Things to look for in An Offer to Purchase

by Tina Freimuth - Managing Director - Jade Properties

Whether you are the Buyer or the Seller of a property, the Offer to Purchase is the most important document. Too many people are in such a rush they forget to read the contract and to make sure all clauses are completed correctly.

If you are applying for a bond, make sure the following clause is added to ensure you are not stuck with an interest rate that is not within your budget.

"This contract is subject and conditional upon the purchaser arranging finance suitable to himself"

Make sure you check the date by when the bond must be approved. If you do not have a bond approval on the due date then the contract is null and void. If the bond is going to take longer than anticipated, let your Agent draw up an addendum extending this date so you do not lose the property.

If there is a tenant in the property and you do not want to make use of the services of the current letting agency add the following to the contract.

"The Purchaser will be making use of their own Letting Agency and cannot be liable for any penalties charged by the Current letting Agency. All penalties pertaining to the removal of the property from (Agency Name) will be for the account of the Seller."

Most rental agencies have penalty clauses in their rental mandates and these can be very costly.

If there is a tenant in the property and you want to occupy the property on transfer make sure that the Contract stipulates that you want vacant occupation on date of Transfer. Ask for a copy of the lease agreement to make sure that you are not stuck with a tenant after transfer.

If the Seller agrees to occupation before date of transfer always ensure that the occupational rental is stipulated in the contract plus any other costs that you could be held liable for. Read more...

These could include insurance over the property, maintenance of the property or maybe even payment of the levy account. It is always advisable to take occupation only once transfer has happened.

If there is an agent involved who needs to be paid commission then make sure that this is completed correctly. I suggest you fill in the exact amount due to the agent and whether or not this includes VAT. The guideline rate of commission charged is 7% plus VAT but many times commission will be negotiated with the agent especially if the offer on the property is lower than the asking price.

Fitting and Fixtures; check what is included in the sale and make sure these are listed on the Contract. Never assume that fittings and fixtures will remain. List everything from the TV aerial, DSTV Dish, stove, pool equipment etc. There could be a shed in the garden; check if this is to remain and list this on the Contract. If you negotiate with a Seller for curtains or furniture to remain make sure these items are listed in the Contract. If a dispute arises about any fitting or fixture that is removed the court will go back to the contract to see what was listed.

Check which Compliance Certificates are listed in the Contract. Most contracts make provision for all the Compliance Certificates, plumbing, electrical, beetle, gas, electric fencing. Cross out whichever Certificates are not needed otherwise you as the Seller will have to pay for these to be done.

Every part of the Contract must be completed. Anything in the contract that is not relevant draw a line through it. Every single change, addition or deletion in a contract must be initialled by all parties. A contract is only valid once everything is signed by all parties.

Remember this is a binding contract and once you sign you have agreed to the purchase of the property on the terms and conditions of the contract.