When transferring a property from a seller to a buyer, the transferring attorney will apply for a rate clearance certificate from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and a rates clearance certificate from the local Deeds Office at the Municipality.
However, the state-run Deeds Office is currently experiencing delays. Rates clearance certificates and title deeds are not delivered timeously, resulting in properties not getting registered. This is having a negative effect on the property market. Backlogs of registration of property transfers not only effects conveyancers, but also homeowners, estate agents, and buy-to-let investors.
Other issues that cause delays include the cancellation of the seller’s bond or registration of a new bond, incomplete or wrong information and documentation, and adherence to the banks’ requirements for a bond.
Buyers and sellers can assist their transferring attorney and conveyancer by being prepared in order to speed up the process.
Both buyers and sellers must ensure that all outstanding municipal rates and taxes are fully paid up. A loan may have to be obtained from a bank to cover these costs. Notify your bank timeously when terminating the bond before you sell the home.
The seller must ensure that they move out of the home on time by the date agreed upon by both parties. The buyer must locate the whereabouts of the original title deed document to give to the transferring attorney. The bank will have the original title deed if a bond was secured.
Meanwhile, the seller of a sectional title unit must ensure they have a copy of the latest financial statements, as well as the body corporate’s management and conduct rules. This will aid a buyer to obtain a bond from their bank.
Double check whether there are any stipulations, such as that a title deed must first be approved by the body corporate or Home Owners Association (HOA). Also, ensure there are no pending disputes between you and the HOA.