Beware of terms and conditions delaying transfer

It still comes as a surprise to her, says Lanice Steward of the Cape residential estate agency, Anne Porter Knight Frank, how many people, including some estate agents, do not carefully read through the terms and conditions on which bonds are granted to them.

This, said Steward, can lead to serious problems if any one of the conditions has not been met because when the time comes to register the transfer, delays will be inevitable.

Typically, said Steward, the sale will go through subject to some or all the following conditions:

  • the buyer being granted a bond;
  • the bank accepting the value of the home; and
  • a collateral security being approved.

If any of these conditions has been stipulated they must have been met before transfer is applied for.

“Buyers or sellers wanting to make sure that their ducks are in a row and that there will be no hold ups should, therefore, liaise with a competent conveyancer and/or a trained and experienced agent to whom they should give their current bond account number and tax details. The seller should also make sure that he has a rates clearance certificate from the municipality and that his current bond issuer has been given three months notice of his intention to cancel and pay off the bond.”

The bond payments, said Steward, have to be continued until the home is actually transferred.

Quite frequently, said Steward, a seller will appoint as his legal advisor a friend or relative who is in fact not a qualified conveyancer – or who is a “one man band” operating all on his own.

“This,” said Steward, “all too often results in the seller losing out on a speedy payment – in helping a friend he does himself a disservice.

“Conveyancing is a great deal more complicated than it looks and those who do not handle property transactions are inclined to “forget” certain essential actions while those who operate on their own can delay the whole process by getting sick or going on holiday.

“It is regrettable but true that certain lawyers who are very competent in some affairs and family matters such as wills are not efficient in dealing with property.”

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