How to make an offer on a home

How to make an offer on a home

01 Mar 2021

Go from homebuyer to homeowner with an Offer to Purchase (OTP) that gets you the deal on your dream home. Remember that an OTP is legally binding, so only offer what you can afford. Make sure everything else is in order and soon you'll be holding the keys to your new home. Here's how to make sure your OTP is successful.

Find a place to call home

Do your homework during your house-hunt and find a place you can happily call home. Take your time, and view it more than once, to make sure it's the place for you, and to give yourself and your loved ones a chance at a better life. Some of the most important questions to think about, include:

  • Is the location right for your lifestyle?
  • Is the property in good condition - physical structure sound, with no obvious defects?
  • Does it offer the space and accommodation you need?
  • Is there enough parking?
  • If it's a sectional title property, is the complex neat and well-maintained, and is everything in working order?
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Can you live with the levels of noise in and around the property?
  • What is happening in the surrounding area - is it rundown or being developed?
  • Is crime under control in the neighbourhood?

Get a professional to draw up an OTP

Ask an attorney or an experienced estate agent to draw up an OTP for you, instead of downloading one from the internet. Your OTP should be tailored to the property you're buying to make sure it covers all the important aspects of the sale. Do not rely on a generic document that might leave out essentials that could cost you time and money later.

Read it with care

Make sure that the following are included and correct on the OTP before you sign anything:

  • Your details.
  • Seller's details.
  • Description of the property as it appears on the Title Deed.
  • Purchase price that you are offering.
  • Occupation date.
  • Fixtures (permanently attached, e.g. ceiling fans) vs chattels (not attached, e.g. appliances).
  • Full list of defects.
  • Special conditions, if any.

Agree the purchase price

It is generally accepted that you don't offer the full purchase price. However, don't submit an offer that's so low that it offends the seller and causes you to lose the chance of owning your dream home. Offer what you can afford, but make sure it's a reasonable amount that will appeal to the seller while also saving you money by being lower than the asking price. Strengthen your case by providing a reasonable explanation and motivating why you're proposing that amount. Stay calm, don't take things personally, remain considerate and respectful towards the seller, and always negotiate in good faith.

Sign on the dotted line!

Once everything has been checked and agreed, all that remains is for you and the seller to sign. An OTP is a legal document, so once you've both signed, it's a binding agreement. Assuming your bond gets approved, an OTP constitutes a Deed of Sale so there could be financial penalties if you pull out. But you've come this far, so keep looking ahead and move forward with confidence. You can now do your bond application. Next, stop homeownership!

There's never been a better Time to Bond

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