Buying a House?

Get your home loan today!When Buying a House Inspect It Before Signing on the Dotted Line

If you have your heart set on buying a home, take note that it could save you a lot of money and untold misery by inspecting your home before signing on the dotted line. You could find out a little late and face a couple of unforeseen challenges when you move into your brand new house. Sellers are often masters of deception and can cover up faults and problems with furniture and drapes. But what does one do to bypass this from happening?

  • Familiarise yourself with the offer to purchase.
  • This is the agreement of sale and usually includes a voetstoots clause which means that you purchase the property with faults and all.
  • What then does voetstoots mean? The term is derived from the Roman Dutch which means “as is”.
  • The clause indemnifies the seller against claims from the buyer should any defects surface.
  • When it comes to latent defects these are obviously not included.
  • Always make sure that any renovations that have been done in the past have been done so legally by inspecting the plans from the municipality.
  • A patent defect is one that is visible when a reasonable inspection of the property is undertaken – and the onus lies on the shoulders of the buyer when a purchase is made.
  • A latent defect, on the other hand is a fault that has not been revealed by the seller and one that has not been disclosed.
  • The voetstoots clause indemnifies the seller against any defects that he was not aware of from the outset and at the time of the sale of the property.
  • If the seller has kept quiet about something he is aware of but has not disclosed he can be held responsible for the repair.
  • If you are a buyer and need to sign a disclosure document by the estate agent, problems might crop up – this document states that you as the purchaser are not aware of any defects and anything that needs to be repaired.
  • By signing this document it means that you sign to say that everything from the wiring to the geyser is in good repair.
  • It is a good idea to ask both the seller and the agent at this point to disclose anything that is not in good repair.
  • This is one of the reasons why you need an electrical certificate carried out by a professional – the sale cannot be concluded without this.


It is advisable to ensure that the house you are buying is in good nick – perhaps ask an architect or a professional to inspect the property prior to signing on the dotted line.