Buying a house privately in South Africa

If you intend on buying a house on your own without the assistance of a real estate agent, it is extremely important that you have a good understanding of the process carried out in the South African property market. However, we would like to advise that you make sure that all of the legal aspects of the process are handled by competent legal practitioners, as there is the potential for severe legal repercussions if they are not done correctly.

Can I Buy A House Without An Agent In South Africa?

It is important to note that the Consumer Protection Act does not apply to the sale of privately owned homes. Before you go up to a property, you need to make sure that you have checked the prices. It is of the utmost importance to look over the Offer to Purchase in great detail in order to check for any errors that may have been included.

people holding miniature wooden house, buying a house
Photo by Kindel Media on

Can Houses Be Sold Privately in South Africa?

If you list your home privately, you won’t have to deal with any hassle, and you won’t have to rush to sell it either. It is possible to save money on transaction fees, such as those charged by real estate agents, if you choose to sell your home privately rather than on the open market. Nevertheless, going at it by yourself might not be the wisest choice if care is not taken. Here are some things to remember.

Step 1: Research prices before buying a house

A seller might raise the price of their home in order to profit from the buyer’s lack of knowledge. You could find out how much other houses in the neighborhood are selling for by doing some research into the housing market in the area. It is up to you to make sure that the offer to purchase doesn’t have any loopholes in it. Before you sign it, you have the option of having it reviewed by a legal professional.

Step 2: Negotiate the price.

There is no reason to avoid negotiating when purchasing real estate. In fact, it is usually an essential component of the process.

Price negotiations will be largely determined by three factors:

  • How long has the house been on the market
  • How quickly the seller wishes to sell
  • and the level of interest shown by prospective buyers in the property depends on how quickly the seller wishes to sell.

As a buyer, on the other hand, you must stick to your budget and reject a house if the seller is reluctant to reduce the price to something you can reasonably afford.

It is important to keep in mind that the seller will avoid paying thousands of Rand in real estate agent fees if they sell their property privately. As a result, there is significantly more room for negotiation in a private sale, and it is possible to find a price that is lower than the property’s true market value. If the seller has strict criteria for the conditions of the sale and you are able to meet those requirements, they may be more inclined to negotiate a lower price with you.

After you have settled on a price and a date for the sale, you will sign an Offer to Purchase/Sale Agreement that lays out all of the details of the Offer to Purchase. At this point, you may begin the process of arranging your new home loan.

Step 3: Conduct an extensive and thorough inspection.

Employing an inspector to inspect every cable, pipe, and puddle can help you prevent unpleasant surprises in the future. The majority of the time, you will be purchasing the property voetstoots, which is a word that derives from Roman-Dutch law and literally means “testing something by pushing it with one’s foot.” In most circumstances, you will be doing this.

It gives the impression that when you purchase anything, what you see is what you get, and it is your obligation to give it a kick with your foot in order to test it if that is what you need to do in order to determine whether or not it is any good. Homebuyers will understandably be worried about the possibility of “latent problems” as a result of the Voetstoots decision, which clearly has substantial ramifications.

This term refers to issues with the house that are not immediately obvious, such as a leaky roof, a broken water pipe, or maybe increasing dampness, all of which won’t be seen if you purchase the house in the summer. In accordance with the voetstoots clause, in the event that you uncover any

Be sure to find out the following:

  • the age of the property
  • how long the seller has owned it
  • why the house is being put up for sale
  • how much community fees are (if applicable)
  • the statutes and laws of the homeowner’s community (if applicable)
  • the location of and distance to nearby services
  • evidence of planning permission for any alterations/extensions, etc.
  • which furniture or fittings will be sold with the house (though remember, you are buying a house, so don’t be swayed by fancy extras)

See our 13 steps to buying a house in South Africa


SA. (n.d.). How To Buy Property Privately In South Africa? – Greater Good SA: How To Buy Property Privately In South Africa? – Greater Good SA. Retrieved October 23, 2022, from

ooba: What you need to know about buying a house directly from the owner. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2022, from

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