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Who’s Involved When A Property Is Bought Or Sold?

Who’s Involved When A Property Is Bought Or Sold?

14 October 2020

That’s a good question, with an important distinction.  You can expect at least 10 different role players to have a part when a property is bought or sold. Who you will engage with depends on which side of the  transaction you are - are you a buyer or a seller? However, knowing who does what on both sides of the deal will help you stay on top of things and hold the right people accountable.

 

    1. The seller:
      This is the person who wants to sell their property. They will usually appoint a sales estate agent to take care of the transaction. This person is responsible for paying for the required clearance certificates, any bond cancellation fees and the agent’s commission. The seller can be a private individual or a developer.

    2. The buyer:
      This is the person that is wanting to buy a home. On top of the purchase price of the property, buyers are responsible for paying bond registration costs (if there is a bond), transfer attorney costs and property tax. The buyer needs to sign a formal Offer to Purchase (OTP).

    3. The seller’s agent:
      This is an estate agent from an agency that will be the person who will value, market and then sell your home. Beyond the acceptance of an OTP, the seller’s agent should manage and monitor the transfer process, including bond application, through to transfer and finally to your occupation of your new property. Not sure how to choose a great agent? Find out in this blogpost.

    4. The buyer’s  agent:
      Sometimes, buyers may have an agent represent them to look for properties on their behalf. The buyer’s agent would identify available properties that meet the buyer’s goals, to assist the buyer in the negotiations for the purchase of the property identified, assist the buyer with financing options and/ or present alternate solutions to the buyer’s needs when appropriate properties are short supply or when financing is difficult. 

    5. Bond originator:
      The bond originator will streamline the bond application process, reduce the time it takes to get bond approval and help you to secure a mortgage bond on terms that suit you. They liaise with different banks to match your requirements and to negotiate the most favourable terms, including interest rate. Click here to read "Seven Super Reasons To Use The Services Of A Bond Originator". Top tip: talk to a bond originator first; they may be able to secure a better mortgage deal than your bank would offer you directly because your bank is competing with other lenders.

    6. Transfer attorney (conveyancer):
      This is a legal practitioner, also known as the conveyancer, who will draw up the transfer and the registration of the property into the buyer's name. The transfer attorney is responsible for monitoring and reporting on the transfer process, which involves a number of steps including obtaining the original title deed/s and various clearances such as municipal (rates and taxes) and tax clearances and electricity, plumbing and other compliance certificates. In South Africa, the seller is usually the one to choose the conveyancer, even though the buyer is paying for the conveyancers services.

    7. Bond attorney: 
      Once the bank approves the buyer’s bond, a bond attorney will then be appointed to by the bank. The bond attorney is responsible for registering the bond in the home buyer’s name and lodging this with the Deeds Office.

    8. Home inspectors:
      The clearances collected by the transfer attorney are issued by specialists called on to do inspections and to list required remedial action before the clearance certificates can be issued. The seller’s agent is likely to have established business relationships with inspectors and can recommend them, as appropriate.

    9. Valuators:
      This person will provide a professional opinion of the current market value of the property. The property’s size, general condition and the location are some factors that are looked at. Banks will require a valuation of your property as part of the bond approval process and insurers may require an independent valuation too.

    10. The Deeds Office:
      The existence and ownership of each demarcated property in South Africa is established by a Title Deed. The registration, management and maintenance of the property registry in South Africa takes place in the Deeds Office. The property sales transaction is concluded when the property is registered against the buyer’s name.

Choosing an agent to help you sell the property and finding the property you want to buy are small parts of a complicated and lengthy process. There are many role players and you should not be afraid to ask who they are, how they are chosen and what they are responsible for. 


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