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Property transfers: What are the steps?

From acceptance of the offer to purchase by the Seller to registration of the deeds in the Deeds Office takes approximately 2 to 3 months depending on the terms and conditions of the offer to purchase.

STEP 1: THE OFFER TO PURCHASE

The Seller and Purchaser sign the offer to purchase which is then sent to the Seller’s transfer attorney.

STEP 2: SUPPORTING PAPERWORK

The transferring attorney will request:

  • FICA from the Seller and the Purchaser;
  • Payment of the deposit;
  • Relevant compliance certificates from the Seller;
  • The title deed and bond cancellation figures from the current bondholder over the property; and
  • Rates clearance figures from the City Council.

STEP 3: PAYMENT

The Purchaser pays the deposit. Upon approving the Purchaser’s bond, the bank will appoint bond registration attorneys to attend to the registration of the bond.

STEP 4: BOND CANCELLATION

The bond cancellation attorneys are appointed and send a copy of the title deed and bond cancellation figures to the transferring attorneys. The transferring attorneys use the bond cancellation figures to send a request to the bond registration attorneys to issue guarantees to cancel the existing bond over the property.

STEP 5: DOCUMENTS SIGNING

Transfer documents are drafted, and the Seller and Purchaser are required to sign. The bond documents are drafted, and the Purchaser is required to sign and to pay their bond registration fees.

STEP 6: ?

The transferring attorneys make payment of the rates and levy clearance figures and the transfer duty. The Seller provides the transferring attorney with all compliance certificates. The Purchaser must then make payment of the remaining balance of the purchase price.

STEP 7: GUARANTEES

The transferring attorneys receive the original guarantees covering the purchase price from the bond registration attorneys and then send the original guarantees to the bond cancellation attorneys and make payment of the bond cancellation attorneys’ costs on behalf of the Seller.

STEP 8: CLEARANCE CERTIFICATES

The transferring attorney receives the rates clearance certificate from the City Council, the levy clearance certificate from the homeowner’s association or managing agents and the transfer duty receipt from the South African Revenue Services.

STEP 9: LODGEMENT OF DEEDS

The transferring attorneys arrange with the bond cancellation and bond registration attorneys for simultaneous lodgement of their deeds in the Deeds Office. If all parties are ready to proceed, the deeds are lodged. The documents are examined in the Deeds Office after which the deeds will reach the final stage in the Deeds Office, namely Preparation, when all attorneys involved in the matter are called to sign off their documents for registration.

STEP 10: REGISTRATION

On registration of the deeds in the Deeds Office, the Purchaser becomes the new owner of the property and the Seller’s bond is cancelled with the simultaneous registration of the Purchaser’s bond. The bank is presented with the guarantees for payment of the purchase price, which may take 2 to 3 days to reflect depending on the efficiency of the bank transfers.

The Deeds Office releases the title deed and mortgage bond after a period of approximately 3 to 6 months once the deeds have been data captured and microfilmed. The original deeds are sent to the transferring and bond registration attorneys for delivery to the current bondholder or owner.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)