Answer to a question from a reader

What is the correct way to sell an RDP house?

The short answer

Buying and selling a house is complicated. Here are the steps that need to be followed.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

We want to buy an RDP house that the owner has the title deed for and has lived in for over eight years. What steps should we take to ensure that everything goes smoothly and according to law?

The long answer

If you intend to apply for a home loan, you need to find out if you qualify for a home loan from your bank, and how much you qualify for. If you have a credit score of 600 and upwards, your chances of getting a home loan are good.

You need to find out about costs like rates, water and electricity and insurance payments, and once-off costs like the legal conveyancer who must transfer the deeds into your name at the Deeds Office. Although you as the buyer will pay for the conveyancer, you and the seller can agree on a conveyancer. 

You will need to see the title deeds – ask for a copy – and any requirements by the municipality. An RDP house can only be sold with the written permission of the municipality.

You then make an offer for the house to the seller.  This is called an offer to purchase. If the seller agrees to the price, you should agree on when you will move in. If no such agreement is made, the seller will have the right to stay in the house until the title deeds have been transferred into your name and the sale price has been paid. 

The agreement about when you will move in and the offer to purchase must be put into writing and signed by both parties. This is a legal document known as the sale agreement. 

Both your names and IDs as well as the price and agreement about when you will move into the house must be in the sale agreement. If there is any problem with either of your IDs, this must be sorted out speedily as it could bring the whole process to a halt. 

Any later changes to the terms and conditions must be agreed to by both parties and signed.

You will need a lawyer, called a conveyancing attorney, to transfer the title deed into your name. The conveyancing attorney sees to it that the title deed is signed into your name by the Registrar of Deeds and files a copy in the Deeds Office. The conveyancing attorney will charge a fee, which can be as much as R7,680, for all the paperwork that must be done to transfer the title deeds to you. It may be worth asking the municipal office if they can assist you to get it done more economically. They may also have the names of conveyancing attorneys that you can contact.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Feb. 18, 2021, 11:40 a.m.

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Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.