Questions to ask your conveyancing attorney

Private Property South Africa
Property Power

Make sure you know what to ask your conveyancing attorney, to make your property transaction go as smooth as possible.

To whom do I pay my deposit?

Depending upon what is stipulated in your sale agreement, your deposit is either paid to the estate agency involved or to the Conveyancing attorneys attending to the transfer. Both these professionals should have trust accounts in which your money is held safely. Always ensure that you receive the appropriate receipts, and never pay your deposit directly to the seller.

Am I entitled to the interest which is accrued on the account in which the deposit is kept?

The estate agent or the conveyancing attorney can arrange for your deposit to be invested in an interest-bearing account, with your written consent. Usually, unless agreed otherwise, the interest is paid to you after the registration has taken place.

If I move into my new property before registration of transfer, to whom do I pay the Occupational Rent?

You may reach agreement with the seller to pay the occupational rent directly into his bond account. The seller may require you to provide him with proof of payment each month. Alternatively you could pay the occupational rent to the estate agent or the Conveyancing attorney. They will usually ensure that it is paid into the seller’s bond account or directly to the seller.

How long will the registration and transfer process take?

The average time for most sales is about three months from the date of sale. This depends upon the circumstances like the due date for the buyer’s bond grant, and on the guarantees stipulated in the deed of sale. If there are no complications, registration can be effected within two months. In cases where there are complications, registration can be delayed. In such cases, you will need to stay in touch with your conveyancer.

What will my transfer and bond costs be?

Your estate agent and conveyancing attorney should be able to answer this question based on a schedule of bond and transfer costs. The transfer fees depend upon the purchase price of the property. Bond costs are calculated on the total loan registered Your attorney will be able to provide you with the exact costs.

When are the transfer costs due and to whom are they paid?

A few weeks after the sale, when you sign your documents, your conveyancer will request that you pay the transfer costs. The Conveyancing attorney has to pay the transfer duty in advance, as well as the rates and taxes or levies due to obtain the clearance certificates. If you delay in making the payment - it will unnecessarily delay the transfer.

Will someone contact me to let me know when the property is registered?

A representative from your conveyancer's firm should contact you as soon as the registration has gone through. You will also be given a final statement of the account. Your estate agent may also phone you to confirm registration. The bank will send you a letter advising you of the registration of your bond, and the date when your first instalment is payable.

This article originally appeared in Property Power 11th Edition Magazine. To order your copy at the discounted price of R120 click here.

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