FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: What costs is the Seller liable for in a transfer?
A: The Seller is liable to settle the following costs:
- Rates Clearance Figures (including agent fees and Rates Clearance Certificate).
- Levy/Homeowner’s Association (HOA) Clearance Figures & Certificate.
- Bond Cancellation Attorney’s Fees.
- Agent’s Commission (to be paid on your behalf from proceeds of sale on registration).
- Electrical Compliance Certificate (ECC) – prior to lodgement unless you request the Estate Agency to complete one on your behalf. This is clarified in the Offer to Purchase.
- Electrical fence inspection and Gas Compliance inspection fees &/or Compliance Certificate if applicable
Q: What costs is the Buyer liable for?
A: The Buyer is liable to pay the following costs, which are emailed to them in the form of a PROFORMA ACCOUNT which they usually need to settle prior to lodgement at the Deeds Office:
- Transfer Duty (SARS) if property is above R1 Million.
- Fee for Submitting Transfer Duty.
- Transfer Fees (Transfer Attorneys).
- Deeds Office search fee.
- Deeds Office fee.
- Postages and Petties.
- FICA identification and verification fee.
- Document generation charge.
- Lodging Agent’s fee.
Q: How long does it take to register a property in conveyancing?
A: Registering a property takes an average of three (3) – four (4) months. At ARC Attorneys we pride ourselves in successfully registering a property within a shorter time frame should there be no request for delays from the parties, or should the property have no obstacles.
Q: Why does registering a property take so long?
A: The registration of a property involves a number of legal processes, which are created to ensure a secure and complete transfer of the property from the Seller’s name to the Buyer’s name. There are three important legal processes in a transfer:
1.) The first is the cancellation of the Seller’s Bond:
- The Bank needs to cancel the existing Bond over the property, and calculate the costs of cancelling the Bond, before the full payment has been made.
- The Bank also appoints Bond Cancellation Attorneys to handle the matter. This process can be quick, with a turnaround time of five (5) working days or a little longer, where the original Title Deed has been lost by the holding institution.
2.) Obtaining Rates Clearance Figures:
- If there are no complications on the property, then the Rates Clearance Figures can be obtained within a week; but in the case where there are complications, Rates Clearance Figures can take anywhere from a month or longer to be issued. This is the reason why we need all the FICA documents from both the Sellers and Buyers as early as possible in order for us to request the Rates Clearance Figures as soon as possible after we receive the Offer to Purchase.
3.) Obtaining a new Bond for the property:
- The Buyer’s Bank usually performs a number of routine checks before they grant a Bond on a property, which can take a couple of weeks depending on the Bond amount being requested and the
Buyers credit worthiness.
Q: What is a Rates Account (including Rate Agent’s Fees)?
A: When transferring a property, the council charges rates three (3) – four (4) months in advance which the Seller needs to pay upfront in order to receive a Rates Clearance Certificate which is required before lodgement in the Deeds Office. A Rates Agent is appointed to obtain these figures, and their fees are billed to the Seller’s account.
- The Rates Clearance Certificate is a confirmation that the property’s rates are up to date. The Certificate is valid up until the date which you (Seller) have paid the Rates Clearance Figures.
- If we register before the date covered by the Certificate, the council will refund the overpaid amount to you.
Q: What is The Homeowner’s Association (HOA) Payment?
A: If, in your Title Deed, your home is covered by a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) – they maintain the area.
- The HOA requests payment of all Homeowner’s Association Clearance figures/fees before you can transfer the property. They then provide you with a HOA Clearance Certificate which we also need to lodge at the Deeds Office.
- If you have a Sectional Title, then you will need to pay for the levy clearance figures to your Managing Agent. The procedure is the same as the one for the HOA.
Q: What Are The Bond Cancellation Fees?
A: Usually there are three (3) sets of attorneys that work on a transfer:
- The Bond Cancellation Attorney (they represent the Bank for the Seller’s existing Bond if applicable. If the seller’s home is paid up but the bond was never cancelled, the Bond Cancellation attorney will still need to be appointed. If the Seller has in their possession the original Title Deed, then there will be no need for these attorneys. The Seller will need to provide the Transferring Attorney with the original Title deed which they will require to lodge at the Deeds Office with the transfer documents).
- The Bond Attorney (they represent the Bank where the Buyer obtains their Bond) These attorneys are not necessary if the Buyer is purchasing the property for Cash.
- The Transferring Attorneys (us) who represent both the Buyer, and the Seller, and coordinate both the Bond and Cancellation Attorneys; [and] we are responsible for arranging lodgements with the other attorneys at the relevant Deeds Office.
If you are the Seller you will need to cancel your Bond with your Holding Institution, which is usually a Bank. The Bond Cancellation Attorneys charge you a fee to work with the Bank to cancel your existing Bond on your behalf. You are liable for these fees, which need to be paid before we lodge at the Deeds Office.