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Once a buyer has their heart set on a home to purchase, they will need to sign an offer to purchase with the seller and complete the mortgage application.

To do this, says Buyisile Maseko of FNB Home Finance, buyers must have the following documents on hand:

  • Proof of income.
  • A South African bar-coded or smart card identification document.
  • Copy of offer to purchase.
  • Proof of current residential address (municipal account, Telkom account or valid TV licence).
  • Salary earners: most recent salary slip or bank statement for the past three months, a letter from your employer which will be followed by telephonic confirmation with your employer.

Once the bank has received all the relevant documentation, the approval process begins. “The bank will need to make a valuation of the property to ensure it is of value and that the bank is willing to finance it. The mortgage approval process can be efficient only if all the correct documents are provided.”

He says a buyer’s real estate agent will also assist you to complete the officer to purchase, which makes the offer formal.

“It includes an offer price, closing date and financing information.” Once approved, the bank instructs the bond attorney to begin registering the bond.

“The seller will advise the transferring attorney to transfer the property. Title deeds and cancellation figures are requested from the bank currently holding the mortgage.

“Once the transfer attorney has received the title deed and cancellation figures, the buyer and the seller sign the transfer documents. The buyer pays the transfer costs. The bond attorney prepares the bond documents and the buyer signs these documents and pays the costs. The bond attorney lodges the documents at the deeds office. The deeds office receives the documentation and checks it before registration.”

Maseko says this process can take about three months from the date of approval.

He says: “Before a home loan can be granted, your financial position and credit record will be checked. The bank will pay out the loan on the day of registration. Once the legal documents are signed, the transfer fees and the seller of the property paid, the sale is done.”

It is then imperative that owners make their bond payments on time and do not miss a single monthly repayment as the interest owing on the loan will increase and you’ll end up paying more than necessary.

“Debit orders are a good way of preventing late payments. If you have trouble making payments, inform the bank as soon as possible.

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