Since we posted our Newsflash recently, introducing the “Photo Sale Agreement” method, we had a number of estate agents enquiring whether the Banks will accept sale agreements in this manner. Having made enquiries, we were alerted to the fact that the Banks are now all (since last week Thursday) willing to accept UNSIGNED offers to purchase! It also appears that some banks have in the past insisted on witness signatures on all OTPs (regardless of whether sellers were married in COP or not). This is also being relaxed during lockdown.
Although this is certainly positive news to enable loan approvals, we wish to urge agents to still use our Photo Sale Agreement method, (when all else fails), and, where sellers are married in COP, to try and get witnesses to also sign, to ensure that you all have valid and binding sale agreements. No point in getting a bond if the formalities of the sale were not met because in reality, you still have a VOID sale agreement! Where the sellers are married in COP, the one would be for such sellers to do a Zoom or Whatsapp video call to the agent, sign the OTP on video so that the agent can see it is them signing, and then the agent can simply witness the signatures. Although two witnesses should sign for each signatory, if only one (or none) is available, so be it. When the sellers eventually appear in front of a conveyancer, they have to sign a Power of Attorney to authorise the transfer and then those signatures will also require two witnesses. When that happens, then the “defect” will be remedied. Until then, one will have to rely on good faith. It is the best one can do! The law was not designed to deal with this situation in mind, so we have to improvise where we can.
Miltons Matsemela Inc