Understanding the transfer process of a property from Seller to Buyer can be a challenge. With many important steps and key players involved, knowing the process step by step can help to avoid confusion and lead to a smooth real estate sale. Read on for a step by step guide to South Africa’s property transfer process.

Getting the property on the market
Finding the right real estate agent is key to a successful sale. The Seller should look for an agent that has been successful in their area. This agent will give a home valuation and solid, insightful pricing advice. The agent will create an effective marketing plan in order to showcase the property to the largest audience of buyers as possible. The agent will help the Seller to prepare the property for a Show Day where potential buyers will come and view the house.

Preparation before the bond
When a Buyer decides to make an offer on the property, the real estate agent will draw up an offer to purchase and present it to the Seller. There may be some price negotiations, but once a price has been agreed upon by both the Buyer and the Seller, the transfer process can move forward. The Seller will have an opportunity to select a conveyancer who will assist in the transfer process by acquiring FICA documentation and sorting out bond cancellation and acquisition. After Seller’s bond is cancelled, the Buyer may apply for a mortgage loan from a bank or mortgage originator who will grant the loan once value in the property has been determined.

The Seller’s final steps before all the paperwork is sent to the Deeds office includes:
● Paying off any remaining rates and taxes associated with the property as well as four months provisions paid up front.
● Obtaining a compliance certificate for the electrical and gas systems and the electric fence, where applicable.
● The estate agent’s commission is to be paid once the transfer has been affected.
The Buyer’s final steps before all the paperwork is sent to the Deeds office is to pay the following:
● Paying ‘costs’ to both transfer and bond attorneys,
● VAT
● Postages and petties
● Deeds office search fees
● ID and verification fees
● Taxes to the receiver of revenue which is based on the property’s value

These fees which the Buyer needs to pay are expected by the respective attorneys when he signs the transfer documents. It’s therefore important that these fees are ready to be paid at the time of signing.

The Deeds office

The documents which will need to go to the Deeds office include the following:
● The original title deed
● Consent from the bank
● Signed Power of Attorney
● Clearance Certificate
● Transfer Duty receipt from Receiver
● The new title Deed to be registered
● The new bond to be registered

The attorneys will submit the above documents to the Deeds office and should everything be found in order, the property will be signed over from seller to buyer in 8-12 working days.

Once the property has been transferred from Seller to Buyer, the Buyer can move in and enjoy their new property investment.

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