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The Property Transfer Process

The transfer of a property is quite a complicated process and usually involves three Attorneys.

The process begins with a valid, signed and dated sale agreement.

The sale agreement usually contains a suspensive condition stating that the sale will only materialize if the purchaser obtains a homeloan. As soon as the homeloan is granted, the transfer attorney begins the process.

The Transfer Attorney will request the bond cancellation amount from the existing bondholder if there is an existing bond registered over the property being sold. The rates clearance amount is requested from the municipality, and the transfer documents are drafted.

The Transfer Attorney will receive the bond cancellation amount from Attorneys who are on that bank’s panel. As soon as the bond cancellation figure has been received, the Transfer Attorney will send the required information to the new Bond Attorneys who are Attorneys appointed by that bank’s panel.

At this stage, the transfer documents are signed by the seller and purchaser and the transfer costs including transfer duty are paid by the purchaser. As soon as the Bond Attorneys draft the bond registration documents, the purchaser will sign those as well. The Bond Attorneys will then furnish the guarantees (security for the purchase price) to the Transfer Attorney and the Transfer Attorney will forward the guarantees to the Attorney attending to the cancellation of the existing bond over the property.

In the interim, the Transfer Attorney should hopefully have received the rates clearance amount from the municipality. This amount is paid by the Seller to the Transfer Attorney who pays it over to the municipality who will then issue a rates clearance certificate. The issuing of a rates clearance certificate used to be within a few days, but the Covid-19 situation has caused a substantial delay.

The Transfer Attorney will also apply to SARS on e-filing for a Transfer Duty Receipt. SARS may request supporting documents and, when satisfied, will issue an assessment. The Transfer Attorney will then pay Transfer Duty to SARS and receive the Transfer Duty Receipt.

When the transfer Attorney has received security for the full purchase price, electrical and other compliance certificates, the Transfer Duty Receipt and Rates Clearance Certificate, the transfer is ready to be lodged (submitted) to the Deeds Office. When the Bond Attorney and Bond Cancellation Attorney have received the respective banks’ consents and are ready to lodge, the whole transaction is lodged simultaneously at the Deeds office to be examined by the various Examiners. If all goes well and there are no queries by the Examiners, the transaction should be registered within ten days of lodgement.

The whole process usually takes two to three months to be completed.

If you require the services of a Transfer Attorney or assistance with a property matter, please contact Myers Attorneys on 011 346 2422 or

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