Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Who has the right to appoint the Conveyancing Attorney?
The seller has the right to appoint a Conveyancer to attend to the transfer. Should the seller not have a preference, the estate agent will usually appoint an Attorney. The seller may also agree to allow the purchaser to appoint the conveyancer.
How many conveyancing attorneys are involved in the process?

Typically there are three attorneys involved in the process:

Transferring Attorney:

The transferring attorney attends to the transfer and controls most of the conveyancing process.

Bond Registration Attorneys (“Bond Attorney”):

If the purchaser makes use of a home loan to purchase the property, the bond attorney registers a bond over the property in favour of the bank. This attorney is appointed by the purchaser’s bank.

Bond Cancellation Attorneys (“Cancellation Attorney”):

If the seller has an existing home loan (whether paid up or not), this attorney attends to the cancellation of the bond over the property.

How long does the transfer process take?
Provided that the purchaser’s bond has been approved and that all parties in the chain co-operate fully, the process could be completed in 6 to 8 weeks.
What happens at the Deeds Office?

The conveyancing attorney lodges the prepared transfer documents at the Deeds Office. At the same time the bond attorney lodges the bond registration documents and the cancellation attorney lodges the bond cancellation documents (if applicable).

The documents are scrutinised by examiners in the Deeds Office to ensure that all applicable legislation and regulations are complied with. After approximately 8-10 working days, if the documents have passed all the checks and balances, the conveyancer executes the deeds in the presence of the Registrar.

Questions asked by the Seller

Which costs am I liable for?

Estate Agent’s Commission

The seller pays the commission unless the parties have negotiated otherwise.

Rates and Taxes

In order to obtain a Clearance Certificate from the municipality, rates and taxes are paid 3-4 months in advance. The municipality refunds the seller the prorata amount after registration.

Prorata Levies (if applicable)

In order to obtain a Clearance Certificate from the Body Corporate or Home Owners’ Association, levies are paid 3-4 months in advance.

The seller is liable for prorata levies up to the date of registration.

Electrical Certificate

In terms of legislation, an electrical compliance certificate must be obtained with each transfer of immovable property. The seller is liable for the costs associated with the issue of such certificate, unless the parties have agreed otherwise.

Other certificates (if applicable)

If applicable, the seller is liable for costs associated with the issue of a gas compliance certificate, electrical fence certificate, borehole certificate, etc

Bond Cancellation Costs

If there is an existing bond registered over the property (whether it has been paid up or not), this must be cancelled on transfer and the seller is responsible for payment of the Cancellation Attorney’s fee.

What if the purchase price doesn’t cover my bond and agent’s commission?

If the value of your property is high enough, the bank may agree that we proceed to register the transaction, provided that you sign an agreement with them for the shortfall amount. We can assist by approaching the bank on your behalf.

What is the “penalty interest” on my bond cancellation figures?

You are required to give the bank 90 days’ written notice of your intention to settle your home loan, failing which the bank will charge 90 days’ interest in lieu of notice.

As soon as you supply us with the bond account number we will give the bank notice on your behalf by applying for the cancellation figures. Should registration then occur for example on day 60, you will only be liable for the remaining 30 days’ interest.

Should I keep paying my bond instalments and levies?

Yes, you should keep on paying these as you will be refunded after registration for any surplus amounts paid.

Questions asked by the Purchaser

Which costs am I liable for?

SARS Transfer Duty or VAT:

If Transfer Duty is applicable, the amount is calculated using a formula that is based on the value of the property. Transfer Duty can constitute as much as 90% or more of the costs of transfer. The conveyancer pays the Transfer Duty over to SARS.

Conveyancing Fees:

Conveyancer’s fees are based on guidelines issued by the Legal Practice Council. The fees are calculated on a sliding scale based on the purchase price of the property.

Prorata Levies (if applicable)

In order to obtain a Clearance Certificate from the Body Corporate or Home Owners’ Association, levies are paid 3-4 months in advance.

The purchaser is liable for prorata levies from the date of registration.

Bond Registration Costs:

If a new bond is to be registered, the purchaser pays the bond attorneys’ fees. These fees are calculated on a sliding scale based on the amount of the bond.

Where should I apply for a home loan?

One option is to approach your bank directly. Another option is to approach a bond originator. They will approach several banks on your behalf and ease the administrative burden for you. Their commission is paid by the bank.

Which attorneys will register the bond?
The bank that grants the home loan will appoint a bond attorney who is on their panel. The bond attorney will register the bond over the property in favour of the bank. This will happen simultaneously with the registration of the transfer.
Who earns the interest if I pay a deposit on the Purchase Price?

If the deposit is paid into our trust account, we can invest it in an interest-bearing account on your behalf. Five percent of the interest accrued on the funds invested will be paid to the Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund (LPFF) in terms of section 86(4) of the Legal Practice Act, 28 of 2014 (LPA).