the document you sign which presents your price and terms to the seller. This purchase offer must be completed in full, because when the seller signs it, the document becomes the binding Sales Contract which contains the conditions of the sale. If you forget something in the offer, an Addendum to the contract will be drawn up, however the seller will have to agree to these changes before it is valid.
Terms and conditions of the contract vary depending on the situation. Following are typical matters you and a seller may negotiate and agree on:
• What items go with the home, such as chandeliers, curtains, appliances, swimming pool equipment etc?
• The sale price
• The amount of your deposit
• The amount of the home loan you intend to obtain
• The date of occupation. Be sure you and your seller have a clear agreement about the date of occupancy
• Any contingencies (agreed upon by you and the seller) which must be met before registration can take place, such as: home improvements (painting, roofing, etc), review of the contract by either or both buyer and seller’s attorney(s) and your ability to obtain a specified home loan within a stipulated time period
• Your signature, and that of the seller
Focus on First Time Buyers
HOW MUCH SHOULD I OFFER?
You have found a home you like, in a neighbourhood you feel comfortable in. You know the sale price is open to negotiation. How much should we offer?
First ask yourself how much this home is worth to you. The same house may be much more valuable to one person or family than to another.
For example, a big garden might be worth a great idea to someone who enjoys growing things, but might actually reduce the value for someone with little
interest or time for ‘gardening”.
Next consider these questions.
• What is the asking price?
• How long has it been for sale?
• Has the price already been reduced?
• What are the owner’s reasons for selling?
• Is the owner in a hurry to move?
• What were the sale prices of other neighbourhood home, and how did they compare in size and condition? Several Financial Institutions have special packages for First Time Home Buyers and it is wise to speak to your Estate Agent about this prior to viewing any properties. You may be pleasantly surprised at what is available to you. Remember only YOU can decide the price you’re willing to pay for a home.
PURCH ASE R’S PERSONAL DETAILS
Required By The Bank
Nationl Credit Act Check List for home loan applications. Income and Expenditure Statement
What to Expext
Once you have made the decision to rent a property, call your local Dormehl Property Group Residential Letting Agent. You will then be required to follow this process:
Complete the Application to Rent a Property. (copy enclosed)
Ensure that you have a copy of your ID document with you and bring at least
traceable personal and trade references along with relevant telephone and account numbers. This will allow the consultant to carry out the necessary
credit checks without any delays.
Bring a copy of your salary slip or a letter from your employer stating your monthly in come.
Once you have decided upon a property to rent, complete and sign the Lease Agreement.
Pay the deposit, first month’s rental and all other costs as outlined in the chapter “How Much?”
Collect keys from the letting consultant on the date of occupation stated in the lease agreement.
Letting Agent and lessee complete the inventory and defects list within 7 days of moving into the property.
Both lessor and lessee with receive a copy of the lease and the defects list.
If the property is administered by the agent, the lessee is to pay the rental to the letting agent on or before the 1st (first) of every month. However, if the property is administered by the lessor, the rental is paid directly to the lessor, or into the nominated bank account.
Service with a smile
Lessors have 2 options when requesting the assistance of a Real Estate company to tenant their property.
OPTION 1: ONCE-OFF FEE
RENTAL X PERIOD X 10%
Once-off Fee: In short, this option requires the company to procure a suitable tenant and draw up the lease.
For this fee the following services are provided:
Lessee completes the application form
Agent checks references
Agent sends a copy of the lease to both the Lessor and the Lessee
Lessee pays the deposit, first months rent and letting fees to Dormehl Property Group
Dormehl’s fee of 10% or 50% of the monthly rent, is deducted from the first months rent.
Dormehl or Lessor place the deposit into an interest bearing account in the Lessee’s name. This amount is returned once the premises have been inspected at the end of the lease period and found to be in good order.
Agent does a defects check together with the Lessee once the Lessee moves into the property - a copy of which is sent to both parties.
Any communication thereafter is handed between the Lessor and the Lessee. Two months prior to the Lease expiring Dormehl will contact the Lessor to ascertain whether he would like to continue letting the property, and the necessary action is taken by the letting agent.
Should the existing tenant wish to extend the Lease, the Dormehl letting agent attends
to the necessary addendum.
The next year’s letting fee on a once-off lease, payable by the Lessor will
then be RENTAL X PERIOD X 10% + VAT
OPTION 2: ADMINISTRATION FEE
RENTAL X PERIOD X 12%
Administration Fee: In short, this option requires the company to fulfill option one, and to attend to the on going administration of the property during the currency of the lease. These services are explained in more detail below:
Lessee completes the application form
Agent checks credit and personal references
Lessee completes lease agreement
Lessee pays his deposit, first months rental, and letting fees
Agent ensures monthly rental is collected and deposited into Lessor’s account after deducting our monthly fee
Agent places deposit into an interest bearing account in Lessee’s name, this amount is only returned once the premises have been checked at the end of the lease period and found to be in good order, after taking into account the defects list.
Agents does a defects check one the Lessee moves into the property - a copy of which is sent to both Lessor and the Lessee
Should the Lessee have any problems they contact Dormehl Property Group directly who will then immediately take action by contacting the Lessor who then gives the necessary permission to carry out the Lessee’s request. If the Lessor is unavailable and the problem is an emergency, such as a burst geyser, Dormehl Property Group will attend to the problem immediately. Any costs are for the Lessor’s Account.
Questions and Answers
Do's and Dont's
Don’t agree to anything verbally. Everything must be in writing. Only that which is in writing is regarded as relevant.
Don’t sub-let the property. This is a contravention of Clause 2.2 of the Dormehl Property Group Residential Lease Agreement., and could cause problems at a later state. Contact your letting agent immediately should you with to sub-let the property.
Don’t pay any monies to the letting agent unless they give you some form of receipt (especially when paying the deposit).
Don’t sign the Lease Agreement until you fully understand the clauses contained therein.
Don’t make any alterations to the property with getting written permission from the landlord first.
Don’t sign the lease agreement without first ascertaining exactly what is included in the monthly rental.
Don’t extend the lease with the landlord privately on a month-to-month basis. This is not only in contravention of the Lease Agreement, but is also very risky for the lease as no written agreement exists between the parties, making the lessee very vulnerable.
Do make sure that the monthly rental is paid on or before the 1st day of every month. it is advisable to have a debit order facility arranged with your bank to pay the monthly rental.
Do reed through the Dormehl Property Group Residential Lease Agreement carefully and ask the letting agent to explain any clauses which you may not fully understand.
do request a breakdown of all the costs to be paid before occupation, including: deposit, electricity deposit, lease fee and first months rent in advance.
It is vital that you complete the defects list and return it to Dormehl Property Group within 6 (six) days of occupation. If this is not completed, you may be liable for all defects/damage, irrespective of whether you were responsible.
Do check with the letting agent exactly what the monthly rental includes, for example: lights and water, garden service, parking etc.
Do ascertain whether there is parking/garages available when renting flats and townhouses and find out which bays belong to your apartment.
Do ensure that you obtain a copy of the Rules & regulations of the complex from the Body Corporate so that you are familiar with them.
Do ensure that the letting agent arranges an interview with the Chairman of the Body Corporate should you be renting a Share Block apartment. This is a compulsory rule with Share Block apartments.
Do make sure you have all they keys to the doors (internal and external) when doing your defects list.
Do check that any appliances (air conditioners, stoves, etc are in working order before completing the defects list.
Do have identity documents, recent traceable references and confirmation of salary with you when you sign the lease.