How does a property transfer work

How does a property transfer work

By HouseFurb, Sep 18, 2018

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A property transfer is the process of registering a property from a current owner to a new owner's name. This process is done by conveyancers/property attorneys and usually takes 3 months from the date of sale. This process can take even longer as the seller would need to pay all outstanding amounts on the property and get a rates clearance certificate before the property can be registered to the new buyer.

Below is how the process works and why it takes so long

  • Once the seller has accepted an Offer-to-Purchase, the buyer must provide proof that their bond application was successful.
  • The seller must then appoint a transfer attorney or conveyancer who will handle the property transfer.
  • The conveyancer will apply for a cancellation figures on the seller's bond. This usually takes up to 30 days depending on the bank. The bank normally charges a cancellation fee for this.
  • The conveyancer will apply for rates and taxes, lights, water and refuse removal clearance figures from the local municipality and outstanding levy figures from the home owner's association or body corporate. This usually takes 10 to 21 days. The local municipality will require copies of the buyer and seller's Identity documents, as well as a copy of the most recent rates,taxes,water,electricity accounts.
  • When the conveyancer gets these documents, they can now prepare the transfer papers.
  • The transfer attorney requests guarantees from the buyer’s bond attorney (who is appointed by the bonding bank) and supplies a draft deed of transfer to prepare the buyer’s bond documents.
  • The buyer and seller then sign the transfer papers at the transfer attorney’s office. They must both supply their original ID documents for FICA purposes and income tax numbers (SARS may cancel the sale if the personal income taxes are not up-to-date).
  • The buyer will now be responsible to pay for the transfer duty, as well as all transfer costs charged by the attorney.
  • On receipt of guarantees from the bond attorney, the transfer attorney forwards the papers to the cancellation attorney at the bank that holds the seller’s bond.
  • The cancellation attorney will send the property’s original title deed to the transfer attorney
  • The seller’s bank prepares and signs the consent to bond cancellation papers. This may take 8 to 14 days.
  • The transfer attorney will make an electronic payment to SARS and await a receipt. This may take 14 to 35 days.
  • The transfer attorney will pay the final rates and utility amounts to the local authority/municipality and body corporate or home owners’ association
  • The transfer attorney then draws up a new deed of transfer papers
  • The transfer attorney collects all outstanding documents, including the electrical compliance certificate that the seller needs to provide.
  • The documents are processed by the Deeds Office. This may take 10 to 15 days, provided that there are no errors and the paperwork does not have to be re-submitted.
  • The transfer, new bond and cancellation of the existing bond are registered simultaneously.
  • The bond attorney advises the bank once registration has happened, and the guarantees are paid over to the transfer attorney.
  • On receipt of these funds, the transfer attorney finalises her accounts and pays the proceeds to the seller and the commission to the agent, refunding any credit that is due to the seller within 12 months.

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