Securing an offer to purchase and accepting an offer is only the beginning. Once a seller has signed and accepted the “Offer to Purchase”, a “legally binding agreement” is in place. Despite this binding agreement, you should anticipate many more hoops to jump through. A reputable Conveyancing Attorney will afford you peace of mind and is legally required to conclude property ownership transfer.
You can expect a 2 – 3 month process before you can consider your house officially sold. This could take longer due to unforeseen circumstances. In this article we will highlight:
- Appointing a Conveyancing Attorney.
- Essential documentation required.
- Legal and compliance costs.
- The sequence of compliance procedures.
Appointing a Conveyancing Attorney
Ask your estate agent for a reputable conveyancing attorney with the knowledge, skills and exacting attention to detail to help make sense of the process for you. Your agent can recommend and will already work with a conveyancing attorney with a proven track record.
Getting your Legal House in Order for a Seamless and Watertight Transfer Process
Sellers and Buyers will be required to provide the conveyancing attorney with the following documentation:
- Identification, marriage certificates, SARS Tax number on SARS document and antenuptial contracts if applicable must be provided to the conveyancing attorney if the property is registered in the name/names of a natural person/s.
- If the property is registered in a company or trust, details of the company or trust and the shareholders or trustees must be available.
- Details and copies of municipal accounts and a levy statement if sectional title or HOA must be available for your attorney to secure the required rates clearance certificate.
- Details and information relating to the existing seller’s bond.
Your Step by Step Guide to the Legal and Compliance Process in Sequence
- Your potential purchaser presents an offer to purchase.
- If the seller signs and accepts, the purchaser and seller enter into a legally binding agreement.
- The seller appoints a conveyancing attorney and provides the conveyancing attorney with all necessary documentation and compliance certificates as detailed above.
- The purchaser makes an application for Mortgage Bond Approval.
- The seller provides access for agents of the bank/s to value the property.
- The purchaser provides bank/banks proof of income to assess credit worthiness and secure their loan.
- The purchaser provides the bank with proof of life insurance/mortgage protection cover and homeowner’s insurance as may be required by the bank.
- The seller takes care of any suspensive conditions requiring their compliance.
- The bank approves the application for the new bond.
- The bank appoints their conveyancing attorney to register the new bond.
- The seller’s conveyancing attorney will give notice to cancel the seller’s bond and issue a guarantee to the bank guaranteeing the purchaser’s new bond and/or any cash purchase payments, which will repay the seller’s old bond, to acquire the title deeds from the bank.
- The conveyancing attorney will draft all required documentation and require signatures from both the purchaser and the seller before proceeding with registration of the property in the new owner’s name.
- Once the purchaser has paid the bond registration costs, the transfer duty, and the conveyancing service fees, the conveyancing attorney will proceed. Conveyancing fees are based on a sliding- scale based on the value of the house sale transaction.
- The seller must make payment for municipal tax clearance to the conveyancing attorney to secure the clearance certificate before they can proceed to the Deeds Office.
- With the SARS Transfer Duty Receipt and the Municipal Rates Clearance Certificate; the new bond documents and cancellation of old bond documents all in-hand, the conveyancing attorney will lodge with the Deeds Office and make an application for rates in the purchaser’s name.
- The conveyancing attorney will provide a complete reconciliation of monies received and paid to facilitate the transfer along with their final bill. This could include final monies due or payable in respect of Occupational Rent and/or other provisions in the Sale Agreement.
- The transfer of ownership and issue of new title deeds process ordinarily take around 2 – 3 months.
Co-operation and preparedness of both the seller and buyer together with a competent and efficient conveyancing attorney will minimise delays and make for a smooth and effortless transfer of ownership after conclusion of your sale agreement.
Our Leadhome team also has access to tried and trusted service providers in your area to make your ownership transfer process a breeze.