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How to sell a home – How to avoid broken telephone

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Selling your home is as exciting as it is stressful. Do you appoint an estate agent or try going solo? Whose offer do you accept if you get multiple offers to purchase? What regulations do you have to comply with before your home can be transferred?

Our friends at MC van der Berg Attorneys have kindly allowed us to republish their MC Sellers Guide to help educate new and seasoned sellers on the legal ins and outs of home selling.


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1 Learning the language

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Attorney – A person who has been admitted by the High Court and practises law.

Conveyancer – An attorney who passed an additional exam, who specialises in property law and who has been admitted by the High Court.

Transferring attorney – This is the firm of attorneys and, more specifically, the conveyancer who is responsible for the transfer of the property from the seller to the purchaser. The transferring attorney plays a pivotal role in the successful completion of the transfer process. The seller is entitled to nominate the transferring attorney and MC van der Berg Incorporated would be honoured to assist you in this regard.

Bond attorney – This is the firm of attorneys responsible for the registration of the purchaser’s bond. This firm needs to be on the registration panel of the particular bank to which the purchaser applied for a bond. MC van der Berg Incorporated is on the bank registration panels of ABSA, FNB, Nedbank, Standard Bank, Investec and HIP (Housing Investment Partners).

Cancellation attorney – This is the firm of attorneys responsible for cancelling the seller’s bond. This firm needs to be on the cancellation panel of the particular bank where the seller has his bond. MC van der Berg Incorporated is on the bank cancellation panels of ABSA, Nedbank and FNB.

Clearance terms

Clearance figures – This is the amount required by the city council to enable them to issue a clearance certificate. This amount includes all rates, taxes and charges for utilities that are in arrears plus an estimated amount for four months in advance.

Clearance certificate: city council – A document the transferring attorney obtains from the city council after the clearance figures have been paid, which verifies that the seller’s rates, taxes and charges for utilities have been paid in advance. The transferring attorney must lodge this certificate as a supporting document at the deeds office to effect transfer of the property.

Clearance certificate: home owners association (HOA) – A document the transferring attorney obtains from the HOA (if applicable) which verifies that all levies due to the HOA have been paid in advance. The transferring attorney lodges this certificate as a supporting document at the deeds office to effect the transfer of the property.

Clearance certificate: body corporate – If the property to be transferred is a sectional title unit, the transferring attorney must obtain a certificate from the body corporate that verifies that the levies due and payable to the body corporate have been paid in advance. The transferring attorney lodges a certificate confirming payment to the body corporate as a supporting document at the deeds office to effect the transfer of the property.

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Registration – An administrative act that takes place at the deeds office. On this date the transaction is finalised, i.e. the property is transferred, the purchaser’s bond is registered and the seller’s existing bond is cancelled.

Transfer – An action (registration) that occurs on a specific date at the deeds office. This action happens simultaneously with bond registration and bond cancellation.

Bond registration – An action that occurs on a specific date at the deeds office; on this day the purchaser’s bond is registered. This action happens simultaneously with transfer and bond cancellation.

Bond cancellation – An action that occurs on a specific date at the deeds office. On this day the seller’s bond is cancelled. This action happens simultaneously with transfer and bond registration.

Contract terms

Offer to purchase – A written offer made to the seller which sets out all the conditions on which the purchaser wants to purchase the property.

Deed of sale – The offer to purchase becomes the deed of sale once it has been accepted by the seller in writing.

Guarantee – A document in terms of which the purchaser’s bank promises to pay the purchase amount into either the seller’s bond account or the transferring attorney’s trust account on an unspecified future date when registration occurs.


Next time: Choosing your own transferring attorney; what this firm does for you; and how to make changes to the deed of sale


¶ Contact MC van der Berg Attorneys on +27 (0)12 660 6000, email info@mcvdberg.co.za or visit their website

 

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