Steps to take after you sign an offer to purchase your dream home
Prospective home buyers get a lot of advice about how to choose the right home and the right home-loan, and how to make a successful offer to purchase, but not enough about what happens next.
So says Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet estate agency group, who notes: “Even when your offer has been accepted and the bank has approved your loan, there are still several other important stages of the transaction to get through before you can settle into your dream home and invite your friends around for a tour, and it really helps to have a professional agent guiding you through the process.”
These stages include:
- Getting your finances in order.
“So you may need to transfer funds from a savings account or liquidate another investment or wait for an inheritance to be paid out before you can proceed, and a reputable estate agent will ensure that your sale agreement gives you a reasonable amount of time to do this, without infringing on the rights of the home seller,” he says.
- • Obtaining additional insurance
“Many banks will also insist that you take out credit life insurance (bond cover) to the value of the outstanding home-loan balance. This is a good idea anyway because it means that your family will be able to pay off the bond and continue to live in the home even if something happens and you pass away. Some of these policies also cover several months of bond repayments should you be retrenched from your job.”
- • Coping with any other contingencies.
“If you need to sell an existing property, for example, you should ensure that it is listed immediately and be prepared to accommodate viewings by prospective buyers.”
- • Responding to requests.
“Long delays or failure to respond can result in the sale being cancelled and you having to forfeit any deposit paid. However, a professional agent will be able to give you a schedule of all the deadlines to be met (by you and the seller), and the estimated time that each part of the process should take,” says Kotzé.
“In fact, the involvement of a reputable, knowledgeable estate agent benefits the home buyer as much as the home seller – and is an increasingly important factor in purchase decisions, especially among first-time buyers.”