By Sanette Viljoen
Sellers of property strive towards getting the highest price in the shortest time. In practice most properties are sold subject to a suspensive condition that stipulates that the sale of the property will be cancelled if, for example, the buyer’s bank loan is not approved withing 14 days.
What happens if a cash buyer or a bank-approved buyer pitches up within these 14 days? Or if you get a buyer who makes a higher offer? These buyers may then not buy the property, due to the above-mentioned suspensive condition. This situation places a lot of stress on the seller, as he is worried that the potential buyers will now move on to another available property; if the current buyer’s loan is not approved, the seller will feel hard done by.
The solution to the above-mentioned dilemma can be found in a 72-hours clause. By including such a clause in the deed of sale, you decrease the risk of losing an unconditional cash buyer. This clause protects the interests of the seller as he may proceed to market to property during the often drawn out, uncertain period while awaiting approval of the bond. Should the seller receive a better offer (in the form of a cash buyer or a higher purchase price), the 72-hours clause is activated, in terms of which the first buyer is granted 72 hours in which to make an equal offer to the seller. Should the first buyer cannot do so, the first agreement falls away and the seller may continue to conclude a contract with the second buyer.
Although a 72-hour grant is the practice, nothing prevents the parties from agreeing on a different period.