select
|

Beware of property buying syndicate

The exclusive lifestyle on offer in Blair Atholl in Lanseria has attracted more than just buyers who are looking for secure, upmarket homes. 

According to Glenn Norton, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Masters, there has been a syndicate operating in the area and the surrounds which has portrayed themselves as serious buyers with the objective of gaining occupation of exclusive estate homes.

“Once a buyer has gained occupation of a property it can be a lengthy and expensive legal battle to have them removed, even if they have not made any of the promised payments that they said would be made. This points to the importance of vetting potential buyers and making sure that occupation is not handed over until the transfer of ownership has been complete,” advises Norton. “There might be certain circumstances that require the buyer to move in before transfer has taken place. In these instances it is important to ensure that a deposit has been paid at the very least.”

Donna Sipman, Property Consultant at RE/MAX Masters, who predominantly handles property sales in the Blair Atholl Estate, says that the estate offers an idyllic lifestyle which makes it so alluring. “Houses for sale in Blair Atholl range from R8 million to an amazing R60 million. Many of these mansions have been on the market for a while as the number of buyers who can afford such homes are limited and this market segment is generally slower moving than the average property market,” says Sipman. “The exclusivity and luxury of the Blair Atholl Estate and others like it in the surrounding areas has attracted many ‘fake’ buyers who make offers on properties.”

She notes that those operating within the syndicate are convincing as many are not first time offenders. “These perpetrators often have the same modus operandi, they need to move into the property quickly and have the cash. They know how the sales process works and can even provide substantiating documentation to legitimise their claims of funds to make the purchase. Inevitably, they do not ever produce the cash,” Sipman explains.

She notes that syndicate members often submit offers with a promise of cash or bank guarantees. They provide FICA documentation and have been known to sign the transfer documents in order to convince the parties involved that they are serious. If deposits are asked for, they are delayed. If guarantees are not issued, fake documentation can be provided to prove the process is legit. “Members of the syndicate have gone to great lengths to be as convincing as possible. They even arrange lunch meetings with the seller and agent, or meet the conveyancer at their offices to apologise for the delays and convince all the parties of their efforts to correct the situation,” says Sipman. “Excuses range from delays with the reserve bank, cash not arriving from the source, money leaving their account and not arriving in the conveyancing attorney’s trust account and others related to religious restrictions.”

The fraud remains undetected until the homeowner no longer has the patience to wait for the pending funds and a breach notice and subsequent cancellation, due to non-performance, is sent by the conveyancer.

Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that buyers and sellers, tenants and landlords who work through a reputable real estate agency have less chance of falling prey to fraudsters as qualified, professional estate agents have access to various tools and systems to help them scrutinise property sale and rental transactions more thoroughly.

“It is not easy to spot these buyers and distinguish them from the rest. These ‘fake’ buyers are people from all walks of life. They can be businessmen, individuals claiming to be attorneys or government officials or from humanitarian organisations,” says Sipman. “As an agent, I would like to protect my sellers from these kinds of syndicates by pushing for a deposit or insisting on handing the offer in to the seller together with a bank guarantee. However, this is not always an obstacle that deters these fraudsters.”

She concludes by saying that sellers need to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions to avoid falling prey to such scams. 


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 18 Jan 2018
      The Southern Suburbs make up some of the most popular residential areas in Cape Town, comprising charming groups of suburbs which lie to the south-east of the slopes of Table Mountain. It is seen as the city's most expensive residential neighbourhoods with a choice of various private schools, upmarket eateries, wine estates, beautiful homes and trendy apartments.
    • 18 Jan 2018
      New year, new goals! If you’ve resolved to purchase your first property in 2018, then this 6-step guide from the Rawson Property Group is a must-read. It will help you navigate and simplify what is often be seen as a confusing process of buying your first home – right from the house-hunt to the house-warming.
    • 17 Jan 2018
      While the current property market may still favour buyers, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be well prepared before putting in an offer to purchase.
    • 17 Jan 2018
      Lightstone lists Blair Atholl as the most expensive suburb with an average house price of R11.2 million, followed by Westcliff (R10.5 million), Dunkeld (R9.3 million), Sandhurst (R9.1 million) and Inanda (R7.2 million).
    • 17 Jan 2018
      As it currently stands, there are four main ways in which a home can be bought in South Africa, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who adds that deciding in which legal entity to purchase the property is not a decision that should be entered into lightly, as each has its pros and cons.
    • 16 Jan 2018
      The start of the new year is symbolic of new beginnings. A good time to take stock of one’s possessions as well as how necessary they actually are. However, seeing as the process may appear daunting – a plan goes a long way.
    • 16 Jan 2018
      The Western Cape is still in the throes of a severe drought and many households have to adjust the way they use and save water. It is a little more complicated in sectional title schemes, however, as it is not that easy to implement grey water systems for multiple users and it is also difficult to monitor water usage accurately if there are no separate water meters
    • 15 Jan 2018
      In ideal rental situations, when a lease is signed the tenant will stay for the full duration of his lease without any complications and the landlord will uphold his obligations, creating a win-win situation for tenant and landlord.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK