A good sa­le starts with a good sa­le agreement

George Herald - Southern Cape Property Guide & Auto Dealer - - Property Guide -

The pa­per­work in­vol­ved in the sa­le of a pro­per­ty is a po­ten­ti­al mi­ne­field for both buy­er and sel­ler, and should not be tackled wit­hout the as­sis­tan­ce of an ex­pe­rien­ced e­sta­te a­gent and a con­vey­an­cing at­tor­ney.

In­cor­rect or in­com­ple­te sa­le do­cu­men­ta­ti­on is not on­ly li­ke­ly to cau­se a de­lay in the trans­fer of the pro­per­ty to the new o­w­ner, but can al­so gi­ve ri­se to a num­ber of ot­her pro­blems, all with po­ten­ti­al­ly se­ri­ous fi­nan­ci­al con­se­quen­ces, says Ger­hard Kot­zé, MD of the Re­alNet e­sta­te a­gen­cy group.

The lack of es­sen­ti­al do­cu­men­ta­ti­on that the con­vey­an­cer needs, such as p­roof of the buy­er’s i­den­ti­ty or ma­ri­tal sta­tus, could hold up the trans­fer and re­sult in the si­tu­a­ti­on w­he­re a buy­er who has been al­lo­wed to ta­ke occu­pa­ti­on be­co­mes, in ef­fect, a sub­si­di­sed ‘te­nant’.

“The sel­ler in such a ca­se will ha­ve to ma­ke up any dif­fe­ren­ce be­t­ween the occu­pa­ti­o­nal rent and the monthly re­pay­ment on the ex­is­ting ho­me lo­an until trans­fer can be re­gis­te­red, and will al­so con­ti­nue to be re­spon­si­ble for the ra­tes and taxes on the pro­per­ty.

"He or she will pro­ba­bly al­so ha­ve to con­ti­nue to in­su­re the pro­per­ty - and pay the ex­ces­ses on claims for any da­ma­ge that occurs whi­le the buy­er is in occu­pa­ti­on.”

Me­an­w­hi­le, neither buy­er nor sel­ler should e­ver be per­su­a­ded to sign a sa­le agreement or of­fer to pur­cha­se which in­clu­des blank secti­ons that they ha­ve been as­su­red will be “fil­led in la­ter” by the a­gent or so­meo­ne el­se.

This could le­ad, for ex­am­ple, to the buy­er fa­cing a claim for the sa­les com­mis­si­on that is u­su­al­ly paid by the sel­ler, or the sel­ler being ma­de re­spon­si­ble for the trans­fer cos­ts that are u­su­al­ly met by the buy­er.

“Si­mi­lar­ly, if the con­tin­gen­cy clau­se gi­ving the buy­er a cer­tain ti­me in which to sell his or her ex­is­ting pro­per­ty is left blank, he will the­o­re­ti­cal­ly be a­ble to ta­ke as long as he li­kes to ac­com­plish this, whi­le the sel­ler fa­ces moun­ting hol­ding cos­ts and, qui­te pos­si­bly, a long de­lay in fi­na­li­sing the pur­cha­se of his next ho­me,” says Kot­zé.

On the ot­her hand, Kot­zé no­tes, if an occu­pa­ti­on da­te is agreed on but not fil­led in, and the sel­ler fails to va­ca­te the pro­per­ty on an ex­pected da­te, the buy­er mig­ht ha­ve to find and pay for al­ter­na­ti­ve ac­com­mo­da­ti­on until the trans­fer is ac­tu­al­ly re­gis­te­red.

“It is thus vi­tal that buy­ers and sel­lers re­a­li­se that of­fers to pur­cha­se be­co­me le­gal­ly bin­ding do­cu­ments on­ce sig­ned by both par­ties, and that gre­at ca­re needs to be ta­ken w­hen they are being com­ple­ted.

"As­sis­tan­ce from an ex­pe­rien­ced, re­gis­te­red e­sta­te a­gent is re­al­ly va­lu­a­ble w­hen it co­mes to en­su­ring that the in­te­re­sts of both par­ties are pro­tected.”

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