Why property transfers take longer over December

Private Property South Africa

Buyers who have purchased property at this time of year are going to have a slightly longer wait ahead of them before the property will be transferred into their names, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

“As with most other businesses, the various Deed’s Offices across the country close over December, most of which close on the 21st and re-open on the 2nd of January. This means that the standard eight to ten working day waiting period will not apply to sales that have been completed during December. Delays are also likely to occur on transactions which are completed in January, as the Deed’s Office often only employ skeleton staff for the first few weeks and will have to catch up on the backlog when they get back into full swing come the middle of the month,” Goslett explains.

In ordinary circumstances, after collating all the required documents and lodging the transfer at Deed’s Office, it will take roughly around eight to ten working days for the transfer documents to be examined and processed. The applicant will be notified that the property has been registered in their name and can now move into their new home. It then takes another few months for the new Title Deed to be delivered to the new homeowner.

“Buyers who have purchased property over this period should be prepared for a slightly longer wait before they will be able to move into their new home. If a buyer needs to be out of his/her current property by a certain date, he/she will need to make the necessary arrangements for interim accommodation. There is always the option of moving into the new property prior to the completion of registration. Buyers would then need to discuss with the original owner on an occupational rent amount for this period,” says Goslett.

For a full list of the opening and closing dates at the various Deeds Offices in South Africa, visit the REBOSA website.


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