Transfer of immovable property from one person to another
Conveyancing is the legal process whereby the Court grants the right of ownership to a buyer or heir of an immovable property.
It ensures the protection of the parties in a property sale and the only way in which this right of ownership can be transferred or revoked is, once again, by the Court.
Since it is a legal matter which is dealt with by a Court, only an attorney and conveyancer who is admitted by the Court to do conveyancing is authorised to perform the task of registering the transfer of immovable property from one person to another.
This could include any of commercial or residential property, vacant land, subdivisions or consolidations of property.
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The Conveyancing Process
What does conveyancing entail?
The perception that conveyancing is a relatively straightforward process that could be handled by a clerk is incorrect and a sure sign of ignorance.
It includes dealings with government and municipal departments, which requires an in-depth knowledge of aspects like:
• Clearance certificates of rates & SARS;
• Payment of duties and taxes;
• Homeowners’ Association’s approval; and
• Other aspects of the transfer process, including drafting of the documents, co-ordination of the parties, done-by-dates, payments and tasks, and lodgement of the transaction and site plans for registration at the deeds office.
After an initial examination process of around six to nine working days from lodgement, the registration is finalised. It is however, subject to everything being in place, all costs being fully paid and monies due being either paid or secured by guarantee or bond.
Why are only Conveyancers allowed to carry out the transfer of a fixed property?
Property transactions are involved and complicated. It requires special knowledge and skills to accomplish a successful transfer. The entire conveyancing process hinges on the competency of the Conveyancer.
Conveyancers have to write and pass a stringent examination and be admitted in a High Court. Legal issues arising from the conveyancing process often require knowledge of other areas of law besides property law including corporate law, family law, insolvency law and the law relating to the administration of deceased estates.
The conveyancer, is accountable and always at risk. If he makes a mistake that invalidates or delays the sale, he will be held liable for this. A competent conveyancer will process the sale and transfer of a property in the shortest possible time frame to avert glitches and save cost.
Depending on the terms of the agreement, the buyer would normally pay the deposit into the trust account of the conveyancer, (also sometimes referred to as transfer-attorneys, transfer-lawyers or conveyancing-lawyers) who would invest the funds for the benefit of the buyer, until the date of transfer.
Who appoints the Conveyancer?
Unless both parties agree otherwise, the transferring party, usually the seller of a property, appoints the conveyancer who is then responsible for overseeing and managing all legal aspects of the entire transfer of property process.
Depending on the terms of the agreement, the buyer would normally pay the deposit into the trust account of the conveyance attorneys(also sometimes referred to as transfer attorneys, transfer lawyers or conveyancing lawyers) who would invest the funds for the benefit of the buyer, until the date of transfer.
What are the main causes of delays in the property transfer process?
Many issues can delay or even invalidate a property transfer which the diligent and experienced conveyancer would usually spot and avert. These could include aspects such as non-performance by one of the parties, which may impede the transfer process.
Relatively trivial disagreements over, for example, defects in the property or delays in making payments or furnishing guarantees, are generally mediated effectively by the conveyancing attorney but could result in delays.
If you are selling a property or need to transfer ownership of immovable property, be sure to obtain the services of reputable attorneys for conveyancing.
The AIIF has published the ‘Red Flags in Conveyancing” warning Conveyancers about the latest scams.
Hire an Expert
A smooth property transfer begins with the appointment of property attorneys who knows how to manage the conveyancing process effectively and to resolve problems immediately if and when they arise.
Buyers and Sellers can expedite or delay the transfer process…