The Property Transfer Process Explained

The sale of a property involves the Sale and Transfer of the Property from the Seller to the Purchaser. The property may be Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Farm Portion or Agricultural holding.

The whole process usually takes approximately 9 to 12 weeks, depending on the finances, the terms of the agreement, the time periods to obtain a Bond or to secure the Purchase Price, and the requirements of the Purchaser and the Seller.

The sale of a Property may also involve if applicable the sale of the member's interest in a Property owning Close Corporation or the sale of shares in a Property owning company. The procedure here will involve the Deeds Office and the Companies Office. Transfer Duty is now payable on the Purchase Price of the member’s interest or shares.

Conveyancing Attorney: As the Owner of the Property, it is the Seller's prerogative to nominate the Conveyancer to attend to the transaction.      

The Estate Agent: Will send a copy of the Agreement of Sale (also known as an Offer to Purchase) to the Conveyancer.

Upon the receipt of the Agreement of Sale (Offer to Purchase) from the Estate Agent or the Parties involved, the Conveyancer will attend to the whole transaction in accordance with the terms of the agreement as follows:

Step 1: Cancellation Figures
Request the existing Mortgage Bondholder for Cancellation Figures and the original Title Deed.

Step 2: FICA Documents
Liaise with the Seller and Purchaser and obtain copies of Identity Documents, Marriage Certificates, Ante nuptial Contracts or Close Corporation/Company/Trust Documents, whichever is applicable as well as FICA Documents such as Proof of Residence and Income Tax Numbers.

Step 3: Deposit
Collect the deposit and invest it in an interest bearing Trust Account, interest to accrue to the Purchaser to date of registration – if the deposit is not payable to the Estate Agent.

Step 4: Bond Finance
Ensure that the Purchaser's new Mortgage Bond is granted in writing by the applicable Bank on due date in terms of the Agreement of Sale, if the Sale is subject to the Purchaser obtaining a Bond.

Step 5: Rates & Levy Clearance
Request a Rates Clearance Certificate assessment from the Local Authority; Levy Clearance assessment from the Managing Agents, if a Sectional Title Unit; Levy Clearance Certificate assessment from the Property Owner’s/Homeowners' Association, if the Property is in a Cluster Development or Property Estate.

Step 6: Signing of Transfer Documents
Draft Transfer Documents and arrange signature by the Seller and Purchaser.

Step 7: Transfer Costs
Transfer Costs are payable by the Purchaser on signature of the documents.

Step 8: Bond Costs
Call for Bank Guarantees from the Purchaser or if applicable from the Bond Attorney, the Purchaser will be requested to sign bond documents at the Bond Attorney and pay the Bond Costs.

Step 9: Transfer Duty
Pay the Transfer Duty to the South African Revenue Service and obtain the Transfer Duty Receipt or Transfer Duty Exemption Receipt.

Step 10: Clearance Certificates
Pay the Rates/Levy/Property Owners assessments and obtain the necessary Clearance Certificates.

Step 11: Guarantees
Secure the full Purchase Price in the form of Bank Guarantees or payment before the Guarantee due date.

Step 12: Cancellation of Existing Bond
Forward a required Guarantee to the Bond Cancellation Attorney to secure all amounts outstanding to cancel the Seller's existing Bond.

Step 13: Electrical Compliance Certificate
Ensure that the Electrical Compliance Certificate is issued and if applicable, the Gas Conformity Certificate and the Electric Fence Certificate.

Step 14: Lodgement
When the Transfer, new Bond and Bond Cancellation are ready, arrange simultaneous Lodgement in the appropriate Deeds Office. Under normal circumstances, the Deeds Office takes approximately 12 working days to inspect the documents. Unless there are any queries or notes raised, the matters come up "On Prep" to enable Registration to take place the next day.

Step 15: Registration
All parties are notified of registration and payment of the Guarantees are effected the day following Registration.

Step 16: Estate Agent's Commission
Payment of the Estate Agent's Commission, Apportion Rates if applicable, Levies between the Seller and Purchaser, adjust Occupational Rental if requested and pay the nett proceeds to the Seller and any refund due to the Purchaser.

The Seller’s Responsibilities:

The Seller is liable for Rates, Refuse and Sewerage charges to date of Transfer, unless otherwise stated in the agreement. Depending on the requirements of the Municipality, the Conveyancer will adjust the Rates, Refuse and Sewerage charges. For City of JHB the full assessment is allocated to the Seller and the Municipality adjusts and refunds the Seller and charges the Purchaser separately from date of Transfer.

The Purchaser’s Responsibilities:

The Party occupying the Property is responsible for Water and Electricity charges. The Conveyancer does not attend to these accounts nor with their disconnection/connection as the Seller and Purchaser need to make the necessary arrangements directly with the appropriate authority/Eskom if applicable, fill in forms, pay deposits etc. The parties should take meter readings with them to the Municipality or Eskom if applicable.

Occupational Rent:

Subject to the terms of the agreement and assuming that Registration date does not correspond with occupation date by the Purchaser, occupational rental will be payable by the Party occupying the Property whilst not the Owner.

Step 17: Registration of Transfer

Notify the Local Authority/Managing Agents and Property/Homeowners' Association of Registration of Transfer.

Step 18: Title Deed

The new Title Deed is released by the Deeds Office approximately 2/3 months after Registration. The original Title Deed is sent to the Purchaser or, if there is a new Bond, it will be sent to the Purchaser's Bondholder to hold as security.


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