For most people, owning fixed property will be their largest and single most important investment. Fixed property is also one of the most expensive assets that a person may ever own or purchase. Hence the transfer of property from one person to another is probably one of the most important contracts that an individual can enter into. Fortunately in South Africa we have one of the safest and best land registration systems in the world.
What is Conveyancing?
A property is not automatically transferred from one person to another when a sales agreement is signed or even when the purchase price is paid. Transfer of ownership is only achieved on registration of a new deed of transfer in the Deeds Registry Office.
Conveyancing is the term for the legal and administrative procedures required to accomplish the transfer of ownership (and other rights) in immovable property from one person or entity to another.
The definition may be simple but the fact is conveyancing is a complicated process which involves a complex series of tasks and requires extensive knowledge and accuracy on the part of the conveyancing attorney. In a typical transfer and registration process a conveyancer coordinates and completes more than 50 activities while liaising with up to 12 parties including banks, the South African Revenue Services, municipalities, rates agents, deeds offices and other role players.
What is a Conveyancer (Conveyancing Attorney)?
A conveyancer is an admitted attorney who has in addition to qualifying as an attorney, passed a further qualifying examination and been accepted by the High Court to practice as a conveyancer. A conveyancer specialises in the preparation of deeds and documents which are registerable in the Deeds Registry Office. The law provides that only qualified conveyancers may attend to the transfer of fixed property and related transactions. This is not only to safeguard the rights and interests of the public, but also to preserve the integrity of the South African land registration system, which is generally considered to be one of the best in the world.