"Get every point agreed on in writing and make sure the other party has signed it."
For a property contract to be legally binding, it always has to be in writing and signed by both parties, stresses Rowan Alexander, director of Alexander Swart Property.
While this is generally accepted and understood by most people involved in a property deal, disputes do occur, often as a result of a verbal agreement not being put into writing.
As an example, Alexander says a seller may have agreed that water storage tanks will be included in the deal, but then removes a tank. “A seller may have agreed to leave behind his Jacuzzi, but did not mention, or was unaware, that it was not working.”
Even when all fittings and fixtures have been listed and form part of the property sale signed by both parties, imprecise or insufficiently detailed wording can lead to misunderstandings.
Alexander says: “Get every point agreed on in writing and make sure the other party has signed it. Ensure that what you discussed, possibly without much thought, is included in the written sale document.”