I bought a property

Sep 6, 2022 | , , , | News

“It is all so confusing – I bought a house, but the process is taking long and there are so many different attorneys”

In general, it is not often that one purchases a property and during the transfer process it may become confusing at times when you are faced with different attorneys asking for different things and when the transfer process takes some time to be finished.


One might think: “I signed the offer to purchase the house, the seller accepted the offer, why can the house not be registered to my name immediately and why does it take so long?”

The short answer is that there is an entire process that must be followed in order to register an immovable property into one’s name. There are different attorneys playing different roles in the process and there are various factors which will influence how long it will take for the registration to take place.



If you are the purchaser and you purchased the property subject to the condition that you will obtain bond finance for the payment of the purchase price, this will mean that when the property is registered in your name, a bond will be registered in favour of the bank or credit provider at the same time. There is a separate set of attorneys that will deal with this bond registration, namely the bond registration attorneys.

The bond attorneys must comply with certain requirements that are stipulated by the bank or credit provider and depending on whether the relevant information and documentation are readily available, this might influence the date when all the parties are ready for transfer.



If the Seller of the property has a bond that has been registered over the property, that bond will be have to cancelled by the bond cancellation attorneys at the same time the registration to the Purchaser takes place.

The bond cancellation attorneys will address whatever is needed for the relevant cancellation, which normally only entails payment of the cancellation amount and / or certain guarantees that must be provided, all of which are communicated to the Transferring Attorney (which will be addressed under the third factor below).



The transferring attorney is the attorney that will attend to the transfer of the property from the seller to the purchaser at the Deeds Office.

The transferring attorney must ensure that all the relevant compliance certificates which may include but is not limited to a beetle certificate, electrical compliance certificate, gas certificate etc and obtain these certificates from the seller and / or the estate agent which is involved in the selling of the property.

The transferring attorney must furthermore ensure that a rates clearance certificate is obtained from the relevant Municipality, this is essentially a certificate that confirms that the Seller of the property has paid the rates ad taxes on the property for four months in advance.

The transferring attorney must furthermore obtain a certificate from SARS which either confirms that transfer duty has been paid, or that transfer duty is not payable (this will depend on the specific facts of the transfer).

If the property is situated where there is a Home Owners Association and / or a Body Corporate, the relevant Body Corporate and / or Home Owners Association must provide consent that the property may be transferred and if applicable, confirm that the levies have been paid in advance by the Seller.

If there are further conditions in the Sale Agreement and / or the Title Deed that must specifically be addressed and complied with, the Transferring Attorney must ensure that these are complied with as well before transfer can take place.



The transferring attorney liaises with the bond cancellation and bond registration attorneys and ensures that all the relevant requirements are met.

Only once all these requirements have been met, the Transferring Attorney, Bond Registration Attorney and Cancellation Attorney will liaise and submit (lodge) the relevant documentation at the Deeds Office on the same day.

Once the relevant transfer documentation has been lodged, it can take anything between two to three weeks for the property to be transferred into the Purchaser’s name, the Purchaser’s bond to be registered in the Purchaser’s name and the Seller’s bond to be cancelled and – all of which will be done at the same time.

This was merely an overview of the requirements and the different attorneys that play a part in the transfer process. If you are uncertain about aspect after you have purchased a property, feel free to contact us in order to clarify the issue.

The content does not constitute legal advice, are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Kindly contact us on info@cklaw.co.za or 021 556 9864 to speak to one of our attorneys.

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