When selling, buying and transferring property from the seller’s name to the purchaser’s name the legal term used for the transfer process from owner to owner is called conveyancing.

The transfer of property is mainly done by conveyancers (attorneys who specialize in property who are appointed to administer the transfer process). It takes one to properly understand the conveyancing/ transfer process and making sure that all the required documents are in order from the beginning of the process till transfer and registration of the property under the purchaser’s name.

  1. Parties involved in the transfer process.

1.1.      Seller                                                              1.6.      Bond Registration Attorneys

1.2.      Purchaser                                                     1.7.      Bank

1.3.      Seller’s Attorneys                                         1.8.      Municipality

1.4.      Purchaser’s Attorneys                                1.9.      SARS

1.5.      Bond Cancellation Attorneys                    1.10    Deeds Office


The following are steps that will take place during the transfer process:

  1. The signing of the offer to purchase.

Before the transferring process commences and whenever a sale is to take place between two parties an offer to purchase and an acceptance must be made. The Seller and the Purchaser are required to sign an offer to purchase which is then sent to the Seller’s attorneys. The Purchaser’s Attorneys will then request for FICA documents from the Seller and the Purchaser to make an application for a bond at the bank. FICA documents will include a copy of ID document (SA Citizens) / Passport (Foreign Nationals) Proof of residential address less than three months old (for example utility bill, store account statement, bank document with residential address, DSTV account, municipal letter).


  1. The signing of the sale agreement and bond approval.

Upon signing of the sale agreement the Purchaser is required to pay a deposit into the transferring attorney’s trust account which is held until registration is finalized. The bank will then approve the bond on behalf of the Purchaser.


  1. Cancellation of the existing bond and registration of the new bond.

The existing bond cancellation under the Seller’s name takes place and registration of the new bond on the Purchaser’s name takes place. Registration of the new bond is done by bond registration attorneys. The bond cancellation attorneys have the duty to send a copy of the title deed and cancellation figures to the transferring attorneys for the Purchaser’s attorneys to issue guarantees to cancel the existing bond. Property guarantees provide assurance in transactions involving the sale of fixed property, and/or in agreements to provide finance against the security of a mortgage bond over the fixed property.


  1. The signing of transfer and bond documents.

The transferring attorneys have the duty to draft the transferring documents and get both the Seller and the Purchaser to sign the documents. The bond registration attorney also has the duty to draft bond documents and have the Purchaser to sign the documents and make payment for the bond registration ‘bond registration fees’.


  1. Requesting of figures from the municipality.

The transferring attorneys will request figures from the municipality to make sure that all the Seller’s rates and taxes are paid in accordance and are up to date before a clearance certificate is lodged with the Deeds Office.



  1. Payment of transfer duty.

Transfer duty is a levy or tax applied whenever you sell, buy or transfer property. Transfer duty is paying by the person acquiring the property (Purchaser), within six months of the date of acquisition.


  1. Lodging of transfer documents at the Deeds Office

Once the transfer duty has been paid the transferring attorney is required to lodge all documents together with the new bond and old bond cancellation at Deeds Office which is a government department responsible for the registration, management and maintenance of the property registry in South Africa.


  1. Registration of the property.

If the Deeds Office is satisfied and has approved all documents lodged the property then is registered in the new owner’s name which might approximately take 8-10 working days provided there are no changes. The rights of ownership of the property will then vest upon the purchaser as the new rightful owner of the property.

It might seem like a long and exhausting process to go through but it’s worth the sweat of a brow to a successful sale and owning of a new property. Should you find yourself in a position of selling or buying property kindly let us handle the transfer process on your behalf by contacting our offices SCHWENN INC @ 031 003 0630 or send an email to Charmaine Schwenn @ charmaine@schwenninc.co.za.


Written By: Portia Dlamini