There are several issues surrounding the sale of a property. Muhammed Kizito, a real estate manager, explains some of the factors that might cause a delay in the process of closing a real estate deal.

A poor first impression
It is easy to overlook little things, but they are the first things likely buyers notice. You do not have to spend months doing a complete makeover, but the outside of your home is what people notice first, and first impressions do last.

“Therefore, do a general cleanup and make sure that your potential buyer’s attention will be grabbed immediately,” he advises.

Kizito says several home owners place too high a value on a house they have lived in and loved for years.
“It’s not always easy, but you have to look at your house from a buyer’s perspective,” Kizito says, adding that it is better to look at the recent sale prices in your area to give you an idea of how much to charge. “Sometimes some agents tends to put the price high because they want to get more commission and this also brings in a delay to find a serious buyer,” Kizito says, adding that they should be cautioned.

Lack of planning permission
A property agent has a duty to ensure that all necessary planning permissions and building regulations approvals have been obtained in respect of constructing/making changes to a property.
Even when no owner is involved there is a duty to the buyer to ensure that any previous changes to a property were carried out correctly and meet applicable standards and regulations.

Sheilah Namwanje, a lawyer, explains some of the legal issues which can cause delay in the process of selling a certain property.

Delay in signing documents
Namwanje says when purchasing a property, regardless of whether the owner is involved, there are numerous documents that needed to be signed by both buyers and sellers, some of which need to be witnessed.

“Arranging to have this done can sometimes cause delays. To avoid this, an estate agent should be available all the time to sign contracts and return documents as quickly as possible,” She says.

Incorrect information
Namwanje says some of the mistakes that can lead to the disqualification of documents include having the wrong land title, national insurance number, financial background and references, among others.

“To avoid having your application returned to you, take care when filling in your form and double check that all the information you have given is correct,” Namwanje says.

Transferring funds
Namwanje says your lawyer should be responsible for collecting and transferring money during the sale of a property.

“Since some banks will not transfer certain amounts of money, some people decide to transfer money over a series of days to avoid this charge. Others will write a cheque, but either of these methods will slow the process,” Namwanje says.

She adds that loan offers usually last between three and six months, and if they expire before all necessary legalities are complete, then a new loan will need to be applied for.

“Remember, sometimes delays are out of the hands of your lawyers and you have to do everything you can to ensure that the process is completed as quickly as possible,” she says.

It can be very frustrating when a real estate closing is delayed, however, being aware of the above reasons a closing is delayed can help reduce the shock, should it happen to you.
Also, it can help you by knowing what your real estate agent and other professionals involved in the transaction should be doing.

Loss of deeds
Sheilah Namwanje, a lawyer, says title deeds show the chain of ownership for a property. As Land Registry’s records are now digital, they do not store original paper title deeds. However, if your property is not on their digital register, you will need to apply for registration and this can take time and involves proving your identity.

Many buyers will wish to see gas/electricity safety certificates when purchasing a property. While it is not a legal requirement to provide these certificates, make sure that when asked, you can provide photocopies.
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