The conveyancing process (property transfer process) describes the legal process in terms of which rights in fixed property are registered in the Deeds Office. An agreement to purchase property in South Africa must be in writing and signed by both Seller and Purchaser. This Deed of Sale starts the process which then continues through to the ultimate registration of transfer in the Deeds Office. This registration guarantees undisputable title to ownership of the property.

In most transfer procedures there are three processes and three conveyancers involved. The processes involved are the registration of transfer of property, dealt with by the conveyancing attorney; the registration of a mortgage bond, dealt with by the bond attorneys and the cancellation of the existing mortgage bond, dealt with by the cancellation attorneys.




Once the conveyancing attorney received the Deed of Sale the process is set in motion:

  • Where the Seller has an existing bond the Conveyancing Attorney requests cancellation figures from the Bondholder (the bank). The Bondholder then appoints the Cancellation Attorney and forwards the title deeds and cancellation figures to them. The Cancellation Attorney will forward a copy of the Title Deed to the Conveyancing Attorney and request a guarantee for payment of the cancellation figure upon registration.
  • The Conveyancing Attorney requests all necessary information and Fica documentation from the Seller and Purchaser and once in receipt of the copy of the existing title deed they draft all transfer documents and arrange for signatures with both the Seller and the Purchaser.
  • The Conveyancing Attorney sends a copy of the new transfer documents (a "flysheet") to the Bond Attorneys and requests a guarantee for the bond proceeds. The Bond Attorney attends to the drafting and signing of the bond documents and supplies the Conveyancing Attorney with a guarantee for payment of the bond proceeds.
  • The Conveyancing Attorney requests payment of the deposit as well as the balance purchase price not secured by a bond from the Purchaser.
  • The Conveyancing Attorney requests a rates clearance certificates from the municipality and managing agents as proof that the Seller has met his obligations for rates and taxes and water and electricity. The Seller is usually responsible for payment of this as the municipality will reimburse the Seller directly a pro-rata amount upon registration taking place.
  • The Conveyancing Attorney arranges and obtains the beetle and electrical and plumbing certificates, which certificates are for the Seller's account.
  • The Conveyancing Attorney requests payment of transfer costs and transfer duty from the Purchaser and obtains a Transfer Duty receipt from SARS.
  • After all documents have been signed, all guarantees are in place and all necessary certificates have been obtained the Attorneys will arrange for simultaneous lodgement in the Deeds Office.
  • Once lodged in the Deeds Office the transaction is checked by the Registrars and if everything is in place registration will normally take place between 11 and 13 working days.
  • Upon registration the Conveyancing Attorney will notify the Seller, Purchaser and Estate Agency of the registration of transfer.


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