The Ideal Estate Agent

To most people, buying or selling immovable property is a daunting task and probably the biggest investment they will ever make.

To the average man in the street, buying or selling property is a legal transaction fraught with risk, uncertainty and anxiety, involving important and complex legal issues.

So, it is understandable that most sellers and buyers would be apprehensive to venture into such a transaction without the assistance of a reliable and knowledgeable estate agent.

In a recent survey in the USA, it was discovered that the majority of sellers and buyers do so through the assistance of an estate agent. What was even more significant was the discovery that only 16% of the so-called Millennials chose to buy without a ‘realtor’ or agent.

In spite of the advent of computer technology and a multitude of electronic platforms created to cut out the middleman, the real estate agent still plays an important and prominent role and is preferred by most sellers and purchasers.

Another important reason to use a reputable and competent estate agent is that he provides additional protection to the purchaser under the Consumer Protection Act (The CPA).

In most residential property sales, the seller is not a “supplier” as defined under the CPA. Consequently, regarding the seller, the purchaser does not enjoy the protection of the CPA.

An estate agent, however, who assists buyers and sellers in buying or selling immovable property “…in the ordinary course of business for consideration…” does fall under the CPA.

So, the buyers and sellers will have the peace of mind that the estate agent will ensure that there is a full disclosure of all defects of the property. If not, the agent may be liable to the buyer for any losses he may have suffered because of any nondisclosure.

This raises the question who would be the ideal person to guide both buyers and sellers, through this maze of uncertainty, risk and legality.

We cannot think of a better agent than a practising attorney, and/or conveyancer because attorneys have always been extensively involved and engaged with both sellers and buyers when buying or selling property.

Attorneys are qualified and trained in law and many are specialists in the transfer of immovable property. Conveyancing is a specialised field of property law for which attorneys study to qualify as conveyancers.

There is a multitude of laws that may affect a property transaction, such as The Sectional Titles Act, Sectional Title Schemes Management Act, The Property Time-Sharing Control Act, The Consumer Protection Act, The National Credit Act, The Alienation of Land Act, and The National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act.

What is reassuring, is that both the attorney and his employees, who assist him while acting as estate agents, fall under the jurisdiction of the applicable Law Society within each province.

When an attorney acts as an estate agent, he does so from his own law offices using his existing business and (audited) trust accounts. This results in a huge saving as the overheads of the law offices are subsidised by additional sources of income. This cost saving is passed on to the consumer (the seller).

That is why attorneys can sell at a lower commission (i.e. 3%), which is considerably less than the going rate of 7.5% and without compromising their services.

When buying or selling property, buyers and sellers get more and pay less when they engage the services of an attorney.

It makes sense to use an attorney when selling your property.

Article written by FM Heynike for 3%.Com Properties –

South Africa's fastest-growing, independent property portal, offering affordable solutions for real estate professionals. A hub of info covering topics for #homebuyers, #homesellers, #renters and #lifestyle enthusiasts!

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