Stuck Without a Bond? Consider an Installment Sale for Your Dream Home

By 23rd May 2024Real Estate
buy property without bond

Are you looking to buy a house but struggling to get a mortgage? An instalment sale agreement could be your key! Here’s a breakdown of this alternative financing option and crucial steps to protect yourself throughout the process.

What is an Instalment Sale Agreement?

Imagine buying a house by making regular payments directly to the seller, spread out over time. That’s the essence of an instalment sale. This agreement, between you (the purchaser) and the seller, allows you to bypass the traditional mortgage route and pay the purchase price in instalments spread over more than two years (with at least two payments). This can be a great option for first-time buyers who may not have the full down payment required for a traditional mortgage or for those with other financial commitments that make securing a bond difficult.

Making it Official: The Legalese in Layman’s Terms

For this agreement to be legally binding and protect your interests, it needs to follow specific rules set out in the Alienation of Land Act. Here’s what you need to know, explained in simpler terms:

  • The Contract: This is a written agreement outlining the terms of the sale, like the total purchase price, the amount of each instalment payment, the payment schedule (including frequency and duration), and any other relevant details like interest rates (if applicable) and consequences of missed payments.
  • Registration is Key: This is a crucial step that safeguards your investment. The seller must register the agreement against the property’s title deed within 90 days. Here’s why registration is important:
    • Ensures Clear Title: This guarantees your payments go towards settling any existing mortgage on the property, paving the way for you to take ownership free of encumbrances (debts). Imagine making payments religiously, only to find out later there’s an outstanding mortgage the seller neglected to mention. Registration prevents such surprises.
    • Prevents Shady Deals: It stops the seller from selling the house to someone else while you’re diligently making your instalments. This can happen if the seller faces financial difficulties or simply decides to entertain a higher offer. Registration creates a public record of your agreement, preventing the seller from pulling a fast one.

What Happens if the Agreement Isn’t Registered?

If the seller fails to register the agreement within the stipulated timeframe, you have options:

  • Cancel the Agreement: You can cancel the sale and get your money back within 14 days. This “cooling-off” period allows you to walk away if you have second thoughts or discover any issues with the agreement.
  • Take Action: You can take steps to register the agreement yourself. However, it’s advisable to consult with a lawyer specializing in property law to ensure the process is followed correctly.

 Beyond the Basics: Additional Considerations

While an instalment sale can be a viable path to homeownership, it’s essential to approach it with caution and consider these additional factors:

  • Interest Rates: Some instalment sale agreements may include interest on the outstanding balance. Be sure to understand the interest rate and factor it into your overall payment calculations.
  • Maintenance Responsibilities: Clarify who is responsible for property maintenance and repairs during the instalment period. Typically, the responsibility falls on the purchaser once payments begin.
  • Exit Strategy: Discuss what happens if you need to sell the property before completing the instalments. Will there be a penalty involved? How will the remaining balance be settled?

Knowledge is Power: Seek Professional Guidance

Many buyers get caught unaware of the legalities surrounding instalment sales. Don’t be one of them! By understanding the process and ensuring proper registration, you can protect yourself and move confidently towards your dream home. Consider consulting with a lawyer specializing in property law. They can guide you through the process, explain the legalese in clear terms, review your agreement, and ensure your interests are protected throughout the transaction.

Call to Action:

Thinking about an instalment sale? We can help! Contact BBP Law Attorneys today for a consultation. We’ll guide you through the process and ensure your interests are protected. Remember, a well-informed buyer is an empowered buyer – let’s turn your dream of homeownership into a reality!

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