What are the conveyancing steps in the property transfer registration process?

Conveyancing is the legal process whereby a person, company, close corporation or trust becomes the registered and lawful owner of fixed property. Understanding the conveyancing process and ensuring that you have all the necessary documentation ready will ensure that a smooth transfer of the property can take place.

Clients often ask us what the conveyancing procedure entails and our attorneys have outlined the eight major steps within the property registration process.

Step 1 – Receipt of Deed of Sale

§  Transferring attorney receives a signed Deed of Sale.

§  Deeds Office search and copy of Title Deed is requested.

§  Application is made to municipality for rates figures and valuation certificates.

§  If a sectional title property, an application is made for levy figures from the Body Corporate and consent from Home Owners Association.

Step 2 – Fulfilment of suspensive conditions

§  Agent follows up on fulfilment of suspensive conditions such as bond approval or the sale of purchaser’s property.

§  Once fulfilment confirmed, cancellation instructions sent to seller’s bondholder if the property is bonded.

§  Necessary FICA documentation is obtained from seller and purchaser.

§  Transfer documents are drafted.

Step 3 – Signature of documents and payment of costs

§  Seller and purchaser sign transfer documents with the transferring attorney.

§  Purchaser signs bond documents with bond attorney (if applicable).

§  Purchaser pays transfer cost, and if applicable, bond costs.

§  Rates figures are requested and paid by seller (includes advance payment).

§  Transfer duty paid by purchaser.

§  Transferring attorney requests transfer duty receipt or exemption certificate, rates clearance certificate, and if applicable, levy clearance certificate.

Step 4 – Compliance Certificates

The seller is required to provide the following:

§  Plumbing certificate (if property falls within jurisdiction of City of Cape Town municipality) and electrical certificate.

§  If applicable, beetle, gas and electric fence certificates.

Step 5 – Guarantees and FICA

Transferring attorney must:

§  Ensure satisfactory guarantees are in place for the purchase price.

§  Verify the compliance of FICA documents.

Step 6 – Lodgement of Deeds at Deeds Office

§  Transferring attorney receives transfer duty receipt/or exemption certificate; rates and/or levy clearance certificates (as applicable) and original Title Deed.

§  Simultaneous lodgement at Deeds Office arranged with bond cancellation and bond attorneys.

§  Deeds lodged at Deeds Office, captured and distributed to examiners accordingly.

§  Examination process takes seven to ten working days (this may vary).

§  Thereafter deeds appear in Prep Room and are ‘up for registration’.

§  Transferring attorney has five working days to deal with examiner’s notes and hand in for registration.

Step 7 – Registration

§  Once handed in, deeds appear in execution room.

§  Conveyancer registers deeds and ownership passes from seller to purchaser.

§  Registration of purchaser’s new bond (if applicable) and cancellation of seller’s existing bond (if applicable) takes place simultaneously.

§  Final accounts sent to seller and purchaser.

§  Agent’s commission settled.

§  Balance of proceeds paid to seller.

Step 8 – Delivery of Deeds

§  Once registered, deeds are numbered and microfilmed.

§  Delivery of original Title Deed and Mortgage Bond from Deeds Office can take up to one month from date of registration.

§  Upon receipt, transferring attorney sends original Title Deed to bank (if property bonded) or purchaser (if unbonded).