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A new record for house sellers
Fin24.com - South Africa
A mild recovery in residential property demand from late last year is continuing, shows the FNB Residential Property Barometer survey released on Wednesday.

But don't get "too excited" at this stage, warned FNB Home Loans strategist John Loos.

The second quarter results of the survey showed a "stuttering" in the recent trend in demand activity levels.

Estate agents surveyed reported an almost insignificant decline in demand activity from 4.8 in the previous quarter to 4.79 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Loos said seasonal factors might be largely responsible for this.

Quick fixes for desperate property sellers - banks
RealEstateWeb - South Africa

10% estate agency commissions; 100% bonds for buyers. The catch?

South Africa's big banks, smacked hard by defaulting home loan clients, have come up with a quick fix for desperate property sellers. With an offer of 10% commissions to estate agents in some cases and up to 100% mortgage finance for bargain-hunters, there's a catch - sellers can expect to walk away still owing their bank manager money after they no longer own the home.

Auctioneers have been reporting a roaring trade in distressed property sales as the recession takes its toll on over-indebted consumers. Estate agents, meanwhile, have struggled to make ends meet as buyers have failed en masse to secure mortgage finance for properties. Some estate agents have opened their own auctioneering divisions with a view to capturing some of the distressed sales business while others have persuaded banks to give them a share of the pie in a "quick sell" programme.

The carrot for sellers in these new "quick sell" type deals is they can offload their cumbersome real estate liabilities quickly and avoid being "blacklisted", though they can expect to continue paying off a shortfall between what they initially owed the bank for buying the property in the first place and the discount at which it sells in this market. Some sellers are heavily indebted thanks to remortgaging their homes above their market value and then spending the excess funds elsewhere - like on cars, businesses or general consumption expenditure.

The importance of a paper trail when exercising an option to renew a lease
Igqwetha Training Academy - South Africa
Stand 2436 PMB (Pty) Ltd v Takor [2009] JOL 23754
The facts in this judgment relate to the situation where the lessee alleged that he validly exercised his option to extend the lease agreement whilst the lessor alleged that he never received the notification. The lessee claimed to have typed the letter on his computer and then sending it off via ordinary mail. He saved it to his computer but kept no paper copy and could not access the letter again because the computer's hard drive had been cleaned up.

Although this matter does not deal with any new legal issue, it is reported here because it reconfirms the immense importance of always keeping proper record of the paper trail in any transaction because of difficulties of proof when disputes arise. Whether it is a lease agreement, an agreement of sale or any other transaction, the records must be kept safe since it is often the only method of proving that a party did or did not comply with a requirement of the agreement.
Igqwetha Training Academy

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