Property Transfer Process in South Africa
Transferring property in South Africa refers to the legal process of one party giving full or partial ownership of immovable property to another party. What is being transferred is the right, and the transfer of the ownership right can commence upon a sale, a death, or divorce. Transfer of ownership can take up to 3 months to complete.
The transfer process can involve up to three legal practitioners. The most important one is the Conveyancer because they must be appointed from the outset to manage the transfer from start to finish. The other attorneys are the
- The transfer attorney is the Conveyancer that attends to the transfer of the property and registers it in the Deeds Office, ensuring the Deed is handed over to the buyer is they paid for the property in cash, or to the buyer’s bank if they have registered a bond over the property.
- The bond cancellation attorney cancels the seller’s bond over the property and manages the payment of the outstanding bond amount when the buyer has paid.
- The bond registration attorney registers the buyer’s bond over the property.
What does a Conveyancer do?
- Offer To Purchase
The Conveyancer can assist in the creation of an Offer to Purchase; an agreement that contains the terms and conditions for the sale of a property. The seller and buyer must agree on all issues such as the date of occupation, fixtures, fittings, the conditions of sale etc and then sign the document.
- A Conveyancer manages the costs related to the transfer of the property which include:
- Transfer duty to SARS
- Rates payable to the municipality
- Fees to the banks that are involved in the sale
- A Conveyancer manages the communication between all the parties involved in the transfer of the property:
- The seller
- The buyer
- The bond attorneys
- Relevant banks
- South African Revenue Services (SARS)
- A Conveyancer receives the instruction to transfer the property and is responsible for the drafting and signing of the transfer documents.
- A Conveyancer collects information required to draft transfer documents and reports on the progress of the collection process to all role-players. Information and documents include, inter alia:
- The agreement of sale
- Existing deed
- Bond cancellation figures from the bank
- Deeds Office search
- Rates, lights, water and refuse removal clearance figures from the local authority, as well as levy
figures from the body corporate or homeowners’ authority
- clearance certificate from the municipality
- Power of Attorney and affidavits required
- Managing the financial arrangements which include acquiring funds for the conveyancer’s interim account for expenses related to the transfer, collecting the purchase price and deposit, and obtaining the bank guarantee.
- Obtaining the transfer duty receipt from SARS and ensuring the buyer pays all taxes related to the transfer of the property.
- Registration at the Deeds Office with all the required documents. Once the Deeds Office is satisfied that all requirements have been met to transfer the property, it registers the transfer,
- and the transfer attorney notifies all involved parties.
- Cancelling the old bond and registering the new bond.
- Settling accounts after registration, the conveyancer calculates and settles the estate agent’s commission, the purchase price and all accounts relating to the sale. The conveyor’s final account is paid by the buyer and the seller.
Greyensteins Attorneys have offices in Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha), Cape Town and Johannesburg. Contact us for assistance with property transfers across South Africa.