Wouldn’t it be amazing if we had a definite answer to this question and all parties involved could have peace of mind and certainty that registration of transfer will take place on a particular date? The reality, however, is that there are just too many “moving parts” in the South African property transfer process for anyone to be able to guarantee an exact date for transfer.
The “moving parts” referred to above are the various parties involved in the transfer process: Seller, Buyer, Buyers Bond Bank, Sellers Bond Cancellation Bank, Bond Attorneys, Bond Cancellation Attorneys, Transferring Attorneys , South African Revenue Service (SARS), the Municipality, Home Owners Associations/Body Corporates, Compliance Contractors, potentially the Masters Office and last but not least…the Deeds Office.’
- The “target date” provided for in the Sale Agreement is usually 8 – 12 weeks from the date of Sale. The first indicator for the pace of the transfer may well be the length of time it takes for the Buyer to obtain their bond approval, and following on, the time it takes for the bank to appoint attorneys to attend to its registration.
- The next step is the appointing of Bond Cancellation Attorneys to obtain cancellation figures from the Bank which, depending on the type of facility the Seller has, can take a varying amount of time.
- Rates figures are requested from the Municipality in the area in which the property is situated to obtain a Rates Clearance Certificate (RCC). The time taken to obtain these figures, request payment from the Seller, and the processing of this important clearance varies vastly from municipality to municipality.
- A transfer duty assessment is requested from SARS in order to obtain a Transfer duty receipt or exemption. This assessment can come through quickly or it could take weeks to be issued. Once payment is made the Receipt should be provided within a day thereafter.
- Transfer and Bond documents are prepared by the transferring and bond attorneys for signature by the Buyer and Seller which can usually take place quickly. However, should either of the parties be outside of South Africa the documents may need to be specially signed and authenticated and the originals couriered back to South Africa.
- The documents are then all complied and “lodged” with (submitted to) the Deeds Office for examination. In pre-Covid times this would take between 7-10 working days from Lodgement to Registration, but Covid-closures of the Deeds Office has seen examination extend to over 3 weeks at times!
Whilst many of the processes outlined above run concurrently, it is clear that a delay in any portion of the inter-related aspects of the property transfer process will hold up the entire transaction.
Despite the uncertainty of the process the conveyancing team at FHA works tirelessly to keep all parties advised of progress throughout, and we do everything in our power to achieve the target registration date provided in the Sale Agreement.
We look forward to guiding you through your next transfer.