First-time sellers: Is your transferring attorney doing all of this?
I want to sell my home but have heard there are three different attorneys party to the transaction. Do I have to hire them all and what should I expect from them? – Henry
Hi Henry, three attorneys are used in the conveyancing process: The registering attorney, the cancellation attorney and the transferring attorney.
The transferring attorney is appointed by and will represent the seller. As the seller, there are some things that can be expected of a transferring attorney during the process. First off, the attorney should always protect the interests of their client, the seller. Except of course the issues of law, the client’s interests should be a priority.
Another thing the attorney should do is keep the seller updated with the progress of the transaction. The attorney needs to communicate with the seller on an ongoing basis and keep them informed about the conveyancing procedure.
The conveyancer must advise you on the content of the Offer to Purchase, especially if the contract contains certain suspensive conditions, such as the offer being subject to the buyer’s bond approval or selling another property. With regard to the Offer to Purchase, the attorney must also keep you informed of their obligations to ensure that the transfer of the property is not delayed. The attorney will meet with you to go over all documentation, and once everything has been clarified, you will sign the necessary documentation to conclude the transaction.
Once all the documents are ready, the attorney will lodge them with the deeds office.
The attorney will be in contact with your bank and so will inform you once your bond has been settled and cancelled. The attorney will also be able to tell you whether there are any penalties or administrative charges that need to be paid, which would impact the eventual settlement balance. Certain notice periods may need to run their course before the money is paid over to you; and before any guarantees are issued in respect of the transaction, the attorney must obtain your instruction.
To ensure that the process runs as smoothly and as quickly as possible, the conveyancing attorney will do everything in their power to expedite the registration of the property. Ideally, they will aim to close the transaction on the date that was agreed upon in the Offer to Purchase, provided there are no unexpected delays. Bear in mind, they are heavily dependent on several external parties such as banks, city councils and the such which means this is no mean feat.
On the day that the property has been registered in the new owner’s name, the attorney will inform you. Once everything has been concluded, and the home has been successfully registered, the attorney will account to you for any fees that relate to the transaction – expect to receive this account within two days of the property’s date of registration. – Adrian
First-time seller, got a burning question? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is Adrian Goslett?
Adrian Goslett is the regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa