Checklist before you sell your property

·         If you have an existing bond over the property, give the bank 90  days notice of your intention to cancel the bond to avoid paying penalties.

·         If the home is not bonded, make sure that you know the whereabouts of the original title deed. If it is lost, the conveyancer will have to apply for the issuing of a registered certified copy, which obviously takes time.

·         Outstanding tax affairs will cause a delay when application is made for a transfer or VAT receipt. Ensure that your latest tax returns are filed and that all disputes are resolved.

·         Rates and levy payments should be up to date. If you owe the body corporate or council a large amount, you will have to settle this debt before transfer, as a clearance certificate is required before transfer can be affected. It may be necessary to arrange bridging financing.

·         If there is a dispute regarding outstanding levies or amounts due to the council, rather sort this out before putting your property on the market. When there is an unresolved dispute, the body corporate or Home Owners Association may refuse to issue the required clearance certificate.

·         Be prepared for expenses associated with selling a property. As a seller, you not only have to pay all rates and levies in arrears, but also a pre-estimate of rates and levies, before the required clearance certificates will be issued. You will have to obtain a number of certificates of compliance – for electricity, electric fencing, and gas,  and possibly a pest control certificate too. These entail an inspection and possibly work to meet the requirements for compliance. Budget for this,  or even better, obtain the certificates before you put the house on the market.

·         Buyers and/or banks often ask for copies of approved building plans as a condition of sale or before guarantees will be issued.  Obtain copies from council if you do not have them on file. If you know that you have made alterations without having plans approved, rather address the matter now, and involve a professional to get the necessary approval.

·         You may have had maintenance work done at the property which is still under guarantee, such as damp-proofing or roof repairs or a newly installed geyser.  Make sure that you are in a position to make guarantees available to the buyer on request.

·         It the property is registered in the name of a company, close corporation or trust, have a resolution, founding documents and Fica documentation  ready. In the case of a trust, you also need a copy of the Letter of Authority.

·         If you are married, have a copy of the marriage certificate and antenuptial contract ready. If you are divorced, have a copy of your divorce order and settlement agreement at hand.

·         If the property is part of a deceased estate, the executor will need to comply with the terms of the will and the provisions of the Administration of Deceased Estates Act before the transaction can be concluded.

Published in: Linprop Newsletter


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