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Questions to ask the conveyancing attorney

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Ownership of a property takes more than a signature on an offer to purchase or for that matter the payment of the purchase price.  The property needs to go through the process of transfer and needs to be registered in the new buyer’s name at the Deed Registry Office, which is where the services of a conveyancing attorney are required.

According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, the process of purchasing a home can be complicated, and there are several aspects that buyers may be unsure of during the various stages of the transaction.  He adds that there are these seven questions that buyers can ask the conveyancing attorney to gain more clarity and a better understanding of what is required.

How long will the registration and transfer process take?

On average the process should take around three months from the date of sale. However, this depends on a few key elements, such as the due date of the buyer’s bond grant, along with the guarantees stipulated in the deed of sale. If there are no complications, the process can be expedited. Likewise, if there are complications, registration can be delayed. Staying in communication with the conveyancing attorney will help buyers stay abreast of the situation and possible timing.

To whom do I pay the deposit?Who, how, why

The answer to this question will depend on what is stipulated in the sales agreement. However, the deposit is usually paid to either the estate agency or the transferring attorney – both of which should have trust accounts. The deposit will never be paid directly to the seller, but rather into a trust account where it is held safely.

What happens with the interest that accrues?

If buyers provide written consent, the estate agency or attorney can have the deposit invested into an interest-bearing account.  Once registration of the property has taken place, the interest which accrued over the period it took for the transfer to go through will be paid to the buyer – unless other arrangements have been made.

How much will the transfer and bond costs be?

The transfer duty payable is based on the purchase price of the property, while the bond costs will be determined by the total loan registered with the bank. Either the estate agent or the conveyancing attorney should be able to provide a fairly accurate answer to buyers based on a schedule of bond and transfer costs.

When are the transfer costs due?Man asking questions

The transfer costs will be due a few weeks after the sale of the home when the transfer attorney requests the documentation to be signed. The conveyancing attorney is required to pay the transfer duty in advance, along with any rates and taxes or levies required to obtain the necessary clearance certificates. The longer it takes for buyers to pay the transfer duty, the longer it will take to transfer the property into their name.

To whom do I pay occupational rent?

If the buyer moves into the property before registration has taken place, they will be required to pay a predetermined occupational rent.  The buyer and seller can come to the agreement that the rent be paid directly into the seller’s bond account. Consecutively, the buyer can pay the occupational rent to the estate agent or conveyancing attorney, and they will ensure that it is paid either into the seller’s bond account or directly to the seller.

How will I know when the property is registered in my name?

As soon as the property is registered in the buyer’s name, a representative from the conveyancing attorney’s office will contact the buyer to let them know. At this time the buyer will also be given the final statement of account. The bank will also provide buyers with written confirmation that their bond has been registered and when they can expect the first repayment to be debited.

Communication between the relevant parties is a key element in the property transfer process. If buyers are uncertain of anything at any stage of the process they should contact the conveyancing attorney or estate agent.


Review overview
  • Moolji Parshotam 4th March 2017

    I have purchased a property from an estate agent .my bond has been passed however it’s now 8months and the property has not been transferred.the problem I’ve discovered is that the property is not in the name of the seller.he has not transferred it to his name. It has been brought to my attention that the it is in the nameofprevious seller under a partnership.of 4 partners and the sellers attorney are trying to get their authority to transfer to the seller and is been delayed.the estate agent arranged to sell to me,MOU is that transfer will no be affected once the bond is approved.Th estate agent did not do a follow up of the seller and the delay is too long.Can I report this to some authority of the negligence of th estate agent for selling without doing the necessary check of the property. Cause the seller is still staying and can I claim occupational rent from them

  • Rukshana 17th August 2017

    Hi I have an agreement with the seller that I take over his bond and pay him the balance. Well the property was sold to me at 1.5 million Rands. I am currently occupying the new property since last year June 2016. Every time I ask for bond statement I’m not being given. Recently this year May 2017 he gives me a bond statement. I have already paid paid into the lawyer and sellers account R300 000.00 and now that my old property is sold I would like to clear the balance and take over the bond legally via the bank but unfortunately the amount is sitting at almost 1 million in the bond statement and seller is claiming for R350 000.00. According to the agreement which I picked up an error stating that I pay the bank arrears and monthly installment which is R10256 and again occupational rental which is R10256. Which now I’m very much confused. Now that my old property is sold and we very much interested in this property. All we want to do is to have it the legal manner without any conflict and going to high court. Please get back to me.