Foreign Buyers

Things to know for foreign buyers of property
Good news, foreign buyers can purchase property in Hoedspruit, South Africa. They do not need to live here to purchase.
South Africa has some of the strongest and best protections for property ownership worldwide.
So how does one purchase a property in Hoedspruit?
The starting point is to make contact with a recognised and credible Property Professional which in South Africa is commonly referred to as an Estate Agent. They will guide you through various options and take you to view suitable properties that are for sale. They would educate the buyer on the specific area as well as the Estate or Game Reserve Rules applicable to that property.
Once a suitable property is found, an Offer to Purchase will be made. Offers must be in writing and will be prepared by the Property Professional. The Offer to Purchase once signed by both the buyer and seller becomes a binding document, which may have suspensive conditions.
The Offer will be handed over to the transferring attorneys who will administer the transfer. The attorney who does the transfer is a specialised lawyer who deals in property and is known as a Conveyancer. They check and prepare all supporting documentation like a owner’s identities, proof of address, confirmation of title deeds, transfer duty (tax) certificates, municipal and estate rates, taxes and levy clearance certificates, electrical and gas compliance certificates and opening or closing of mortgage loans. On final preparation of all documents, they are then submitted to the Deeds Office for scrutiny and transfer.
The funds will have to be brought into the country via the South African Reserve Bank for foreign exchange control. Financing of properties is possible up to a maximum of 50%.
Purchasers can be individuals or a South African Company. In this case the company would be a holding entity for ownership with shareholders.
A South African bank account can be opened for overseas owners to pay for operational expenses.
Once an overseas owner has sold a property, money can be repatriated back overseas. However, what is important is that the correct steps are taken on the purchase of the property when the money was brought into South Africa.
Buyers should consider the type of residency that is required to visit the property, a holiday Visa, residency Visa, retired persons Visa, business Visa or work permit. There are consultants that can assist with the correct permit application as this can sometimes take some time.
Frequently asked questions
Is there tax on a purchase of a property in Hoedspruit and in South Africa?
Yes, the sale is subject to transfer duty (tax) and transfer fees (lawyer fees to do the transfer). The purchaser will have to pay for that. The Property professional will calculate it based on the most recent Taxation laws.
Who selects the Lawyer?
The seller is the person who selects the lawyer to handle the transfer of the property.
Can the Purchaser sign from overseas?
Yes, the Offer to Purchase can be signed and emailed electronically. The final Deed of Sale used by the attorneys for the Deeds Office will have to be signed at a South African Embassy or fiduciary person advised by the attorneys.
Is there a sales tax if the foreigner sells?
If the property is sold for profit in the future, the seller will be eligible for tax. The tax will be a percentage of the profit after costs are excluded.
Century 21 Wildlife Properties will connect you to experts to assist with finance, bring the funds into South Africa, tax advice and attorneys to explain the transfer process.