The recent closure of the Deeds office in Pretoria, South Africa, has left many property buyers and sellers feeling uncertain about the status of their transactions. The office has been closed indefinitely, leaving the property industry in a state of confusion and disarray. Bernard Cowley, a real estate agent at Fitzanne Estates, is here to shed light on how the closure affects home buyers and sellers and offer some advice on how they can mitigate the effects of this closure.
Understanding the Role of the Deeds Office
“Firstly, it is important to understand the role of the Deeds office in the property transaction process,” advises Cowley. “The Deeds office is responsible for registering property transfers, ensuring that the transfer of ownership is legal and valid. Without the Deeds office, property transactions cannot be completed, and buyers and sellers are left in limbo.”
Effect of the Closure on Property Transactions
“Many property buyers and sellers who are currently in the process of purchasing or selling a house are understandably concerned about the impact of the recent closure of the Deeds office in Pretoria, South Africa,” says Cowley.
The closure of the Deeds office means that property transfers cannot be registered, which in turn means that the transfer of ownership cannot take place. This has led to uncertainty and delays in the property industry, with many transactions being put on hold indefinitely.
If you are in the process of selling or buying a house, the closure of the Deeds office will likely have a significant effect on your transaction. Without the registration of property transfers, the sale and transfer of ownership cannot be completed.
Legal and Financial Implications for Buyers and Sellers
As a seller, the closure of the Deeds office may have legal and financial implications for you. For example, if you have already sold your property and have not yet received the proceeds of the sale, you may be unable to access these funds until the property transfer is registered. Additionally, if you have any outstanding debts on the property, you may be unable to clear these debts until the transfer is registered, which could result in additional fees and interest charges.
As a buyer, the closure of the Deeds office may also have legal and financial implications. If you have already paid a deposit on the property, you may be unable to take possession of the property until the transfer is registered. Additionally, you may be unable to access any funds from your bank or mortgage lender until the transfer is registered, which could result in additional fees and charges.
It is important to note that while the duration of the closure of the Deeds office is indefinite, efforts are being made by Industry stakeholders such as the Pretoria Attorneys Association to address the issue. However, until the Deeds office reopens, and property transfers can be registered once again, the property industry will continue to experience delays and uncertainty.
“The closure of the Deeds Office in Pretoria has had a significant impact on the property industry, particularly for those who are currently in the process of buying or selling a house. Buyers and sellers should be aware of the legal and financial implications of the closure and should work closely with their real estate agent and legal team to mitigate any potential issues. While the situation is challenging, it is important to remain patient and to continue working towards a successful transaction,” Cowley advises.
Completing and Submitting Paperwork
“To soften the blow of the closure of the Deeds office, ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed and submitted as soon as possible,” suggests Cowley. “This includes transfer documents, bond applications, and any other legal documents required for the transaction. Work closely with your Professional Property Practitioner and legal team to ensure that everything is in order and that all paperwork is submitted as soon as possible.”
Ensuring the Availability of Necessary Funds
“To mitigate the effects of the Deeds office closure, ensure that all necessary funds are available for the transaction,” advises Cowley. “Buyers should ensure that they have the necessary funds available to cover the purchase price and any associated costs, such as transfer fees and bond registration fees. Sellers should ensure that they have paid off any outstanding debts on the property and that they have the necessary funds available to cover any outstanding payments.”
Regular Communication with All Parties Involved
“Communication is key to ensure a successful transaction during this challenging time,” says Cowley. “Regularly communicate with all parties involved in the transaction, including the real estate agent, the legal team, and the buyer or seller. This can help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that any issues or concerns are addressed as soon as possible.”
Exploring Alternative Options
“Finally, it may be worth considering alternative options for completing the transaction,” suggests Cowley. “Buyers and sellers may be able to complete the transaction using a different Deeds office, or by using an alternative registration process. Consult with your legal team and real estate agent to explore all available options and determine the best course of action.”
More about Fitzanne Estates
Fitzanne Estates (Pty) Ltd is a Property Management Company that can sufficiently administer your property investment to the benefit of the Landlord, the Body Corporate, and the NPC – Non-Profit Company. Services include Letting, Sectional Title Management, Full Title Management (NPC – Non-Profit Company) and Sales.
LinkedIn: Fitzanne Estates
YouTube: Fitzanne Estates
Podcast: Fitzanne’s Property Exchange