Professional expertise and efficient, friendly service

Cathy and I were most impressed with the SA HomeBuyers’ professional expertise and efficient, friendly service in finding us the right property at the right market value and in the ideal location in the conclusion of our dream move to South Africa in September last year.

Marco, you were so, so helpful in establishing our requirements for setting up home in South Africa and in steering us in the right direction into the southern suburbs of Cape Town and in particular to Tokai where we have settled in so well, allowing us to now enjoy our new life out here so much more. You took our wishes in hand and turned them into reality, assisting us throughout the whole buying process and beyond, with advice on builders etc. We can’t thank you enough for all that you achieved for us in such a short space of time – it was a whirlwind experience for us but with the the best possible outcome.

We still have the bottle of wine that you gave us when we moved in last December 1st and having taken your advice to leave it for about a year, we think it is about time it was opened and shared with you. So, if you have the time to spare and are in the area, please give us a call and arrange to pop round and see our ‘new’ home.

Kind regards,
Tom & Cathy McLeod.

The South African property market shows moderate improvement

Property market South AfricaThe South African residential property market showed a mild improvement and small increase in demand in August 2011 according to the FNB Estate Agent Survey.

The percentage of sellers having to drop their asking price to finalize the sale increased still further from 87 percent in Q2 2011 to 91 percent in Q3 2011.

The third quarter report confirmed that there was slightly better residential property demand. However, the agents did not indicate an improvement in the balance of demand relative to supply, which would suggest that property price growth is set to remain stagnant.

John Loos, FNB Home Loans property strategist say the property industry remains tense. At least 23 percent of estate agents cited economic burden and general pessimism as key factors influencing their near term expectations.

“We believe that while the estate agent survey demand is mildly encouraging, not too much should be read into it yet,” says Loos. Loos explains that the report also indicates a drop in the percentage of sellers selling their homes in order to downscale due to the financial situation.

Cape Town in 2011 is clearly a buyer’s market. Loos says the average time that a property remains on the market before being sold rose from 15 weeks and 1 day in Q2 to 17 weeks and 1 day in Q3 2011. The percentage of house owners having to decrease their asking price to finalize the sale rose still further from 87 percent in Q2 2011 to 91 percent in Q3 2011 and the average percentage drop increased from 11 percent in the previous quarter to 13 percent in the third quarter.

“We believe the financial pressure-related reason for selling is a strong source of support for the rental market.” He says a significant portion of these previous home owners probably move into the rental market for the time being as opposed to buying a cheaper home instantly. Estate agents taking part in the survey reported that 46 percent of sellers would be renting after the sale and 54 percent would buy again instantly.

The survey also demonstrates that another cause for selling is selling in order to upgrade. The percentage of sellers in this category declined from 16 percent in Q2 2011 to 15 percent in Q3 2011. The percentage of sellers selling in order to relocate elsewhere in South Africa remained unchanged at 7 percent, lower than the 8 percent from mid-2010 to early-2011.

The group of sellers dominating the residential property market is those selling to downscale to accommodate life stage. This group as a percentage of total sellers has increased to 23 percent, the highest percentage since the beginning of 2008. Estate agents reported a renewed increase in the number of serious viewers during show houses from 13.57 buyers to 15.05 buyers in the third quarter.

Demand appears to stay weak relative to supply, with the average time on the market having risen in the third quarter. Loos [explains|says] that one of the most [worrying|concerning] trends continues to be the estimated average time that a property is on the market prior to [being sold|changing owners].

“The average time has become more volatile from quarter to quarter since the market thinned during the 2008 recession.”

Consumer protection act – does it affect property sale in South Africa?

Cape Town property sale - Hout Bay real estateThe long awaited Consumer Protection Act (CPA) came into effect in South Africa on 1 April 2011. Fundamentally changing the way business is conducted in South Africa, the law regulates the way products and services are marketed and makes South Africa among the most consumer-protected countries in the world.

We have explored the most important changes relating to Real Estate property transactions below:

Most importantly the Consumer Protection Act grants consumers the right to cancel certain contracts within a “Cooling-off” period of five business days.

Secondly, the Act modifies the way the voetstoots clause is applied in Real Estate contracts.

The third is about changes with regard to the letting of property.

1) Cooling-off period
If it comes to a property purchase because of direct marketing efforts, the real estate buyer has the right to cancel the sale within 5 business days. This law is commonly known as the cooling off period.

Keep in mind this only applies to property sales due to direct marketing and not purchases due to marketing through show houses or traditional print ads. Nor does it apply to any property purchase made by a client that the estate agent is already working with. Such deals generated by mentioned forms of marketing do not fall within the scope of the Consumer Protection Act.

There is some good news with regard to whats considered the start of the “cooling-off” period. The date of delivery of the goods is the official start of the “cooling-off period”. In property terms this means the date of transfer of the House or flat into the buyers name, not the date of signature of the contract. In actual fact the buyer has 3 to 6 months to develop second thoughts. Of course a cancellation after several months can be complicated for all the parties involved. Also keep in mind that this is a yet untested law. It remains to be seen how it will be interpreted by the courts.

The “cooling-off” period only kicks in when the property purchase price is less than R250 000. This clause is covered in South African Property Law, in terms of Section 29a of the Alienation of Land Act. This provision is not effected by the new Act and will stay in place.

2) “Voestoots” clause
“Voetstoots” is an Afrikaans term derived from Roman Dutch Law. It literally means “as is”. Prior to the introduction of the Consumer Protection Act, all property was sold “as is”. Luckily for the buyer, the Consumer Protection Act modifies this.

Since 1 April 2011, developers, speculators, and investors owning real estate portfolios who sell real estate in their ordinary course of business, can now be held liable for defects.

An ordinary once-off sale does not fall within the scope of the Consumer Protection Act. Once-off sellers may continue to rely on the protection of the “voetstoots” clause.

For more information how the Consumer Protection Act affects lease agreements click the link provided.


Have your own legal representation

Two people enter into a contract – one wants to buy the other’s business.

The seller has a consultant who found the buyer and obviously acts in his best interest.
The buyer is acting alone.

  • The seller’s consultant presents the buyer with a pre printed purchase agreement. This agreement has been checked by the consultant’s attorneys and has been used by him in hundreds of sales he has previously done.Should the buyer simply agree to use it?
  • Although not a trained lawyer, the consultant says he will explain the purchase agreement to the buyer there and then.Should the buyer simply believe him?
  • In the purchase agreement an attorney is specified, this attorney will act for the seller, explains the consultant, but you will pay the bill.Should the buyer agree to this?
  • “Voetstoots”, explains the consultant means ‘sold as seen’ .Should the buyer be expected to agree to this?
  • “No there is no cooling off period” – says the consultant.Is it fair to expect the buyer to agree to this?
  • “Of course this is legally binding” – explains the consultant.Does the buyer agree there and then?
  • “…and that part would cover any extra clauses you may want to specify” – explains the consultant. Could you give me an example asks the buyer. Nope, replies the consultant.
  • So next you’ll sign here, says the consultant.Would you as buyer sign this?

If the buyer does sign, he was not properly represented and has possibly just made a huge mistake.

The buyer should get his own legal representation as this could be the largest financial and emotional investment he might ever make. If you are in the position of the Buyer, contact us and we’ll keep your best interests at heart.

Find out more about our Cape Town Property Service

E-mail us here or contact Marco Garuti, our local property buyers consultant on + 27 (0) 83 265 8800


2 Germans found dream home in Cape Town

My husband Klaus and me are from Wiesbaden in Germany. We have been to Cape Town to visit our daughter a couple of times. She is almost finished with her medicine studies and did her practical year at Tygerberg hospital in Cape Town.

Klaus and I used the services of SA HomeBuyers to find us a house for our retirement and help us through the buying process. SA HomeBuyers was recommended to us by a friend who bought a house in Hout Bay.

Hout Bay property

Dream house in Cape Town


Marco our property buyers consultant got in contact with us while we were still in Germany. After we told him exactly what we were looking for he sent us a detailed weekly shortlist of properties in Hout Bay, that we could look through over coffee.

We finally decided to buy a property in Hout Bay’s Berg en Dal Scurity Estate. What convinced us was the security and the fact that the estate is surrounded by nature. In fact its so close to nature there is even a mountain river flowing through the estate.

Our SA HomeBuyers consultant advised us on how much to pay for the House. He has access to Cape Town property data and based that on historical data of previous house sales in the same estate.

Marco was also with us for all legal steps of the purchase. English is not our mother tongue and we are not familiar with South African property law. So we were really grateful to have a professional representation with us at all times.

When asked to write a testimonial we were very happy to help. Thank you, SA HomeBuyers for your professional representation and insider advice!

Klaus und Hanna Fieht, Wiesbaden – Germany

Safe family home in Hout Bay

SAHomeBuyers have helped me and my family to make a new start in Cape Town. I was sent over to Cape Town to help set up the Amazon Call Center, a project that will take several years.

In South Africa buying property can be much cheaper than renting so my wife and I decided to buy. SAHomeBuyers seems to be the only property buyers agency in Cape Town. Not being familiar with South African property law and buying a house in access of 5 million Rand the advantages of having professional representation in the process was clear to us.

Hout Bay Property

Hout Bay view - Image courtesy of Scissor Paper Stone Ltd.


SAHomeBuyers has a team of legal advisers, property and forex experts and offers all property purchase related services inhouse.

We received very valuable advise from our consultants at SAHomeBuyers on which price to offer and which terms to add to the offer to purchase. Mr Garuti negotiated for us so that I could concentrate on my career. When bringing the money into South Africa, SAHomeBuyers unexpectedly saved us thousands of Rand with their inhouse foreign exchange services.

Advice and help was invaluable to us finding our home

Marco’s advice and help was invaluable to us finding our home. He found a property for us that was exactly what we wanted and he helped negotiate a great price. He was professional and efficient throughout the process and I would strongly recommend his services to anyone looking to buy property here.


Global Talent Manager


property advice

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