Conveyancing is the legal process by which a person, company, close corporation, or trust becomes the registered and legal owner of a property and ensures that ownership cannot be disputed. Only an attorney who is also a conveyancer can attend to the conveyancing of property and the registration of mortgage bonds.
The first requirement for the process is a valid deed of sale, which takes the form of a document called an "Offer to Purchase." Once signed by both parties, it becomes a Sale Agreement or a Deed of Sale.
After signing the agreement of sale, generally the estate agent sends instructions to the conveyancer. The seller usually appoints the conveyancer to transfer the property, but the parties can negotiate this, and the purchaser pays the fees.
The conveyancer drafts various documents, including Power of Attorney to pass transfer, affidavits by the seller and purchaser, Transfer Duty and/or Value Added Tax (VAT) Declaration, Bond documents, FICA and POPI documents. Once the parties sign the documents, the conveyancer presents the account to the purchaser for settlement of the transfer costs.
The conveyancer then applies for a Rates Clearance Certificate, pays the necessary transfer duty to SARS, and applies electronically for a Transfer Duty Receipt. Once the conveyancer receives the Rates Clearance Certificate and Transfer Duty Receipt, they draft the new Deed of Transfer and lodge all the documents in the Deeds Office via a correspondent. Simultaneously, all present mortgage bonds to be cancelled and new bonds to be registered will also be lodged and linked in one set. It takes approximately 8 to 14 working days after lodgement in the Deeds Office to register the transfer, bond, and bond cancellation, dependant on the relevant Deeds Office.
The costs of the transfer of immovable property fall into two main categories: professional fees and disbursements made by the conveyancer on behalf of the parties. The purchaser pays the professional fees, which are in accordance with a prescribed tariff. The purchaser also pays for disbursements associated to the transfer, such as postages and petties and other charges.
The purchaser is also liable for transfer duty or VAT whilst the seller is liable for, inter alia, and pro-rata rates and / or levies payable to the relevant local authority and/or body corporate. The conveyancer collects the necessary funds from the parties before registration/transfer takes place.
On average, registering the transfer of a property with a bond takes two to three months from the date the conveyancer is instructed. However, at Roberts Inc, we aim for 6 – 8 weeks. The time required to get the transaction to the Deeds Office depends on the reaction time taken by each party to the process. The usual time taken by the Deeds Office to inspect all the documents lodged by different conveyancers for a specific transaction is ten working days.
The process typically involves a chain of transactions linking the seller (and spouse), purchaser (and spouse), bond cancellation attorney, Receiver of Revenue, municipality or local authority, bond registration attorney, property practitioner, conveyancer(s), Registrar of Deeds, the buyer of the purchaser's previous property, and the conveyancer acting for the purchaser in that transaction.
A great deal is at stake in the transfer of fixed property, and it is generally the largest single asset that most people will ever own. A conveyancer ensures that the process is carried out legally, accurately, and on time, preventing any unnecessary delays or disputes.
Contact Roberts Inc. to assist with your conveyancing process.