What are the Stages of Transferring a Property?

A reliable conveyancer is essential to ensure peace of mind to anyone in the process of buying or selling a property. There are many problems that may occur when buying a property, but with the help of a professional conveyancer you can avoid unnecessary complications.

The transfer of property (conveyancing) is the process of transferring the ownership of immovable property, and other real rights, from one person to another and it can be broken down into a number of steps.

The sale agreement

The first thing a conveyancer will do is to ensure that a valid sale agreement was concluded. The offer to purchase is the origin of the instruction to transfer the property from the seller to the purchaser.

The sale agreement must be in writing, the property being sold must be identified, the amount of the purchase price and method of payment must be set out, the names of the seller and purchaser must be completed and both parties to the agreement must sign.

Collecting necessary identification and FICA documentation

FICA is an acronym for the Financial Intelligence Centre Act. The Act requires the conveyancer to verify information in respect of the buyer and seller. Additional documentation will also be required in order to draft the transfer documents. The following documentation will normally be required:

  • Copies of Identity Documents
  • Proof of marital status (marriage certificate or divorce order) if you are married out of community of property, a copy of your antenuptial agreement will also be required
  • Proof of your physical address, not older than 3 months
  • Your income tax /Value added tax (VAT) registration number
  • In the case of a company, close corporation or trust, the details of shareholders, members, trustees and directors as well as trust deed or documents of incorporation
  • The original title deed of the property being transferred (if you are the seller)
  • The conveyancer will conduct a deed search at the Deeds office to confirm that the property details are correct and to determine if there are any other bonds or interdicts registered against the property. Should there be a bond registered over the property, the seller will have to provide the conveyancer with the bond account number and bond holders’ details in order for the conveyancer to request cancellation figures and request the original title deed.

Draft documents

As you would expect it takes a fair amount of documentation in order to transfer ownership of a property, your conveyancer will sort this out so that you don’t have to. The documents required includes a power of attorney to pass transfer, a declaration in respect of marital status, identity number and insolvency confirmations, a transfer duty and / or VAT declaration, a FICA declaration and resolutions (where applicable).
Obtaining necessary certificates & receipts

  1. A clearance certificate is required from the municipality, body corporate (if a sectional title is transferred) and Home Owners Association (if applicable). In order to obtain the certificate the seller will have to pay all outstanding rates, taxes and levies and make payment for a period of 3 months in advance.
  2. A transfer duty / VAT receipt from SARS is required. The purchaser is responsible for the payment of transfer duty and or VAT, depending on the case.
  3. The Seller will generally be responsible to deliver compliance certificates. This may include an electrical compliance certificate, electrical fence certificate and gas certificate.
  4. Securing the purchase price. Obtaining guarantees from the bond attorneys if a bond is to be registered or receiving the full purchase price in the case of a cash transaction.
  5. Obtaining the current bond holders’ consent for cancellation of the bond as well as any other additional consent that may be required in terms of the conditions in the title deed.

Create transfer documents and new title deed

Finally the new deed of transfer will be drafted and lodged at the Deeds office for registration together with documents for the cancellation of any existing bonds and documents for the registration of any new bonds.
For more information about our professional conveyancing service please get in touch with Jozanne Dickason