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The home buying process

For many people buying a home sounds much more difficult than it really is. The reason is that we do not do it regularly enough so that we can get trained in doing so. Here is a short description of the home buying process:

  1. The Purchase - You look around and identify the home you want. The seller and you (the buyer) sign an offer to purchase. If the seller accept the offer, the buyer contacts the bond originator who will appoint an experienced consultant to collect all the necessary document from you and submit it to the bank(s).
  2. The Approval - The bank approves the home loan and instructs the bond attorney to register a mortgage bond.
  3. The property registration or transfer - The seller instructs the transferring attorney to transfer the property into the buyer's name. Normally the seller appoints the attorney of his/her choice, but if you negotiate with the seller and he/she does not have any objections, you may appoint your own attorney. The title deeds and cancellation figures are requested from the current bond holding bank and a rates and taxes statement are requested from the local municipality.
  4. The Transferring Attorney - The transferring attorney get the buyer and seller to sign the transfer documents after receiving the title deeds and cancellation figures. The buyer has to pay the transfer fees.
  5. The Cancellation Attorney - The cancellation attorney is requested to cancel the seller's bond after receiving a guarantee from the bank for the amount still outstanding. You will note that it can save a lot of time to use an attorney who is registered on the bank's panel of attorneys. Also try to the same attorney for all the transactions. Otherwise your documents have to be sent from one attorney to the other which not only waste time but also money.
  6. The Bond Attorney - The Bond Attorney then contacts the transferring attorney. He advises the transferring attorney of the amount available for guarantees and requests the transfer (or draft deed) and guarantee requirements. The bond attorney prepares the bond documents. The buyer signs the bond documents, the attorney prepares and issues the necessary guarantees, forwards them to the transferring attorney, and prepares the bond documents for lodging at the Deeds Office. Note that the buyer pays for this service.
  7. The Deeds Office - All the documents are handed in at the deeds office simultaneously by arrangement with all the relevant attorneys. The deeds office takes about two to three weeks to check the documents. If everything are correct they continue with registration.
  8. The Bank - On the day of registration the bank pays out according to the guarantees issued.

You can allow at least three months for the registration and transfer process.

Factors which can delay the registration and transfer process:

  1. Failure by the buyer or seller to provide the necessary information
  2. Failure by buyer to obtain necessary proof of income and other documents
  3. Failure by the buyer to pay a deposit if required
  4. The existing bond holder (bank) failing to provide cancellation figures and title deeds to the transferring attorney
  5. Delay in the obtaining of guarantees
  6. Failure by the buyer to pay the bond or transfer costs on time
  7. Delay by seller or buyer to sign the transfer documents