Whenever you buy or sell a house you will encounter the sale agreement, which is also called an “offer to purchase”. This is a contract between a buyer and seller and covers the terms and conditions governing the sale of the property. Buying or selling a house can be stressful and sometimes confusing, however, the sale agreement doesn’t have to be.
An agreement of sale is a written agreement signed by both the buyer and the seller (and also by the seller’s spouse if he’s married or subject to the laws of a foreign country), whereas an offer to purchase may be either oral or written. If it’s in writing and signed by the buyer and accepted by the seller, an offer to purchase constitutes a binding agreement of sale, whereas an oral offer isn’t binding.
What should a sale agreement include?
These are a few things a sale agreement should include:
- The names, identity numbers and marital status of all the parties.
- The buyer’s address.
- Description and size of the property as detailed in your deed of transfer.
- The selling price and whether a deposit will be payable. If so, the deposit money will be held in the trust account by the transferring attorney.
- A provision that the buyer pays all transfer and bond costs.
- The name of the attorney handling the transfer.
- The date of taking possession and occupation.
- The provision that the buyer is responsible for all taxes and other municipal charges from the day of taking possession.
Who is responsible for the sale agreement?
The agreement, or contract, is usually an offer by the interested buyer. The buyer presents the offer to the owner of the property, who will accept it by signing it. This forms a binding contract. It is necessary to always consult a property lawyer who can assist you in a sale agreement.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)
Anderson, AM. Dodd, A. Roos, MC. 2012. “Everyone’s Guide to South African Law. Third Edition”. Zebra Press.