You ask, we answer!

This week we are focusing on some frequently asked questions by first time buyers.

  1. Should I inspect every inch of a home before deciding to make an offer?

It is not always an easy task to know what to look out for when viewing homes and also not feasible to test every window or cupboard. Buyers can, at their own cost, arrange a comprehensive inspection by a company who specializes in this.

  1. Do I need to speak to my bank before viewing homes?

As agents, we prefer to work with pre-qualified home buyers. We usually recommend buyers to contact a bond originator (one of the largest companies is Ooba) who will be able to assist you with the whole process (pre-qualification, applying for a bond, negotiating the best rates etc). The bond originator will go to the banks (not just your own) and apply on your behalf. As you get offers from the banks they will be able negotiate the best possible rates.

So the short answer is yes, know where you stand financially.

  1. What are the main costs I need to be aware of?

Transfer costs, Transfer duty and bond registration costs are some of the main costs that buyers need to be aware of as this is payable before the property is registered in your name.

Bond registration costs are required only if you are taking out a bond. These fees are paid to the bond registration attorneys who are usually appointed by the bank who granted the loan.

Transfer costs are the fees charged by the transferring attorneys, usually chosen by the seller. Sometimes when you are purchasing in a new development, these fees are already included in the asking price.

Transfer duty is the amount paid over to SARS. Usually when purchasing in a new development, the developer will be registered for VAT, which means no transfer duty is applicable. Only the one or the other is paid.

If you have any questions regarding real estate, please send an email to and we will get it answered.


Nicole Viljoen

Sotheby’s Realty

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