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Image credit: Mark Moz via Flickr

Whether you have bought commercial land for sale, or purchased a little home in the country, in South Africa, the transfer process can seem a little convoluted at times. It generally takes about three months for a property to be transferred and registered, although this is not a hard-and-fast rule. It can take much more or much less time than this, depending on a number of factors.

Commercial Property Auction

Because it can be quite confusing, we thought we’d put together a brief guide to the property transfer process:

The agreement of sale is the beginning of the process. An owner will place their home on the market and a buyer who likes it will put in an offer. Depending on the price, location, and features of the property, this can take any amount of time – a residential home will often sell faster than a commercial property for sale, although this is not set in stone – a well-priced commercial property will sell faster than a home that is asking above market value.

Once all terms have been agreed to, the seller and buyer will sign a binding agreement of sale.

Should the buyer be taking out a bond, his/her bank will receive a copy of the offer to purchase (OTP) and will perform a valuation on the property and approve the bond (hopefully).

After this, the following three attorneys all work simultaneously:

1. Transfer Attorney

This attorney is nominated by the seller. The attorney will receive certain documents, such as Fica information, from both the buyer and the seller. This attorney is also responsible for obtaining the title deed from the cancellation attorney and the rates clearance certificate, which is required by law before a property can be transferred.

2. Cancellation Attorney

This attorney is responsible for cancelling the existing bond on the property that belongs to the seller.

3. Bond Attorney

This attorney will prepare the purchaser’s bond should he/she be taking out a home loan on the property.

Once all three of the above attorneys have received and prepared all required documents, the seller and buyer will be called in to sign the transfer documents that have been prepared by the transfer and bond attorneys.

Following this, the deeds office will receive: transfer documents from the transferring attorney; the title deed and bond cancellation docs from the cancellation attorney; and the new bond documents from the bond attorney.

The deeds office will review all of the documents and if all is in order, will prepare and effect transfer and registration.

Once registration has gone through and the property is in the new owner’s name, the estate agent will be paid, the applicable bank will pay out the bond and the seller will receive whatever amount of money is remaining.

As you can see, the transfer process is quite simple once you know who is involved and what needs to be done.

If you’re looking for property in South Africa, have a look through our extensive selection of properties on offer – whether you are looking at a commercial property for sale for your business, or a new home for a growing family, contact us to help you find the perfect property.