Most people rely on an estate agent to sell their property. However, in view of the high commission (7,5% of the purchase price plus vat) involved more and more people are considering alternatives such as marketing the property and selling it themselves by private sale.


As a seller, one should be aware that you are not obliged to use the conveyancer recommended by the estate agent. You, as the client are entitled to appoint your own conveyancer. It is convention in South Africa that the Seller appoints the conveyancer although it is possible for the parties to agree that the Purchaser may appoint the conveyancer. This can however lead to a conflict of interest if the Purchaser breaches the contract.

Since the conveyancer is appointed by the Seller as a general rule then Purchaser should bear in mind that no one is acting in the interests of the Purchaser during the course of the transaction. The estate agent if there is one, has been appointed by the Seller to procure the best price for the property for the Seller and the conveyancer has been appointed by the Seller to effect the transfer from the Seller to the Purchaser. It is wise for a purchaser to have an attorney or conveyancer of their choice to peruse the Sale Agreement before they actually submit the offer to the Seller. Once the offer is signed and accepted then all of the legal rights and obligations have already been created and it is not possible to resile from the offer to purchase.


Should you wish to sell yourself you will find that the process is far simpler than one would expect. Estate agents bring two factors to a property deal namely, negotiating skills and a market place. Many people acquire sufficient negotiating skills in their own occupation and are able to successfully negotiate a fair price without the assistance of an estate agent obviously the saving on commission allows greater flexibility on price. As far as the market place is concerned, most estate agents in Gauteng advertise in the Property Star. It is always possible for private sellers to advertise in publications such as the Property Star or in the classified section of the Star or any other newspaper. Estate agents have pre-printed sale of land forms. Such forms are also available from stationers but, if you request a conveyancer to attend to the registration of transfer for you, they will in all likelihood be prepared to provide you with the necessary forms without any charge and assist you in completing same. Once the form is completed then all you need do is return the form to the conveyancer who will then handle the transaction.


There other important factors to consider as regards the content of the Sale Agreement and other legal obligations such as electrical compliance certificates which need to be considered and it is therefore advisable for both Seller and Purchaser to contact an attorney before signing any documents. Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact Patrick or Bernadette at 011 465-4151 or