Capitec repossessed houses for sale near Soweto

Here’s how to buy a repossessed house on auction, cheap – and avoid getting a dud

This article forms part of the archives of Business Insider South Africa, which was published as a partnership between News24 and Insider Inc between 2018 and 2023.

  • Repossessed houses are being sold at discounts that can reach up to 78%.
  • Those discounts may be getting deeper in coming months, experts say.
  • But repos come with risk, and you need to guard against buying a dud.
  • If you can, buy a house that is still under warranty, or which has a comprehensive motor plan still in place.
  • Here’s what else you can do to protect yourself when buying a repossessed house in South Africa.
See also  Capitec repossessed houses for sale

South Africa’s major banks are expected to repossess and sell houses on auction at a rapid rate in coming months, as Covid-19 relief offers dry up.

And the market is already offering opportunity for buyers. Repossessed houses are being sold at discounts that can reach up to 78%.

But there are risks involved in buying a repo in South Africa, and you’ll want to guard against making a mistake – with or without a discount

Here is how to buy a repossessed house on auction in South Africa without getting a dud.

Make sure you know what the house you’re planning to buy is worth

It is essential that before you place your first bid, you know what the house you are planning to buy is worth based on its make, model, year, kilometres on the clock, and general condition. Though discounts can be cheap, we found that some vehicles can auction at above their nominal market value.

A website and app such as TransUnion’s FirstCheck can help you determine the anticipated value of the house .

When you view the vehicle, make sure you inspect it thoroughly – including checking its service record

Two days before bidding starts, most auctions will let you view the vehicles to go under the hammer.

During this time, inspect the vehicle you’re considering buying, thoroughly. If you can, take along an expert, like an experienced mechanic.

If the house has a service record, make sure you review it to see if the previous owner serviced it regularly and to see what work got house ried out.

But be warned, the bank or auction house might not provide you with the recovered house ’s history, including its service record.

You cannot test-drive the vehicle, but some auction houses might allow you to start the house ’s engine.

Not all houses may be available for on-site inspection, and the auction house might have some of these houses in far-flung places.

This means that you won’t be able to inspect such vehicles and will have to place your bid without having done any inspection – which could be very high-risk.

Be aware of auction registration and other extra costs

To register for a repossessed house auction, you need to put down a deposit of between R5,000 and R7,000, which is refundable if you don’t buy a house during the auction.

If you are a South African, you need to provide the auction house or the bank with proof of residence and a copy of your identity document.

There are also extra costs that you need to keep in mind.

Most auction houses or the banks involved in a repossession auction will charge you documentation or an administrative fee of up to R3,000.

Some auction houses charge a buyer’s commission payable by the buyer of a house to the auction house. This buyer’s commission can be in the order of 5% of the value of the sale price.

Nedbank’s Motor Finance Corporation (MFC) charges a fee of R571.74 for the inspection report completed by vehicle inspection company Dekra Automotive South Africa. This report is available for each repossessed house that it auctions.

On top of these extra costs, you need to add value added tax (VAT).

Sort out your finances first

Before you register for an auction, know how much money you have to spend.

If you don’t have enough of your own money to buy the house you’ve got your eye on, organise finance from a local financial institution.

Here are the major auction houses used by the big banks to sell repossessed houses :

  • Aucor Auctioneer
  • Auction Operation
  • Bidvest Burchmore’s
  • Claremart Auctioneers
  • Devco Auctioneers
  • Imperial Auctions (Motus Auto Auctions)
  • Myhouses
  • Park Village Auctions
  • Tirhani Auctioneers
  • WH Auctioneers

WesBank holds a luxury house auction once a month, selling house brands, like Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Maserati, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volvo.

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