A Quick Guide to the Property Transfer Procedure in South Africa

Despite the decline in the prospects for economic growth and especially after a chaotic year, driven by threats of land expropriation, load-shedding, labour unrest, and increased inflation and interest rates – the South African property market is showing signs of improvement.

While investing in property may be a tough decision to make, especially in these tough fiscal times, it’s the safest way to ensure a good return on your investment. And it’s a buyer’s market, which means there is no better time to invest in property than right now.

An intricate, regimented and straightforward process

Although an intricate, regimented, and pretty much straightforward process, a property transfer can be costly, lengthy, and it can easily take up to three months to complete. If this is your first time purchasing a property, then it’s crucial to arm yourself with knowledge of the property transfer process rather than walk into it blindly. Being armed with the formalities will make the entire process a much faster and a less complicated one.

The property transfer process in South Africa

First, a Transfer Attorney, Cancellation Attorney and a Bond Attorney will be appointed. Once the offer to purchase has signed off by both parties, the Buyer will apply for a bond from their bank of choice and then register the bond. They will then request a municipal-clearance certificate from the district municipality to certify that the Seller is up to date with their rates, levies and taxes. Once approved, the Bond Attorney will then notify the Transferring Attorney of the amount available and will apply for the draft deed of the property transfer.

The Transfer Attorney will then proceed with the registration process by preparing the title deeds, the cancellation figures, and the rates clearance certificate. As soon as the paperwork is complete and the bond transfer costs are paid to the Conveyance Attorney, SARS will furnish the Buyer with a transfer duty receipt that calculated on a sliding scale against the property price. Thereafter, the property transfer will proceed.