Property Transfer Guide In 5 Easy Steps

Even with the simplest of property transactions, at least three attorneys and three government or municipal authorities may be involved in the transaction.

Provided there are no unexpected delays or surprises, the property transfer process takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks to complete.

The legal term for transfer of ownership of immovable property is conveyancing, otherwise known in layman’s terms as property transfer. The process is facilitated and brought to successful conclusion by a conveyancing attorney.

Here’s a guide to the property transfer process in 5 easy steps:

1: The Sale Agreement
The seller signs the sale agreement, at which point there is a binding agreement between the Seller and the Buyer. The purchaser may require a home loan and may use the services of a bond originator to obtain finance from the banks.

2: Transferring Attorney
Generally, unless the parties agree otherwise, the seller now appoints a transferring attorney, also known as a conveyancer. The conveyancing attorney prepares the the transfer documentation for eventual submission to the Deeds Office, including documents for FICA compliance and a statement of the seller’s bond cancellation figures. The conveyancer then obtains and provides the original Title Deed of the property to the bond cancellation attorneys.

3: Sign the Transfer Documents
Now the purchaser and seller are required to sign the transfer documents. At this stage the transferring attorney establishes that the seller’s rates and taxes are up to date and obtains a rates clearance certificate issued by the relevant local municipality.

4: Pay Transfer Duty
Once the purchaser has paid the transfer duty, a tax on property transfers, the transferring attorney requests a transfer duty receipt from SARS and then makes payment of the transfer duty on behalf of the purchaser.

5: Lodgement at the Deeds Office

The final stage of the process requires the transferring attorney to attend to lodgement of all the required documents with the Deeds Office. Within 8 to 10 working days, provided there are no queries at the Deeds Office, the transaction is registered and the purchaser is the new owner of the property!

With over 30 years of experience as an estate agent, Frans Theunissen of Fisherhaven Properties has brought many successful transactions to the table. Frans has the know-how to help guide both buyers and sellers throughout the process and he is available anytime to answer questions about the transfer process.

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