What is a conveyancer?

A Conveyancer is an attorney who also passed the national conveyancing examination. Conveyancing in South Africa may only be carried out by a licensed conveyancer

A conveyancer specialises in the preparation of deeds and documents which by law or custom are registrable in a deeds registry.

Who appoints a conveyancer?

The seller usually appoints a Conveyancer to attend to the transfer of fixed property, although this, like other aspects of a sale agreement, can be varied by negotiation between the parties.

What is the first step in the sale of fixed property?

The first requirement is a valid agreement of sale. This is a written agreement which is signed by both the purchaser and seller (and by the seller’s spouse in cases where the parties are married in community of property, or account to the laws of a foreign country). A written “Offer to Purchase” signed by a purchaser and accepted by a seller also constitutes a binding agreement. An oral contract for the sale of fixed property is invalid.

Why should I use a conveyancer?

Buying or selling property is one of the biggest financial transactions of your life. Due to the financial and legal aspects of transferring property, the consequences of making a mistake can be both costly and heart-breaking.

By having a licensed conveyancer take care of your property transfer, their qualifications and experience can help protect your assets.

A licensed Conveyancer has an in-depth understanding of the law concerning property transactions, they are required by law to carry professional indemnity insurance and fidelity insurance, and unlike certain solicitors that offer conveyancing, they can focus solely on property.

Why are there 3 different attorneys in the process of the house transfer?

In a normal conveyancing matter there are 3 attorneys:

  1. Transferring attorney – attend to the overall transfer of the property from the seller to the buyers’ name.
  2. Bond cancellation attorney – attend to the cancellation of the bond which is in the name of the seller.
  3. Bond registration attorney – deals with the registration of the bond in the name of the buyer.

What is the difference between a lawyer and a conveyancer?

A lawyer is a person who is trained to advise clients on their legal rights and obligations in a variety of circumstances, including the buying and selling of real estate and the conveyancing process.

A conveyancer is a person who is licensed to assist buyers and sellers of real estate through the conveyancing process but cannot advise on areas of law.

While a lawyer can assist the client with all legal matters associated with the sale or purchase of real estate, a conveyancer must cease to act for the client as soon as the matter moves beyond conveyancing services, or the client requires legal advice on areas of law which are outside of the  but related to their sale or purchase. When this happens, the conveyancer must refer the client to a qualified lawyer.

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 scrutinized 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.

How long does conveyancing take?

In the majority of cases conveyancing takes around six to eight weeks, however each case is different, and it can take less or longer, depending on different circumstances.

How are transfer fees calculated?

Transfer fees are based on the value of the property. These fees are determined by the Law Society. The Law Society provides the fees to the transferring and bond attorneys as a guideline. The disbursements, however, are at the discretion of the attorneys and these may vary from attorney to attorney.

For further information and assistance, please contact us or book a consultation with our conveyancing team.

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