Make moving plain sailing

Buying a new home is fraught with a myriad of details – and buyers don’t need added complications when the day comes to move lock, stock and barrel.
A few precautions can, however, prevent a lot of unnecessary stress, advises Martin Schultheiss, CEO of the Harcourts Africa property group.
In the first place, buyers should ensure that their sales agreements clearly state when they may take occupation of the property. This date is usually the first day of the month after transfer of ownership is registered in the buyer’s name, but may be negotiated between buyer and seller. It is, however, advisable that the agreement specifies a date, rather than a vague description such as “upon registration of transfer”.
If the agreed date allows the seller to keep occupying the property for a period after transfer, the agreement should clearly stipulate the amount of occupational rent payable. It is also helpful to stipulate that occupational rent must be credited to you as soon as the suspensive conditions of your agreement have been fulfilled as it will reduce the amount of ready cash you need to cover transfer and moving costs.
In the second place, says Schultheiss, buyers should arrange to have house keys and remote controls to gates and alarm systems handed over in good time. “It is certainly stressful to be confronted by a locked property when the removal van arrives at the gate,” he says.
“Thirdly, moving in and unpacking are much easier if the house is properly cleaned beforehand. If the seller does not undertake to do this, buyers may consider hiring a professional cleaning team. Arrangements for access to the property a day or two before the move should be made well in advance.
“And, lastly, don’t leave any details about the deal to the last minute. All questions about the property should be answered and negotiations regarding payments for repairs should be finalised when the deal is negotiated – and certainly before the contract is signed.
“One way of ensuring this process flows smoothly is to appoint an experienced and knowledgeable estate agent who will make sure the details are taken care of as a matter of course.”

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