Frequently Asked Questions
Don’t let the complexities of the process of buying, selling and transferring property burden you any longer. Let us assist and explain everything to you!
Why is a conveyancer / transfer attorney necessary?
The law provides that only qualified conveyancers may attend to the transfer of immovable property and related transactions. The transfer of property involves a chain of steps which begins with the agreement of sale through to registration of ownership in the Deeds Office and and payment of the various parties involved. Ownership of immovable property is only obtained on registration of the property in the Deeds Office and not on signature of the offer to purchase or even on payment of the purchase price.
What documents are required to start the process?
1. Agreement of sale;
2. Copy of identity documents;
3. Proof of residence:
municipal rates and taxes account (not older than 3 months);
4. Copy of marriage certificate and antenuptial contract (if applicable);
5. SARS income tax number;
6. Existing bond account number in order to request cancellation figures from the relevant bank (if applicable)
My property is situated in another province. Can you assist?
Yes, we can assist with the transfer and registration of properties located all over South Africa.
Initial consultations can be conducted via Skype or Zoom.
We travel to our clients for signing
of transfer documents alternatively arrange for you to sign at the offices of a correspondent in your area.
The majority of the transfer process is conducted electronically (such as rates clearance applications, SARS transfer duty applications etc)
Contact us for more information
What is the Deeds Office?
The Deeds Office is responsible for the registration and management of the property registry in South Africa. It is a government office and forms part of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. There are 11 Deeds Offices in South Africa. Each Deeds Registry keeps a register of Conveyancers practising at that Deeds Registry who may submit documents for registration at such Deeds Office. The Conveyancer lodge the Deed of Transfer and required documents for every property transfer in the relevant Deeds Office for examination and registration. The Deed of Transfer must be registered in the Deeds Office for it to be valid. After registration it serves as the owner’s title to prove his ownership of the land (title deed).
What is a title deed?
A Title deed is a registered legal document that serves as proof of ownership of land or property. Each property has its own separate Title Deed that contains all the details of that particular property. The Deed of Transfer is prepared by the Conveyancer and after transfer and registration in the Deeds Office it serves as the owner’s title to prove his ownership of the land (title deed).
What is a deed of sale?
A deed of sale is a legal document that contains the terms of a contract of sale of a piece of land or property and which must be signed by the seller and the buyer or their authorized agent.
What is transfer duty?
Transfer duty is the tax payable to the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and is based on the purchase price or value of the property acquired by any person by way of a sale or a donation or an exchange.
(Transfer Duty is not to be confused with attorney transfer costs or fees and is paid over and above the purchase price).
No Deed of Transfer of land shall be registered unless accompanied by a Transfer Duty receipt or exemption certificate as confirmation that duties have been paid to the Receiver or Revenue.
The person acquiring the property (purchaser) is liable for Transfer Duty. At present, transfer duties on apply to properties with a value greater than R1million.
What is a rates clearance certificate?
Transfer of property cannot be registered without a clearance certificate issued by the relevant municipality in which that property is situated which certifies that all amounts due by the seller in connection with that property for municipal service fees, surcharges on fees, property rates and other municipal taxes, levies and duties during the two years preceding the date of application for the certificate have been fully paid.
What is a conveyancer?
A conveyancer is an admitted attorney who has passed a specialised conveyancing examination and has subsequently been admitted as a conveyancer by the High Court of South Africa. A transfer attorney (“oordrag prokureur”) / conveyancer specialises in attending to the transfer of ownership of fixed property and related transactions.
Only qualified conveyancers may attend to the transfer of fixed property and related transactions.
Who appoints the conveyancer?
In most provinces in South Africa the usual practice is for the seller to appoint a conveyancer for a property transaction but, like many aspects of the agreement between the parties, this can be varied and the parties may agree to appoint the purchaser’s transfer attorney.
What are transfer costs?
Transfer fees are paid to the transfer attorney / conveyancer to transfer ownership from the seller to the buyer.
The fee is based on recommended tariffs but may differ slightly from one law firm to another. The amount varies according to the purchase price of the property.
Who is responsible for transfer fees?
The buyer is responsible for the payment of the transfer fee.
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