Questions to ask your Attorney before you sign?

There are many questions Buyers ask about the transfer procedure at the time of
signing a deed of sale. It’s best to ask them before putting pen to paper.

1. To whom do I pay the deposit?
It will depend on what your contract says. Your deposit can safely be paid either to your estate agency or the conveyancers appointed to do the transfer. They both have trust accounts where your money is protected. Don’t pay it directly to the Seller or to any estate agent individually.

2. Who gets the interest on the deposit?
Unless otherwise agreed it must be paid to you after registration of transfer. Both your estate agent and conveyancer can arrange for it to be invested in an interest-bearing account for your benefit upon written authority granted by yourself. They will service your best interests by placing it in the best short-term investment available.

3. To whom do I pay the occupational rental?
Again – to either the estate agent or the conveyancer. They will usually pay it into the Seller’s bond account or, where the Seller has sufficient equity in the property, to him personally. You could pay it directly into the Seller’s bond account if so agreed but you may be required to furnish proof of payment each month.

4. When will I have to sign transfer documents?
This may only be a few weeks after the sale agreement is signed. Usually your conveyancer will wait till the bond is granted and he has received the cancellation figures for the Seller’s existing bond. Only then can guarantee authority forms be completed and signed. You can always phone the conveyancer for an update at any time.

5. How long will the transfer take to register?
It depends on circumstances and due dates for the bond grant and guarantees stipulated in the deed of sale. The average nationwide for most sales is about three months from the date of sale. When there are no complications registration can be effected within two months. In cases where there are complications registration can be delayed. You will need to stay in touch with your conveyancer in such cases.

6. What will my transfer and bond costs be?
Your estate agent should be able to answer this question as most agencies have a schedule of all transfer and bond costs. The actual fees will depend on the purchase price of the property and whether you are buying in your own name or in a Trust, CC or Co. You can at any time request your attorney to advise the exact amount of your costs.

7. When must my transfer costs be paid?
Usually when you call to sign your documents (a few weeks after the sale). Your conveyancer will require prepayment as he has to pay the transfer duty in advance (the major charge on most transfers) as well as the rates/levies due to obtain a clearance certificate. Don’t delay making payment – it will unnecessarily delay
your transfer.

8. Who will register my mortgage bond?
Your bank will have a local panel of conveyancers it will use for all its bonds and one of these will be instructed. If the transfer conveyancer is one of those on its panel he will probably do the bond as well. Your bond costs
will be the same irrespective of who registers it. Your transfer may go through quicker if the same conveyancer does both.

9. Who will contact me on registration?
Your conveyancer’s secretary should give you a call on registration to advise you and will give you a final statement of account. Your estate agent may also phone you to confirm registration. Your bank will send you a letter advising registration of your bond and the date when your first instalment is payable.

10. Where will I get the keys to the property?
It is best to make an arrangement with your estate agent to pick up the keys at the agency on the day of occupation. You can make direct arrangements with your Seller if you so wish. You’ll be required to pay any occupational rental due before being allowed to occupy the property.

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