Henwoods is a Founding Member of the Attorney Realtor Hub.
Attorneys have always been lawfully entitled to sell property for their clients but until recently the Estate Agents’ profession enjoyed a dominant role in the South African Real Estate industry. However technology has all but eliminated the advantage that Estate Agents used to enjoy and the high commissions their franchise business models force them to charge make them uncompetitive in today’s market.
Historically the competitive advantage enjoyed by the Estate Agents’ profession was their immersion in the market to the exclusion of all others which enabled them to claim with authority and credibility that they were best placed to determine property values and that they alone had the networks necessary to give your property the fullest exposure to the market. The truth is that both of these competitive advantages have been lost to the Estate Agents’ profession by the advent of internet-based technologies which allow anyone to generate a Comparative Market Analysis valuation and which have created the massive property marketing platforms we enjoy today (think Property24 and PrivateProperty). The ground has moved under the feet of the Estate Agents’ profession and other property professionals have shaken up the industry and are leading the way to client-focused solutions. Henwoods have been a part of this innovation.
The Estate Agents’ profession suffers from a serious and irreparable weakness – the inadequate qualification of its agents to properly negotiate the increasingly complex legal environment in which property transactions take place. This weakness is never going to be overcome by the Estate Agents’ profession because to do so would create an undesirable barrier to entry into that profession.
But the weakness from which the Estate Agents’ profession suffers is the opposite side of the competitive advantage enjoyed by attorneys who might wish to enter the Real Estate industry – attorneys, and conveyancers in particular, are supremely qualified to negotiate the increasingly complex legal environment in which property transactions take place: in fact there are no better qualified property professionals to fill this space.
Apart from the qualification advantages attorneys enjoy we have expertise and experience across the entire spectrum of property law and its related fields – sale, lease, contract, agency, tax, construction, and so on. This enables us to draft appropriate contracts from the outset. So instead of a situation where an Estate Agent has put together a property, a seller and a purchaser and the parties then need to find an attorney to draft an acceptable contract that deals with all relevant issues, be it vat zero-rating, or rent-to-buy, or vendor financing and private bonds, or plot-and-plan, or whatever, the situation is that with your attorney already involved from the outset the best qualified person is already intimately involved. Moreover, the attorney who has assisted in the negotiation and finalisation of the contract will then guide the parties and the transaction through the conveyancing process. In this way your attorney can assist you in the sale of your property from A to Z, starting with the valuation and marketing of the property, through the negotiation and finalisation of a bespoke Deed of Sale rather than the one-size-fits-all Offer to Purchase inevitably used by an Estate Agent, to the conveyancing and finalisation of the entire transaction – all with one property professional: your attorney.
And the cherry on the top is the low commissions (usually between 2 and 2,5%) charged by your attorney.
For more information check out the Attorney Realtor Hub on the web: