When Buying and Selling A Property

Local Transfer Attorney Tom Swanepoel from Company Stopforth Swanepoel & Brewis Inc. explains general steps:

When buying and selling a property:

  • The agreement of sale is received by the conveyancer from the estate agent or seller.
  • A search is done at the Deeds Office to verify the information regarding the property and owner.
  • Cancellation figures, to cancel the existing bond over the property, are applied for as well as the title deed of the property.
  • A clearance certificate is requested from the local authority/body corporate/home owner’s association, showing the amount needed to pay the rates and taxes for the property.
  • Instructions to register a bond over the property on behalf of the purchaser is received by the conveyancer from the bank or the purchase price is paid by the purchaser to the conveyancer which will be held in the conveyancers trust account pending registration.
  • After all the necessary information has been received, the transfer and bond documents are drawn and both seller and purchaser contacted to sign the necessary.
  • Transfer Duty, a tax payable when purchasing property, is payable by the purchaser and application is made to the Receiver of Revenue for a Transfer Duty Receipt as proof that transfer duty was paid.
  • As soon as all documents are signed, a clearance certificate is obtained from the local authority/body corporate/home owners association and a transfer duty receipt is received, will the documents be lodged at the Deeds Office for registration. After registration the purchaser will become the new registered owner of the property, the existing bond will be cancelled and if applicable, a new bond will be registered over the property.


How long does the process take?

  • Between 6 and 8 weeks from receipt of the agreement of sale by the conveyancer, but various factors can delay the process.
  • From lodgement in the Deeds Office to date of registration takes 5 to 7 working days.

What information or documents does the conveyancer need from me?

  • Identity document;
  • Marriage certificates;
  • Proof of income tax number;
  • Proof of residential address;

Who pays what?

  • The purchaser pays transfer duty, transfer costs bond costs and pro rata rates and Taxes;
  • The seller pays cancellation costs and pro rata rates and taxes;

What is the process in the Deeds Office?

  • Documents are lodged;
  • Examination of deeds by a junior examiner (level 1)
  • Examination of deeds by a senior examiner (level 2)
  • Examination of deeds on level 3
  • Preparation of deeds
  • Registration of deeds

What happens after registration?

  • Seller and purchaser are advised of registration;
  • Guarantees pay out electronically on day of registration;
  • Payments and final accounts are sent to all parties concerned the following day.

What factors could delay registration?

  • Delay in obtaining a bond due to additional documentation needed by the bank;
  • Delays in issuing of cancellation figures;
  • Delays in issuing clearance figures by the local authority;
  • Lost title deeds and bond documents;
  • Payment of costs i.e. transfer duty and rates and taxes;

What happens after registration?

  • The purchasers needs to visit the Local Authority for identification & FICA purposes and to open their rates & taxes account.
  • The Sellers needs to visit the Local Authority to close their rates & taxed account for refund purposes.

Stopforth Swanepoel & Brewis Inc.


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