Lawyers get a bad rap. A good law firm is like a coach standing in your corner looking out for your best interests.
We sat down with lawyer Clinton Bothma and asked him about some of the big issues he sees every day in property law and the public. In this exclusive interview he shares some critical insights into how you can protect yourself when buying a new property.
What is a typical problem you see the general public having with the law and legal advice?
People do things without the proper structure and legal support. Then when things go wrong, they hire a legal firm to sort out the issue rather than getting things set up properly first. Across the board, people are not proactive enough in getting their legal and financial affairs in order. Then they can find themselves in a high-pressure situation where they may lose out or not get the best deal. Too often people only think of legal advice once something has gone wrong.
Being prepared means you’re making a decision based on your rights. This helps get you into a rational state of mind. As property lawyers, we’re here to look after your interests and help you get the best deal possible.
Is there any advice you would give people to help prevent getting into trouble?
Don’t scrimp at the beginning to set things up. Pay a small amount now, rather than a large amount of money, time and stress to sort out problems later.
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the action of preparing documents for the transfer of property ownership.
Within the building industry and buying a home, what issues do you see coming up again and again?
People don’t understand the process, and they end up signing contracts they don’t understand. Then when they need to rescind a contract, pull out or amend details, it can be complicated and costly.
If you were going to buy a home tomorrow what insight would you bring to the process?
I would include a due diligence clause. A due diligence clause gives you the ability to pull out without incurring fees or getting stuck with any complications.
Are there any resources you can suggest that people can access to get proper legal advice?
People will go and google things, and this can be a problem. A lot of information can be misleading and confusing. It’s essential to get advice that is specific to your purpose.
I would contact a conveyancing firm and ask them how we can protect your interests in looking for and buying a property. People don’t realise that a lot of lawyers will give free advice on general topics like this.
What are the benefits of dealing with a professional legal firm?
Knowing that your interests are being looked after. You also get specific legal advice as well as clauses and contracts that protect your interests.
How do you see the rise of technology and innovations in the IT realm impacting on the process of legal advice?
It’s massive. Disruptive technology is a big issue in the industry. Artifice intelligence will eventually replace the transactional work.
The role of the lawyer will change from face to face to the person that plugins in the information into the AI.
Thank you to Clinton for his time and insight.