Notes/instructions

Our aim is to provide you with a straight-forward, yet comprehensive, professional document that is also relevant to your needs. Being a ‘standard’ agreement doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be reliable and suitable for your circumstances.

This is why we give you the option to: download a blank document and fill in the blanks later. 

We have a FAQ area where we try to answer the most common questions you might have.

FAQ

Who/what is offertopurchase.co.za?

We are lawyers who run our own practice in Cape Town. While we see clients and do our legal work like any other lawyers, we also believe that offering legal services online is becoming more common and, in the future, will be required by the ‘web generation’. As more legal services are offered online, the cost of those services will decrease. But this doesn’t mean that the standard of service also has to decline. We hope you find our agreements professional and useful. Feel free to contact us via the ‘contact us’ button with any questions, feedback or suggestions.

Who drafts the agreement on your site?

We do. As qualified and practicing lawyers, we believe we are best suited to do so. This mean that the “buck stops with us”.

Are the agreements drafted by professional lawyers?

Yes, they are. We take into account relevant law and our agreements are drafted with all the legal and commercial aspects in mind.

Do I have to register?

No, you may simply download our agreements (or pay and download, as required).

Are my details/information provided for an agreement, saved?

Yes, you will receive a reference number when you pay or download a document. We are able to access your document with this number. Your information remains confidential and will not be publicised or disseminated at all unless under a valid order of court. We do not provide information to anyone for marketing purposes nor do we engage in the practice of direct marketing to the public at all.

Are these documents legally binding?

Yes, they are. We take into account relevant law and our agreements are drafted with all the legal, commercial aspects in mind. BUT PLEASE NOTE: if you make changes to an agreement after it has been downloaded from our sites, these changes could affect the validity of the agreement. Or if you don’t complete the document in full, this could also affect the validity of the agreement.

How do I communicate with you?

You may use the ‘contact us’ button.

Can I talk to someone?

Yes, if you have a problem with an agreement. Send us an email via the ‘contact us’ button with your problem and your contact details. But, we are not a hotline or phone service; this means that we are not going to deal with queries of a legal nature. This is why one goes to a lawyer and if you need legal advice, then you should contact a lawyer.

What happens if I have made a mistake when completing the agreement?

If you have not completed the document yet, you can go back to wherever you made the mistake and correct it. If you have already downloaded the document, it is best that you download another document with the correct information. This will mean that you will have to start again and fill in all the information from the start (because you don’t register on our sites, you will not have any login details with which to recall your previous agreement).

Can I change a document after it has been delivered to me?

Yes and no. No, in the sense that the document you receive cannot be changed by us. Practically speaking, any document that has a mistake can be corrected by crossing out the incorrect information, writing in the correct wording and having both parties to the agreement sign next to the deletion/changes. But, if this is not done clearly and properly, it can affect the validity of the agreement.

What happens if I need help?

You are welcome to contact us via the ‘contact us’ button.

What is the difference between an offer to purchase and a deed of sale?

An offer to purchase is an offer. In other words, it is usually an agreement (or deed) of sale signed by a purchaser only, setting out the terms proposed by the purchaser, and giving the seller a certain time in which to accept the offer. If the seller accepts (by signing the agreement), then the document automatically becomes a deed of sale. If the seller doesn’t, then the offer simply lapses at the end of the offer period.

What is the difference between the date of occupation and the date of transfer?

The date of occupation is the date you move into the property. Usually, it will be at the beginning of a month, but it can be any date agreed upon by the parties. The date of transfer is the date that the property is actually transferred out of the name of the seller into the name of the purchaser. This happens in the deeds office and is the responsibility of the conveyancers (property lawyers) for both parties. Sometimes there are delays in the transfer/conveyancing process so while the purchaser may move into the property purchased on 1 May, the transfer date will be 10 May.

What is occupational rent/interest?

This is an amount that is paid by either the purchaser to the seller or vice-versa, when the date of occupation (the purchaser moving into the property) and the date of transfer (the property being transferred from the name of the seller into the name of the purchaser) are different. For example, if the purchaser moves into the property on 1 January but only takes ownership of it on 7 January, then he effectively ‘rents’ the property from the seller for 6 days and pays the seller occupational rent. This may also happen the other way around, where the purchaser takes ownership of the property in his name on 20 May, but the seller only moves out of the property on 31 May. In this case, the seller ‘rents’ the property from the purchaser for 11 days and will have to pay occupational rent to the purchaser. The actual amount of occupational interest will be agreed upon in the deed of sale.

When do I receive my contract?

You should receive it instantaneously or within a few minutes of pressing the download button.

In what form do I receive my contract?

In a pdf format.

What is a sectional title unit? Why is this important?

This is a house or flat that forms part of a larger development, for example, a block of 120 flats or a fenced-in area of 80 homes that share one entry and exit, security and maintenance costs. The actual flat or house is owned by the owner, but the walkways, garden areas and roads within the development are shared or ‘common’ areas that belong to the body corporate (the body elected by the owners to manage the block of flats or development) who maintain them for the benefit of everybody. Garages or parking bays can be owned or allocated as “exclusive use areas” meaning that that they form part of the common property but that an individual has the exclusive right to use them. A sectional title unit means that there are body corporate levies (a monthly amount that represents each owner’s share of the monthly cost of running the development), there may be a special levy (additional amount payable by all owners for unusual items), the developer may still have the right to build more units in the development, and there are body corporate rules. All these items should be covered in the deed of sale or offer to purchase agreement.

What is the significance of one of the parties being married in community of property?

Being married in community of property is like being in a partnership; the assets and liabilities of a couple are combined. This means that when one person does something that has a significant impact on both of their estates, like buying or selling their home, that person’s partner has to agree. That agreement must be formally noted on the deed of sale.

What is the significance of VAT (value added tax)?

Generally speaking, between individuals who are buying and selling a property, VAT is not applicable (transfer duty is paid by the purchaser). Where one of the parties is registered for VAT (as part of their business, for example, a developer), then that party has to charge VAT on the price of the property. So it is usual for a developer to sell units in a development with no transfer duty; this is because VAT is built into the price. Or, where one company (VAT-registered) sells property to another company (VAT-registered or not), VAT will be charged on the purchase price of the property. The tax consequences of a property transaction are important and, if you are unsure, you should seek advice from a tax professional.

How do I pay?

You pay by credit card using the platform on our website run by PayFast.co.za

My credit card isn’t going through or I don’t have a credit card; what should I do?

You may contact us using our ‘contact us’ button and state your problem. Sometimes, technology fails and you may have to try again a bit later. On request, we can provide you with banking details to which you can make an EFT.

How much do these types of agreements usually cost if I go to a lawyer?

Anywhere from R1’000 to R10’000 (as an estimate). Lawyers charge by the hour and it depends which lawyer you see and how long they take on your document. A junior lawyer in a small firm or working for him/herself may charge R500 per hour, whereas an experienced lawyer at a large firm may charge R3’000 per hour or more (as an example). An experienced lawyer using his/her precedent agreements, may take 60mins on your matter and charge you for one hour (30mins for the drafting and 30mins for taking your instructions), whereas a junior lawyer may take 1 hour of instructions and 2 hours to draft.

What is ‘transfer duty’?

This is a ‘tax’ that is paid on the purchase price of a property to the Receiver of Revenue. It is paid by the purchaser and must be paid within 6 months of the sale. The conveyancers responsible for the transfer calculate the amount and arrange for it to be paid on the transfer date. On a purchase price of R750’000.00 or less, there is no transfer duty. Above R750’000.00, transfer duty is paid on a sliding scale.

What are the typical costs of buying a property?

The purchase price – this usually includes a deposit paid within a short period after signature of the deed of sale, and the balance is paid to the conveyancers or a bank guarantee for the balance is organised by the purchaser;

Transfer duty – payableby the purchaser on the purchase price (if its higher than R600’000.00);

Conveyancing costs – these are the costs of the conveyancer (property lawyer) doing the transfer of the property. These costs are set by a tariff and are payable upfront, i.e. before the date of transfer;

Bond registration costs – if you are getting a bond to buy the property, you will have to have it ‘registered’ on the title deed (the document that shows who is the owner of a property) of the property when the property is transferred into your name. These costs are the costs of the lawyer doing the bond registration and are set by a tariff;

Occupational interest or rent – where the purchaser moves into the property before they take transfer into their name. The amount is agreed upon in the deed of sale;

Other charges/fees – these will include deeds office fees, FICA costs, certificates arranged by the conveyancers and rates or taxes that may have been paid in advance by the seller and where you take ownership of the property during the period for which those rates or taxes were paid, the seller is entitled to recover from you your share of those. All these costs should be calculated by the conveyancers and they should put these on their account to you.

What are the typical costs of selling a property?

Estate agents commission – this is the commission paid to an estate agent for arranging a buyer;

Bond cancellation costs – if you have a bond registered over your property, then this will have to be cancelled and the lawyers responsible for this will charge a tariff-based fee;

Certificates: beetle, electricity, plumbing and gas – depending on the nature of your property and where it is, you may be required to produce certain certificates that show that your property complies with certain standards. Your conveyancing lawyer will advise you on what is required;

Rates and taxes – you may be required to pay in advance certain rates and taxes. The conveyancer will advise you on this.

What are ‘conditions’?

These are certain events or items that have to happen before a sale becomes valid or “unconditional”. For example, the purchaser may need to sell their own home before they can buy another, or they may need to get approval for a bond before they are able to afford to pay for a new home.

What areas make up the ‘city of Cape Town’?

The following areas fall within the municipality of Cape Town: Athlone, Atlantis, Belhar, Bellville, Blackheath, Blouberg, Blue Downs, Brackenfell, Cape Point, Cape Town, Delft, Durbanville, Elsies Rivier, Fish Hoek, Goodwood, Gordons Bay, Grassy Park, Guguletu, Hout Bay, Khayelitsha, Kommetjie, Kraaifontein, Kuils River, Langa, Macassar, Matroosfontein, Melkbosstrand, Milnerton, Mitchells Plain, Muizenberg, Noordhoek, Nyanga, Parow, Philadelphia, Philippi, Robben Island, Scarborough, Simon's Town, Sir Lowry's Pass, Somerset West, Southern Suburbs, and Strand. 

The title deed of your property will say ‘city of Cape Town’ on it. 

Areas or municipalities that do not form part of the City of Cape Town are: Swartland, West Coast, Drakenstein, Cape Winelands, Stellenbosch, Theewaterskloof, Overberg and Overstrand.