Selling your property? You have the right to choose your conveyancer

10 Sep 2019

One of the most frequently asked questions in a property purchase is why, if the buyer of a property is paying the conveyancing attorney, the seller has the right to appoint him? Our common law specifically states that a seller is the party entitled to nominate who the transferring attorney must be in a property purchase transaction. This is because the seller is far more at risk than the purchaser. It is the seller, as the owner of the property to be transferred, who stands to lose more and therefore has a stronger claim to the appointment of the conveyancer. It is the transferring attorney’s duty to ensure that the purchase price is secured. The seller generally feels that his attorney has his best interests at heart, managing these important elements and receipt of the purchase price. It must be mentioned, however, that the conveyancer acts neutrally on behalf of both parties.

Should the seller not have his or her own attorney, the purchaser is entitled to nominate a conveyancing attorney, provided the parties come to a mutual agreement. The seller should always check the conveyancer’s track record, reputability and efficiency. It is important for the purchaser to be aware that all conveyancers’ fees are the same as they are prescribed and regulated by the law societies of South Africa. Where costs differ is the disbursements charged by firms, as this depends on their service providers.

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
Robyn Downs

Robyn is a senior associate at Eversheds (KZN) and heads up their property department. She has many years of experience in the conveyancing and property field. She commenced her law... Read more about Robyn Downs


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