Identify buyers before arranging property viewings

With the recent reports of estate agents being hijacked or attacked while showing homes, it seems more important now than ever to ensure that potential buyers are pre-identified and qualified as “real” buyers before being shown properties for sale, says Meyer de Waal, Attorney Realtor Hub member and director of law firm MDW Inc.

“It is always a risk to pick up a stranger in your car – or meet at a house to show. I have dealt with many situations in the past where buyers had not been properly identified and FICA documents had only been asked for when we were busy with the transfer process, which is a risky thing to do,” he says.

“With security risks being as high as they are in South Africa now, it is advisable to ensure that when you meet sellers or buyers you have identified them properly and Attorney Realtor Hub members can do this online as part of their screening process. This will ensure that buyers are who they say they are, are serious about buying and can afford the property they are viewing.”

The process begins by asking buyers to create an online profile, thus removing the risks and administrative headaches of collecting data later, says de Waal.

With the software available, each Attorney Realtor Hub member can ask buyers to personally identify themselves and upload the required FICA documents and identity documents and at the same time perform credit checks – all through a customised online process.

It is done completely online by asking buyers to register at

Potential buyers can then:

  • Subscribe for updates.
  • Identify themselves.
  • Upload copies of the buyers’ identity documents.
  • FICA themselves.
  • Do online credit and affordability checks.

“This process will eliminate the risk of taking someone through a property who is not seriously looking to buy a property and will help weed out criminals by making it difficult for them to enter a property without their photos being on record,” says de Waal.

“To take this identification one step further, we also ask potential buyers to upload selfies on the online profile. We can them match the selfies with the identity documents provided to ensure they are the pre-identified buyers that meet the sellers and the property sales agent.

“One group that is using the software already has over 28 000 subscribers and our own combined subscriber database exceeds 24 000 subscribers so far,” says de Waal.

Attorney Realtor Hub members also offer virtual tours of properties for sale before physical viewings are done, and they encourage all sellers to use this service. Buyers can view the virtual tour before making an appointment to view the property, which helps to keep the number of strangers going through properties down to a minimum.

Call Meyer de Waal on 021 461 0065, email view