Conveyancing | Buying a House
In South Africa the legal process of buying a property and transferring ownership of the property from the seller the buyer is known as conveyancing. The conveyancing process is handled by a specially qualified lawyer known as a conveyancer. The conveyancing process contains several dangers for the unprepared buyer.
As a service to South African home buyers HouseCheck offers an informative free eBook which deals with all aspects of home buying in South Africa. This book includes chapters on: Finding a house and dealing with estate agents, the importance of home inspections, the conveyancing process and financing the deal.
What buyers should know about conveyancing
The conveyancing attorney and the estate agent are usually appointed by the seller. Therefore buyers must take steps to protect themselves from entering into a contract which possibly favours the seller.
- If in any doubt ask your own attorney, who should also be a conveyancing specialist, to check the offer to purchase before signing.
- Always include a home inspection clause in your Offer to Purchase – thereby making your offer conditional on an impartial home inspection which details and evaluates all observable defects in the house.
- Insist that any Voetstoets (“As is”) clause is deleted from the Offer to Purchase. The conveyancing attorney and estate agent will probably try to include a clause in the deed of sale stating that the house is sold voetstoets (“as is”) and that the buyer has no recourse to the seller for defects – patent or latent.
- Insist that the estate agent or conveyancing attorney replaces the voetstoets clause with a home inspection clause. This Home Inspection Clause should state that the house is purchased subject to the buyer accepting the extent of the defects documented by the home inspector. That way you, the Buyer can withdraw your offer or renegotiate the deal if the defects discovered by the home inspector are unacceptable to you.