Johannesburg, 06 Jul 2023
The easy part is finding and falling in love with a property to buy as your new home. With the purchase of a house comes a list of steps you need to take to make the house yours, once you have put in and had your offer accepted.
“Buying a property can be a complex and bewildering process, especially for first-time buyers,” says Carla de Abreu, Business Development Manager at leading South African fintech specialist e4. “It’s important for buyers to have the right people on their side, advising them and helping them navigate the admin, so they don’t get bogged down or inadvertently hamper the progress of the purchase.”
e4’s set of proptech innovations are designed to streamline the conveyancing process for buyers, sellers, attorneys, estate agents, banks and the deeds office, all of whom have a role to play in bringing a purchase to its legal conclusion.
Conveyancing is the overarching term for the legal process of transferring a property from the seller to the buyer and involves a number of steps, some of which are mandatory requirements, whilst others are optional, many of which are highly recommended by the experts and professionals as they provide financial protection to the buyer.
What are the processes and procedures involved in buying a property?
The bank or financial institution that is granting a bond will do a financial assessment or standard credit check to establish the buyer’s creditworthiness. This requires no action on the part of the buyer, except to have a clean record.
Of property assessments, De Abreu says: “We strongly recommend that prospective buyers undertake property assessments before making an offer to purchase. These include an independent valuation of the property to ensure the price has not been overinflated and that it matches prevailing market values. Structural assessments are a good idea, especially for older properties, as it is too late once an offer has been accepted to find out there is damp or the roof needs major repairs.”
To avoid any post-purchase nasty surprises, it is also advisable to do a full property search which can turn up restrictions on building regulations relating, for example, to the heritage of a property.
“If the property is in a complex, buyers should inform themselves about any additional residents’ association or body corporate terms and conditions relating to occupation,” she says.
Once the purchase contract has been signed, a number of requirements kick in. “This is where the expertise and experience of a real estate agent is invaluable,” says De Abreu. “There is a lot of admin and paperwork relating to transfer duties, legal fees, bond registration fees and related taxes, so keeping abreast of each step is time-consuming for the buyer. e4’s proptech platform helps smooth the process, providing a workflow that everyone can follow.”
Proptech platforms are a means of centralised communication for all parties involved in a property purchase. They enable verification, digitisation and filing of documents related to the purchase, eliminating the need for multiple hard-copy documents. Platforms enhance the buyers’ experience by providing a safe and secure environment where highly-confidential files, such as financial statements, can be uploaded and authenticated. Additionally, proptech systems offer an audited transaction log that tracks and reports the progress of a purchase in real-time, while also keeping all parties updated through automated notifications.
According to De Abreu, there are practical steps that homebuyers can take to expedite the property transfer process. Although hiccups and delays can occur at any stage of the transaction, they are most common during bond approval, bond cancellation, the signing of transfer documents, obtaining valid compliance certificates, and due to delays at the Deeds Office. Being aware of what to do and when can help buyers navigate the process with ease.
Top tips for registering a property faster:
1. Prepare your documents
Gather all necessary documents before starting the property registration process. This includes identification documents, proof of address, financial statements, and any other paperwork required by the bank or attorney.
2. Work with an experienced attorney
Choose an experienced and efficient attorney specialising in property transactions.
3. Respond promptly to requests
Timely responses ensure the process keeps moving forward without unnecessary delays.
4. Stay informed
Take the time to educate yourself about the property registration process and familiarise yourself with the key steps involved. Understand the roles of different parties, the timelines and the potential challenges that can arise.
5. Collaborate and coordinate
Coordinate and communicate with other parties involved in the process, including the seller, the seller's attorney and the bank. Doing so can help resolve any issues or discrepancies more efficiently.
* Article first published on itweb.africa
e4 is a technology company specialising in digitalisation. By understanding the complexity of a digital journey, e4 partners with its clients to provide innovative solutions that suits their unique needs. Using an omni-channel platform approach, e4 offers a range of digitally-inspired services as well as solutions.
Working across financial services, data and the legal sector, e4 understands the intricate requirements in these sectors, and uses its expertise to assist clients in effectively managing their businesses through digitalisation.