Keeping the lights on
Selling and buying properties under challenging circumstances1st Jul 2020
How do we continue buying or selling properties in light of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic as a national disaster?
How do we to continue providing value-adding and secure and safe property services?How do we make use of aid that can assist real estate professionals to keep the lights on?
Regarding property sales
A group of attorneys who specialise in assisting their clients with the sale of properties came up with some innovative solutions, all of which are already in use. Meyer de Waal of MDW INC, one of the founding members of the Attorney Realtor Hub, says:
- We have some 14 firms of attorneys associated with the Attorney Realtor Hub and 88 staff members employed by these firms.
- We realised we have to keep the lights on, and cannot stop assisting our sellers and buyers in the face of this global adversity.
- We also have a responsibility to keep ourselves and the people around us safe in terms of managing the spread of COVID-19.
Our 12 tips
“We recommend the following tips for home buyers, sellers, property sales agents and professionals to beat the slump this virus could cause in the property industry,” says De Waal:
1. Minimize personal showings of properties for sale:
- With the latest virtual reality tour (VRT) software and services available, a home buyer need not leave his or her own home or office to view five or 10 properties they have identified.
- A sales agent does not need to take a home buyer to multiple home viewings, but can provide an online link to view all the properties available for sale.
- With VRT, a property seller will also have less visitors to the property as the entire property and surroundings can be viewed online.
2. Property due diligence:
- A property that is purchased is not issued with an “AA” or “roadworthy certificate”.
- No need to visit the property personally for an inspection – get a professional to do it for you.
- Arrange a home inspection report from an expert to inspect the condition of the property before you conclude the purchase transaction.
- The approval by the purchaser of the outcome of the house inspection report can be made a suspensive condition in the deed of sale.
- The home inspector will have all the necessary precautions available to safely inspect your future home.
3. Do your own home loan online pre-qualification check before you buy:
- There is no need to visit your personal bank and stand in a queue to obtain your verified bank statements.
- Make use of the latest online home loan prequalification software, and obtain real-time bank statements. This software can provide a quick result, and give you an outline of the home loan you qualify for.
4. Home Loan application:
- A home loan application can usually be submitted online via email to a mortgage originator, or directly to a financial institution.
- If required, the original documents can be dispatched via courier to avoid unnecessary face-to-face contact.
5. Government FLISP subsidy for first-time home buyers:
- An application for a FLISP subsidy usually requires one to personally visit the offices of the Department of Human Settlements or National Housing Finance Corporation, wait in a long queue, obtain the necessary forms, and submit application for the FLISP subsidy.
- Find out before you apply for a home loan with the FLISP subsidy calculator what subsidy you may qualify for.
- Get the FLISP support service team to assist with your application and avoid standing in queues.
6. Obtaining alternative property finance:
- Obtain a pre-approval certificate to secure your property with Rent2buy Finance. rent2buy finance is available for properties in the price range of between R400,000 – R1.8 million, and is available in Cape Town Metro, Gauteng and Bloemfontein.
- HIP Housing just increased their home loan offering from R650,000 to R950,000. Click here to view the Human Investment Partners Brochure.
7. Buying a property? Work out your budget:
- Make use of this handy transfer and bond cost calculator tool.
- Don’t forget you need to budget for the attorney transfer and bond registration costs when you purchase a property.
8. Selling a Property? Work out how much tax you will pay:
- Make use of available online tools that can get you a quick result.
- Calculate your own capital gains tax in advance – you want to know how much you will end up with in your pocket after the property sale and settling the CGT.
9. Signing of Documents:
- Deeds of sale, transfer and bond registration documents:
- A deed of sale must be in writing and signed by both the seller and purchaser.
- Most financial institutions also require that two witnesses must attest the document.
- The deed of sale can be circulated via electronic communication (email) and signed by the parties without actually meeting one another.
- Transfer documents must be signed in person by the seller. Mortgage documents must also be signed by the purchaser. Find out in advance the COVID-19 protocol of the transferring or bond attorneys.
- Expect delays:
- The deeds office, local municipalities and many attorneys are in lockdown.
- At this stage no registrations can be done at the deeds office.
- Once the deeds office opens for business again, some rates clearance certificates may have lapsed or will be close to lapsing.
- Attorneys may have to apply for fresh rates clearance certificates before they can lodge their deeds for registration at the deeds office.
10. Consulting with your transferring attorney or Rent2buy finance advisor:
- With today’s communication technology you do not need to come in to your attorney’s or Rent2buy advisor’s office to consult with them regarding your transfer.
- Zoom, Skype, email, telephone or video chat are all useful tools for communicating with your professional so that you stay up to date with your transfer.
11. Shaking hands no longer seals the deal:
- A good handshake no longer seals the deal, your signature is all that is needed.
- Professionals in the property market are there to assist you in any way possible. They won’t be offended if you opt for the elbow.
12. SARS-CoV-2 can’t be transmitted through online banking:
- Many property buyers still opt to go to their nearest bank branch in order to make payments.
- Online banking is a safe and user-friendly platform that will allow you to make payments for your bond or transfer costs in a safe and secure manner.
- Contact your personal banking institution to sign up for their online banking services.
No need to switch of the lights
The property industry needs to be innovative in order to continue to function and provide the safest and most secure interaction between sellers and buyers, and other stakeholders. Meyer de Waal says:
- Some home buyers have been discouraged from buying a property as we are facing uncertain times, and buyers are reluctant to attend meetings or commit themselves to financial obligations.
- Investing in property still remains one of the most secure investments you can make. If one compares a property investment to the “crash” that that the Corona Virus caused in the stock exchange, it is plain to see property is a safe investment.
- The reality is that in South Africa, the supply and delivery of housing must to continue to meet the dire need for a roof over one’s head.
- Virtual online support, services, software and products can assist in many ways. This industry has the all the tools it needs to meet this challenge head on, and continue to provide professional services to sellers and purchasers.