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TIPS ON HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT PROPERTY LAWYER FOR YOUR REAL ESTATE SALE

So you have accepted an offer from a buyer for your property. What a big, exciting step! This decision will be the first of many to come in the next couple of months. But apart from deciding on what colour to paint your new bedroom walls or scrolling through endless exciting new prospects for your next business location, there is one big decision to be made in order to proceed with the property sale. It is not nearly as thrilling as Facebook stalking your potential new neighbours, but it’s a very important task: Choosing your attorney. Selecting the right transfer attorney is much like choosing a romantic partner. But choose your property lawyer wrong and you have more to worry about than Cupid collecting his arrow from an innocent victim’s heart.

All property sales go through a conveyancing process. This process involves three different types of attorneys: 1) the registering attorney, 2) the cancellation attorney and 3) the transferring attorney. The purpose of a registering attorney is to whenever a Mortgage Bond has been registered it affords the client access to the funds and affords the bank good security for the loan given. A Power of Attorney to Mortgage – this document gives the attorneys the Authority to register a mortgage bond on behalf of the clients in favour of a Bank. A cancellation attorney is used when you give the bank (or the cancellation attorney, who advises and is chosen by the bank) a written request to cancel your home loan. The bank will require that you give a 90 Day (3month) early Settlement Notice. 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, what the attorney should do is always protect the interest of their client, being the seller. That’s you, so choose wisely! Selecting the right real estate attorney will go a long way to ensure that your property sale goes smoothly and your heart won’t get broken in the process…

Here are some tips on matching the perfect transferring attorney for your property sale:

1. Location, location, location!

With new technology and social distancing trends it is now easier than ever to maintain a successful long-distance relationship, romantic or professional. However, no technology will replace the power of a good old coffee date to see if you’re the right match. On paper it might seem like the attorney is the perfect counterpart for your case, but if you don’t click in real life, you might regret clicking the accept button on Zoom. What if you don’t like the way he signs your documents!? But seriously, meet the attorney in person, it’s easier to judge a character and feel the vibe he/she is projecting. Better yet, go as local as possible, because the attorney will be acquainted with the area, know the real estate agents and who knows, you might make a new friend!

2. Speaking of friends…

Why not just use your brother’s new ‘lawyer-lover’ specializing in criminal law who offered a special rate to earn brownie points with the potential new in-laws? Would you use a professional dog groomer to have your hair done for your wedding just because she offers cheaper a rate? Probably not! Therefore, it is preferable to approach an attorney firm that specializes in real estate for your property sale. The South African Real Estate Legislation is multifaceted and ever changing. With an experienced real estate attorney who have had a number of recent real estate cases, your sale will have little to no hiccups. A good real estate attorney will also be able to put you into contact with a responsible bridging financier should you need your proceeds faster.

3. Size doesn’t matter, but experience does!

Choose an attorney from a firm, big or small, that have had many transactions worth of experience. With experience comes intuition and it can go a long way to identify potential problems that might arise in the future impacting your sale and costing you money. This is, after all, not the old golf set you’re selling on Gumtree, it is your property worth hundred thousands, possibly even millions! Experienced attorneys will also have the basic knowledge on bridging finance and will be able to refer you to a responsible bridging financier should you need your proceeds faster than the conveyancing process of around 90 days.

4. Choose a lawyer you click with

Like we all know, trust is the foundation of any relationship, especially ‘client-attorney affairs’ (so to speak). Like a first date with a potential new significant other, meet your attorney for coffee and do a ‘vibe-check’ before you commit. Much like the start of a relationship, but without the butterflies, you will most probably be able to determine whether he/she is forthcoming. Ask the attorney about your case’s chance of success and failure. If the attorney sounds too optimistic and does not explain all the risks thoroughly, he/she is most probably not entirely honest at the time and might not have your best interests at heart. It’s not always moonshine and roses and there are downsides and risks to all cases.

5. Background checks

Here we go with the Facebook stalking again! But this time, you can contact the LSSA (Law Society of South Africa) who will be able to provide you with a list of attorneys in your area that specialize in real estate law. Unlike relying on ex partner’s biased opinion of a potential companion, referencing the LLSA ensures that the attorney you choose is properly licensed to practice law in your location: https://www.lssa.org.za/contact-us/check-whether-a-legal-practitioner-is-registered/

Finding the right attorney is not as easy as swiping right on Tinder, but it is definitely worth the effort. Do your homework and reap the benefits of a by-the-book property sale with added benefits of knowing that should you need bridging finance to fast forward your proceeds, a good attorney will guide you in the right direction.

For more info on bridging finance for your property proceeds or to be put in contact with a reliable and honest conveyancer, give us a call and we will make the match!

Office: 012 941 9544

WhatsApp: 064 532 9894

Email: apply@staging.webridge.co.za