The Festive Season can be a great time to sell property, and to buy it. Warm weather, sunny gardens and bright rooms, lots of holidaying visitors, and more time on your hands generally all help to stimulate the property market.
Just bear in mind that, Summer Holidays or not, whether you are selling a property or buying one, you want the whole process to be handled professionally and smoothly, with as little delay as possible. After all, both of you are dealing with what is probably one of your most important assets.
Here are some tips to help you achieve that smooth and hassle-free transfer -
1. Choose the right conveyancer
Central to ensuring that all goes well is the choice of which conveyancing attorney you nominate to carry out the specialist task of transferring the property from the Seller’s name to the Buyer’s.
Choosing a conveyancer is one of the things that is technically up for negotiation, but as a seller, you should always insist on making the choice.
Why? You carry more risk than the buyer who, having to raise the purchase price within an agreed time period, is more likely to default or cause delay in the process than you are. Moreover it is your asset – your house – at stake, so it makes sense to have your own attorney directing the process and ensuring that the purchase price is fully paid or secured.
The fact that the buyer invariably pays the costs of transfer isn’t relevant here. A nervous buyer can always appoint his or her own attorney to keep a watching brief on the transfer, although – unless and until a dispute arises - that really shouldn’t be necessary seeing that conveyancers have a professional duty of care to act fairly to both parties.
Bottom line - as a seller, choose an attorney you can trust to act with speed and integrity. And don’t be persuaded by anyone to give up your right to do the nominating!
2. Avoid any possible uncertainty
Clearly record your choice of attorney in your written sale agreement. Otherwise you could be opening the door to dispute. That’s true for all provinces but is a particular risk in KZN where historically the buyer had the choice if the agreement was silent on the matter (the current legal position on that is uncertain).
3. Bring your attorney into the picture from Day One
Sellers in particular should remember this basic principle – agree to nothing (verbally or in writing) until your lawyer has checked it out for you! A lot can go wrong with property sales, from your initial choice of who to appoint to find a buyer for you, through to the wording and signing of the agreement of sale itself.
Our law reports are bursting at the seams with bitter, expensive and disruptive legal disputes which could have been avoided had the parties sought legal assistance before putting pen to paper.
Jack Crook, Director at DotNews, is well known to law firms as the author of LawDotNews since 2005. Jack’s legal qualifications (LLB Lond and LLB Rhod) are supplemented by many years of practical experience in law, in marketing his own firm, and in helping other small and medium sized professional firms to prosper by using simple, low-cost, effective marketing strategies.
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