Can I cancel an offer to purchase a house in South Africa

Can I cancel an offer to purchase a house in South Africa

Yes, cancelling a property purchase offer is possible, but it will be exceedingly costly.

Offers to purchase are legally binding documents and must be taken seriously. If you opt to cancel your offer to purchase, keep note of the following.

  • The seller may seek compensation.
  • You, will most likely lose your deposit
  • You will still be responsible for the agent’s commission as the buyer.
  • If the transfer process has already started on the property, the attorney in charge may seek reimbursement from you as a buyer.

Before you sign the agreement to purchase, you must be completely convinced that you want the property and that you can afford it.

Valid reasons to cancel your offer to purchase when buying a house

There are, however, several circumstances in which the document can be cancelled without incurring the high penalties that would otherwise apply.

When there is a breach of contract

If the seller fails to satisfy a suspensive condition on purpose, it is a breach of contract, and so is refusing to proceed with the sale without legal justification or breaching any other terms and conditions in the contract.

When buying a house priced under R250,000

The only time a buyer can cancel an offer to purchase, regardless of suspensive conditions or other stipulations, is if the offer is for a residence priced less than R250,000 and written notification is delivered to the seller within five days of signing.

72-hour clause

The offer to purchase may contain terms that allow it to be cancelled if specific circumstances are met. The seller may include a clause known as the “72-hour clause,” which states that they may accept another offer for the house if they tell the buyer and give them 72 hours to satisfy the terms of the offer to purchase.

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