Buying a property is a stressful experience, and with our services and expertise, we can help you make this process a less stressful one. With more than 15 years of experience in property law, and as a Notary Public, our clients receive the full spectrum of property-related services without the need to outsource and incur additional costs.
Admitted as an Attorney and Conveyancer in 2005, Sascha started her career in property law while completing her articles, and she has more than 15 years’ experience in property law.
She is also admitted as a Notary Public ensuring that all our clients receive the full spectrum of property-related services they need.
What is conveyancing and which services do we provide?
Conveyancing refers to the branch of law relating to property. Most commonly, the transfer of ownership from a seller to a buyer. With every sale of a property, a new Deed of Transfer has to be drafted and lodged at the relevant Deeds Office.
In South Africa, only admitted Conveyancers, can do conveyancing.
We assist our clients with the entire property transfer process — from drafting the offer to purchase and transfer documents, and obtaining the necessary clearance certificates, to interacting with SARS, the banks as well as other attorneys involved in the transaction.
Our services include:
Offer to purchase/Sale of property.
Property ownership can only take transferred when there is an agreement between the buyer and the seller. There should be a written agreement between all parties to validate the transaction.
We are not on the banks’ panel, but we could assist you with drafting the contract between borrower and lender. A loan agreement contains the details and conditions of the loan. It also serves as the registration of the loan against the property of the borrower at the relevant Deeds Office.
We can draft the contractual arrangement between lessor and lessee for the use of the asset of the lessor for residential or business use.
Sale of commercial property.
We assist with the negotiation and drafting of the contract for the sale of commercial property, ensuring compliance with relevant legislation, such as the Companies Act of 2008, Competition Commission and the Deeds Registries Act. We also facilitate the registration of the transfer at the relevant Deeds Office.
Sale of going concern.
We can assist with the drafting of the contract, ensuring compliance with the requirements of SARS and registration of the transfer at the relevant Deeds Office.
Transfer of property when directors of a (Pty) Ltd or members of a CC change.
In some instances, a change in Directors or Members’ interest can result in a change in ownership of property. We assist with the necessary contracts as well as any changes with CIPC and payment of transfer duty / VAT with SARS.
Transfer of property
We can assist buyers and sellers in meeting their contractual needs during the transfer of property. Whether you fully own the property, it is being auctioned or is commercial property.
We can assist you with the following property types:
Full title (Erf) A full-title property is one which the purchaser takes ownership of the land and everything built on it.
Sectional Title property Ownership of a unit within a complex or development. Here the purchaser will own the unit, but the land surrounding the unit is common property unless the purchaser has been provided exclusive use of such area either by the body corporate or notarial deed.
Commercial property Buildings or land intended to generate profit, either from profit or capital gain.
Sale in execution / Sheriff auction Property sold via sheriff auction as a result of a court order obtained by a creditor such as a bank, body corporate or homeowners association.
Deceased estate Transfer of property from the deceased estate to a beneficiary or third party on the instruction of the executor.
Insolvent estate Transfer of property on the instruction of the trustee of the insolvent estate.
Divorce Transfer of property in terms of the divorce order and settlement agreement.
Consolidation of property Application to the Deeds Office for two or more pieces of land to be consolidated into a single unit of land.
Notarial Services relating to property
Notarial Bonds A bond registered over movable property that a debtor has put up as security, and is registered at the relevant Deeds Office.
Servitudes Registration of servitudes whether Praedial (one which a person has due to ownership in a specific property) or Personal (in favour of a specific person).
Notarial tie Where two properties are tied through a notarial-tie agreement and registered at the relevant Deeds Office.
Section 68(1) applications If the original title deed to a property has been lost or destroyed, and a copy is required in order to replace the original, you need to sign Section 68(1) affidavit and application, as well as advertise in a local newspaper in the area where the property is located, these documents are then lodged at the relevant Deeds Office.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can buyers and sellers help facilitate a smooth transaction?
- Sellers will be charged an early termination penalty fee by their bond holder, should you not give the bank 90 days’ notice of your intention to cancel your bond.
- Make sure you have your FICA documents in order. Proof of residence should not be older than 3 months.
- Before signing an Offer to Purchase (OTP) ensure you get a copy of the agreement from your real estate agent and understand the contents thereof.
- Ensure that you have an income tax number where you earn the required annual income and that your tax is up to date.
- Purchasers can approach a bond originator / bank in order to determine the amount of the bond they will qualify for before making an offer to purchase.
- As purchaser you should enquire about bond and transfer fees, this means there are no surprises.
- Sellers can obtain the compliance certificates, so they are ready when requested.
- Sellers should make certain that their building plans are updated, where applicable.
What does the transfer process look like?
I looked at homes with or without an agent, signed an offer to purchase and received bond finance. The bank pays the seller and now the house is mine, right? Wrong.
At transfer can take up to 3 months to finalise.
Here are the steps involved:
- Receive Instruction – Send out initial letters diaries file until bond is granted (usually purchaser has 30 days to get bond)
- Request cancellation figures from bond holder (usually 5 working days for response, a further 3 – 5 working days until cancellation attorney receives instruction).
- Request rates clearance figures from City Council & levy clearance from the relevant HOA or body corporate.
- Receive cancellation figures/guarantee requirements and copy of title deed from cancellation attorney.
- Contact purchasers bond attorney. Request guarantees. Guarantees are only sent once the bond attorney has signed the client and received an ok from the bank (this can take up to a month).
- Draft preliminary documents (this can only be done if clients have provided necessary FICA as requested in initial letters). Then arrange for signature of transfer documents.
- Bond attorney to send guarantees to transferring attorney and transferring attorney to send same to cancellation attorney.
- Receive costs from Purchaser. Pay SARS. Rates Figures received and payment requested from seller.
- TDR received from Sars (this is issued 1 working day after payment is made). RCC received (7 working days after payment) and Levy clearance certificate.
- Once we have City Council consent, HOA consent/levy clearance and transfer duty receipt, we arrange lodgement.
- Submit to Deeds Office for registration. (7 – 10 working days, this varies in each Deeds Office).
What can you expect from your conveyancer?
The Conveyancer should:
- Protect the interest of his clients. Although the Conveyancer is usually appointed by the seller, the Conveyancer acts in the best interest of both seller & purchaser. Should a dispute that results in litigation arise the Conveyancer needs to advise both parties to obtain alternate legal counsel;
- Inform the parties of the conveyancing procedure and keep the them informed of the progress of the transaction;
- Advise on the content of the Offer to Purchase, especially regarding suspensive conditions;
- In respect of the cancellation of the sellers bond advise on, any penalties, notice periods and other administrative charges which may affect the settlement figure;
- Do everything in his power to register the transaction as quickly and efficiently as possible;
- Ensure in as far as possible that the transfer is not delayed;
- Prepare the deeds for lodgement with care, to minimise the risk of rejection of the documentation by the Deeds Office;
- Inform the parties of registration of the transfer on the day of registration;
- Once registered provide the parties with confirmation of registration, final statement of account and proof of payment (where applicable).
What do conveyancing attorneys do?
Typically there are 3 conveyancing attorneys involved in a transaction for the transfer of property from the seller to the purchaser.
These conveyancing attorneys are known as the transferring attorney, bond attorney and bond cancellation attorney.
The transferring attorney is the attorney that attends to the registration of the property at the Deeds Office into the name of the purchaser. This attorney is in charge of the transaction and is responsible for communicating with the bond attorney, bond cancellation attorney, banks, SARS, relevant local authority and bond corporate/homeowner’s association.
The bond attorney is instructed by the bank to attend to the registration of the purchaser’s bond at the Deeds Office.
The bond cancellation attorney is also appointed by the bank and is responsible for the registration of the cancellation of the sellers existing bond facility at the Deeds Office.
Transfer and bond registration fees are set by the Legal Practice Council. Transfer fees are calculated according to the purchase price of the property and bond fees according to the amount of the bond granted. You can calculate your fees below:
In addition to the attorney’s fee, disbursements (deed office fee, rates clearance agent fee, courier fee, document generation charge), postage & petties and transfer duty / VAT (SARS) are also included in the account.
What are other fees payable?
The purchaser is responsible for transfer and bond registration fees.
The seller is responsible for:
- Settling his/her bond,
- Bond cancellation fees,
- The estate agent’s commission,
- The rates clearance figures,
- Levy clearance figures (if applicable; in some cases levy figures are prorated between purchaser and seller),
- Electrical compliance certificate,
- Gas installation certificate (if applicable), and
- Electric fence certificate (if applicable).
Please note: The purchaser’s bank may make the bond grant subject to approved house plans from the council, and if the seller does not have these, then he/she will also be responsible for the cost of obtaining these.