Tuesday, 8 January 2008

The Transfer Process (You the Buyer)

Welcome to 2008. I'm pleased to announce that I've managed to get off my lazy butt and now I'm ready to entertain. I wasn't too sure what kind of article to start 2008 off on and I thought I'd start it with the question we were asked most this December.

What is the process behind a transfer of deed sale. I.E. When I buy your property, what's the process behind the scenes that changes the property details from your name to my name.

It is the estate agent's responsibility to ensure a superior performance in the process of the marketing, sale and transfer of the property in the Deeds Office is performed by a conveyancer. A professional estate agent needs to understand the basic conveyancing procedures performed by the conveyancer.


The term "conveyancing" describes the legal process whereby a person, close corporation, company or trust becomes registered and lawful owner of fixed property and ensures that such ownership cannot be challenged.

The conveyancer is a person who has passed the national conveyancing examination. By law this is the only person who can register fixed property transfers.

The seller usually appoints the conveyancer in the transfer process. This appointment can be negotiated between the parties of sale agreements. You'll very often find that when using a bond originator, it's often best to ask them which attorneys they suggest as they generally manage to get discounted rates with selected attorney panels. Make sure that the estate agent does not force you into using their attorneys. Chat to the seller and come to some sort of agreement. After all it is you the buyer that is paying the transfer fees and not the seller.

Agreement of Sale

The first step in the process of property transfer is to ensure the existence of the Offer to Purchase or Agreements of Sale. This means a valid contract between you the buyer and the seller. A written Offer to Purchase signed by a purchaser and accepted by the seller, after all suspense conditions have been fulfilled, constitutes a binding DEED OF SALE. Oral contracts do not stand.

Conveyancing Procedures

On receipt of the signed Deed of Sale, the conveyancer will conduct the following procedures:

1. Conduct a Deeds office search to verify the details of the property
2. Prepare the documentation that the seller and you the purchaser will need to sign

3. Liaise with the municipality for valuation certificates and rates clearance forms
4. Electrical Certificates
5. Purchasers (your) bond instructions which they will receive from the bank


All costs relating to the transfer of fixed property need to be paid prior to registration of transfer and will include the following:

Transfer Duty
Value Added Tax
Rates and Levies
Conveyancing Fees
Bond Registration Costs
Bond Cancellation Costs

Deeds Office Procedures

The conveyancer will lodge the documents they have prepared with the Deeds Office for registration. If there is a mortgage bond to be registered, or a bond to be cancelled, the conveyancers attending to the registration thereof will lodge their documentation simultaneously with the transfer documentation.

Two examiners in the Deeds Office will then examine the documentation to ensure that they comply with all the relevant legislation and regulations. If all the documents are found to be in order and ready for registration they are executed by the conveyancer approximately eight working days after lodged in the Deeds Office.

On registration the purchaser becomes the lawful owner of the property, Approximately one month after registration the Deeds Office releases the Title Deed reflecting the new ownership, which in turn is passed on to the new owner. If a mortgage bond was registered the Title Deed is retained by the financial institution.


The period of time it takes to register a transfer depends on the cooperation of each party involved. Most transfers if everything runs smoothly happens within 6 - 8 weeks.

That's the end of our first article for 2008. I hope you all enjoyed it.
WizardMan Out!

A Debt Free South Africa for All...


Omar Cruz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
steven said...

very intresting information

domsie said...

Good, concise info :)

Anonymous said...

We recently bought a house and have been told that registration occures within 10 - 15 days. It was basically a swop as we bought a house and thes seller bought our smaller town house as an investment. They are now pressuring us to move into the house before registration as they would like to rent out the town house as soon as possible. What implactions are there with moving into a house that is not registered to you yet or letting someone move into your house which is not yet taken off your name (apart form occupational rent)



WizardMan said...

Hi Susan,

Well to be totally honest if the seller is willing to let you move into his place before registration or transfer has taken place it's his call.

I would negotiate with him though. The bond is still in his name so payments on the house are still coming off his account which means hie is taking the risk.

There is however the risk of the bond registration not going through for some unknown or silly reason... In which case you don't own the place and you'll have to rent it.

But I'd negotiate with him. Tell him you'll pay rental but you only want to pay 75% of the rental as he is putting you out by moving you out of your place before the bond grant has gone through.


Dee said...

I sold my town house on the 21st of August 2007. There have been so many delays from the conveyancer side changing attorney since one had a baby another resigned, apart from the fact that the documentation keeps on being rejected by the deeds office. The conveyancers are at fault because the documentation is not complete, It has been rejected by the deeds office three times. The transfer is still not through. In good faith I moved out end of September 2007 as they informed me that the property would register. I moved to my sister as I am waiting for the money. Being part of a divorce settlement, the attorney has to settle some debt before paying out. Since ex husband stopped paying his half I could not bring together enough money to pay since then. Can I hold the conveyancer liable for interest on that debt since they have promised five times different dates that the transfer will be through. Can I ask for an amount of interest on money from the seller sitting in their trust account and claim for inconvenience having to stay in a room by my sister? I would really appreciate some advice on this. Thank You in advance.

Chris "The MAGE" said...

Dee I would contact the law society if they are at fault and ask their opinion first and foremost. I would also contact the bank and the seller and ask them. No ask, no get. lastly dont sity back and take there nonsense contact hellopeter and make a complaint www.hellopeter.com great stuff. secondly I would write an article titled THE ATTORNEYS FROM HELL and send in to wizchris@gmail.com and he will publish this. Hope that helps

Andrew said...

Conveyancing is a tricky business, and one which requires the expertise of a professional to be done right. It takes years to become an efficient conveyancing solicitor, and a great deal of time spent studying hard, which is why it still amazes us that people think they can get away with doing the conveyancing themselves. The very best conveyancing solicitor is one that you hardly notice. He/she will handle any problem that comes their way and will keep you away from pretty much any hassle that could be caused. They will make the whole process one which you can enjoy, allowing you to concentrate on other aspects of the buying or selling process. Visit property conveyancing for more information.

Conveyancers Adelaide said...

With this kind of case, you really need a lawyer or conveyancer that will help you to resolve the problems in land ownership or partitions.

Anonymous said...

hi, our papers were lodged at capetown deeds office last monday, checked with conveyancer today on progress and was told capetown deeds takes 10-12 working days, is this possible? as iv recently sold up in kzn and they took exactly 6 days to register in deeds office. does it take 10-12 working days in cape?

Anonymous said...

Well yes, it has noything to do with comparing, it has to do with evrything else. Its like if you and I each had R 1, would we buy the same thing, spend it at teh same time? Be patient, you may panic and jump all over everyone and they will panic and jump all over everyone etc etc and all that you get - is jumping!! So hang in there and let the process happen.

Anonymous said...

Hi does anyone know how long it usually take for the lawyers to transfer the money into the sellers account once they recieve it?

Anonymous said...

I bought a property from an insolvent estate. I have now been waiting 8 months for the transfer of this property! At the end of February I received an account from the transfering attorneys. It included 6 months occupational rental and all other fees applicable for transfer. I paid the full amount immediatley. Today I received another account with an additional R42,000-00 that I have to pay for occupational rent as transfer has not yet taken place!!! All my documentation was sent timeously, now they require me to resend all the documentation again as it has been longer than 3 months! The attorneys cannot tell me what the delay has been. Surely they cannot hold ne responsible for the 2 months occupational rental when all my documents and paymenst have all be paid and sent 3 months ago. When signing the offer to purchase, 6 months was the stated time that I needed to pay occupational rent, it is now 9 months!!! Please can anybody given me advise on what I should do, I am pullingmy hair out with the attorneys. I think that soemone lese is after the house (from the auctioneers) and they are trying to delay the whole process or are trying to force me to cancel by adding more and more cost that are beyond my control. What should I do?

Anonymous said...

hi there, my family live in a house that is worth about R1.8 million rand, we were late on our levies payments as we were querying the figure that they wanted but none the less the house went on auction. we applied for a stay in the sales and we paid in full the costs that was due.We applied to court for a rescission and was granted it. However the house went up on auction and the purchasers did not stop with the sale and a year later they transferred the house onto there names ? i want to know if this is a valid transfer of ownership, as we still are paying bond installments and are living in the house. We have no idea how they continued with the sale and transferred the house ? please help?

Steven Green said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for your article comment.
I managed to get an attorney to reply to this question....


"It does not sound at all like standard practice as they cannot and shouldn't still be paying bond installments over the property as the bond would have Been cancelled.

Did they perhaps sign an acknowledgement of debt with the bank?

They would also have had to sign the transfer documents.

It all sounds very suspect to me.

My advise would be to come and have a consult and bring all documentation with."

If you would like to contact KIM email her at kim @ blinc.co.za