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The Transfer Process

While the transfer process follows a series of successive stages, the time period involved varies considerably.

Here are some guidelines:
  • A cash transaction may take 4 - 8 weeks
  • Within normal circumstances (including bond approval), approximately 3 months
  • If conditional upon the sale of purchaser's property (within 30 days), approximately 4 months
  • STAGE 1

The Agreement of Sale is concluded between the Purchaser and the Seller, having been brought together by the Estate Agent.

  • STAGE 2

The Agreement of Sale is checked by the Estate Agent’s manager and handed over to the Conveyancing Department for processing. The Conveyancing Secretary will instruct the Transferring Attorneys and send a copy of the Agreement of Sale to you and to the buyer with a covering letter.

  • STAGE 3

The Transferring Attorneys will inform you when the Deposit Has Been Paid And When The Bond Has Been Granted (if applicable). The bond application is processed and tracked by our in-house consultant at Mortgage SA, PGP’s elected bond originators.

  • STAGE 4

Once a mortgage bond has been granted, it is incumbent upon the seller to obtain and produce Beetle And Electrical Clearance Certificates.

  • STAGE 5

The Documents Required To Enable Transfer to be passed (power of attorney conferred upon the Transferring Attorney and Transfer Duty Declaration) are drawn up by the Transferring Attorney and signed by the purchaser and seller.

  • STAGE 6

A Rates Clearance Certificate (a document stating that all rates and taxes for the year have been paid) – or a levy if applied to a sectional title purchase - is obtained from the municipality – or body corporate - by the Transferring Attorney.

  • STAGE 7

Transfer Duty is paid to the Receiver of Revenue (together with proof of rates clearance), and a Transfer Duty Receipt is issued.

  • STAGE 8

The Transferring Attorney Lodges All Documentation together with the Transfer Duty Receipt at the deeds registry. Simultaneously, all bond documentation (if a bond is involved) will be lodged at the deeds registry by the bank or building society’s attorney (having been duly signed by the purchaser).

  • STAGE 9

All Bond And Transfer Documents Are Inspected By The Deeds Registry and, if correctly prepared, come up for Registration. At this stage the purchaser must have the balance of the purchase price available, and the financial institution’s attorneys have the bond amount available. If the purchaser is not able to make the funds available, the seller’s Transferring Attorney will delay registration, which may be postponed for no more than 3 to 4 days before the deeds are rejected and will need to be re-lodged. The purchaser may then be put to terms and given 7 days written notice to rectify his default.




The transfer process starts with the Agreement of Sale being sent to an attorney who is a qualified conveyancer. The conveyancer will then attend to the process of changing ownership of the property from the seller to the purchaser. 

On receipt of the Agreement of Sale a reliable conveyancer will perform numerous tasks to avoid unnecessary delays. The conveyancer will: 


Contact the parties and request the information and documentation required to draft the transfer documents

Read through the Agreement of Sale, taking note of important dates and clauses, and address any issues that may affect the validity of the agreement

Search the Deeds Office database to check for potential problems with the property or the parties

Request a Rates Clearance figure from the municipality or Levy Clearance requirements from the body corporate

Request the bank to provide the bond cancellation requirements and the title deed if the property is mortgaged.

On receipt of all of the abovementioned information and documentation, and provided all the suspensive conditions have been met, the conveyancer will draft the transfer documents.

The conveyancer will also request payment of the transfer costs from the party responsible for such costs (usually the purchaser).

On signature of the transfer documents and payment of the transfer costs the conveyancer will pay the outstanding rates or levies and transfer duty owed. 

The conveyancer will then wait for the rates clearance certificate or levy clearance certificate and transfer duty receipt. The conveyancer may also be waiting for guarantees from the bond attorneys to secure the purchase price. On receipt of the certificates, transfer duty receipt and guarantees, and provided there are no outstanding issues, the conveyancer will send the transfer documents to Cape Town for lodgement. 

There may be three sets of documents for lodgement under the control of three sets of attorneys – one attending to the transfer, another attending to bond registration, and yet another attending to bond cancellation. All these documents must be lodged and registered simultaneously. An error in any of these documents will delay registration of transfer. 

Upon lodgement the Deeds Office checks the documents for errors and for any reason why the transfer may not proceed. This process usually takes 10 working days but may take longer. Once the Deeds Office is satisfied that the transfer may proceed, the transfer "comes on prep" also known as "coming up for registration". At this stage, all the conveyancers check again that registration may proceed. If there are no problems, they will hand in their documents the next day and effect registration of transfer. The seller will normally be paid the following day. 

The process usually takes approximately 8 weeks but there are numerous factors that may delay this process. 

The most common of these are: 

Delay in receiving the bond cancellation figures or the title deed

Delay in receiving the transfer duty receipt

Delay in receiving the rates clearance certificate or levy clearance certificate

Delay in the purchaser paying the purchase price or providing guarantees for same

Delay in the fulfilment of any suspensive conditions

The parties agreeing to delay registration of transfer

Either party not signing the transfer documentation when requested to

The purchaser not paying the transfer costs when requested to

A lost title deed

Delays in the Deeds Office

Reference:  (This information was obtained from the DTS Attorneys Website)

Have Your Legal Documents Ready

Buying or selling are involved processes, and as such will require you to have a ton of paperwork at the ready. In order to help this process go a bit smoother, put together at a minimum the documentation listed below:
I am Employed
  • Proof of income / Latest payslip
  • Copy of ID
  • Copy of Marriage Certificate or ANC Contract
  • Copy of the Offer to Purchase
  • 3 Months Personal bank statements
  • For commission earners: Proof of last 3 months commission earnings
  • Statement of Personal assets and liabilities
I am Self-Employed
  • Proof of income / Accountant's letter confirming income of applicant
  • Copy of ID
  • Copy of Marriage Certificate or ANC Contract
  • Copy of Offer to Purchase
  • 6 Months Personal bank statements
  • 6 Months business account bank statement Last 3 years Financial Statements. Where Annual Financial Statements are older than 6 months, Management Accounts not older that 2 months signed by the applicant and accountant must be provided in addition to the Annual FinancialStatements
  • Copy of Registration Documents or Trust Deed
  • Statement of Personal Assets and Liabilities