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How to buy, sell during a pandemic

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Given the current situation, more transacting will be done on digital platforms, with all parties using secure document transfer and sharing platforms, including email, says Tony Clarke.

His advice?

Focus on security Ensure password protection is used and speak to the people to who you are sending documents to avoid possible security breaches. If you’re transferring money, phone the conveyancer before transferring funds to ensure you have the right banking details, says Clarke who is Rawson Property Group’s managing director’

Fraudsters are intercepting email correspondence and sending buyers doctored correspondence with their own banking details. Cold feet In uncertain times some buyers and sellers might get cold feet. If you sense this is happening, speak to your conveyancer to avoid wasting people’s time – or money. Delays 

There could be delays in the transfer process on the part of stakeholders. Conveyancers should try to keep all parties updated if a delay looms. Moving in the time of Covid-19 In terms of buyers and tenants moving into new properties, various situations might arise. Buyers or tenants might ask for the property to be disinfected; sellers might be unable to vacate because they are in isolation or quarantine and removal companies might be unwilling or unable to assist.

In cases like these, clear and constant communication between all relevant parties is essential in ensuring that issues are identified in good time and alternative arrangements made.

Bond payments and rentals If you have financial worries and are concerned about your ability to meet your existing mortgage payments, contact your lender to discuss your options. Tenants in trouble should contact their landlords as soon as possible to discuss delayed or partial payment options.

Most landlords would be willing to work with a good tenant who is experiencing hardship due to current events. Sectional title complex residents can also contact their homeowners association and ask that any special levies are delayed and that normal levies are reduced for three months, as the association should have an emergency fund to help with such a reprieve.

Families should adjust their budgets and stick to them. They should also avoid any “pay-day loans” or cash advances. While access to cash can be extremely helpful in times of financial duress, it’s expensive and can lead to a future debt trap.

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