The legal aspects of transferring a property

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Taking ownership of your new home. Understanding what the various attorneys do and understanding the conveyancing and property transfer process.


The different attorneys involved in property transfer are:
Transfer attorney: handles the transfer of the property. Selected by the seller.
Cancellation attorney: cancels the seller’s existing bond. Selected by seller’s bank.
Bond attorney: registers the new bond in the name of the buyer. Selected by buyer’s bank.


Step 1: Document assembly
The conveyancing attorney receives the deed of sale and all the necessary documents required to register the transfer of the property.

Step 2: Document preparation
Once the home loan has been approved, the conveyancing attorney prepared the documentation for signature by all parties.
The papers that have to be signed are:

Property transfer documentation
• Power of attorney – the seller needs to authorise the conveyancing lawyer to appear before the Registrar of Deeds on his/her behalf to register the transfer.
• Insolvency and marital declarations.
• Transfer duty declaration to be sent to the Receiver of Revenue together with payment of transfer duties

Step 3: Payment of conveyancing costs
The conveyancing attorney will prepare a statement of account detailing all transfer costs and bond registration costs that have to be paid

Step 4: Documents lodged at the Deeds Office
The different lawyers involved with the property must liaise with each other to ensure that all documents are lodged simultaneously at the Deeds Office:
• Transfer document.
• Bond registration documents.
• Bond cancellation documents.

Step 5: Property is registered
The conveyancer will lodge the documents that he has prepared for registration in the Deeds Office. If there is a bond to be registered the bond attorney will lodge the bond documents in the Deeds Office for registration simultaneously with the transfer documents.

The deeds office will scrutinise the documents to ensure that they comply with all relevant legislation and regulations. When they are satisfied, they inform the conveyancer that the transaction is ready for registration and thereupon, in the presence of the conveyancer and the Registrar of Deeds, the property is registered in the name of the purchaser. The bond is registered simultaneously.

Step 6: Purchase price paid to seller
The parties will be given final accounts reflecting the final adjustments on, for example, rates, levies and occupational rent.

Step 7: Title deed released
Property is now registered in the buyer’s name. All financial arrangements are usually finalised within 24 hours of registration.

Congratulations, you are now officially the owner of a new home!

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