12 May IS MY TRANSFER DATE A GUARANTEE?
Transfer of property, especially when linked between buyers and sellers both moving and selling at the same time, is a process fraught with plans, arrangements, and deadlines. Moving is one of the most stressful life events that individuals experience.
THE TRANSFER DATE
The transfer date is usually specified as a date in the offer to purchase. Sometimes this date is simply ‘as soon as possible’, but for peace of mind a particular date no less than 8 weeks from the date of acceptance of the offer is suggested. The estate agent is well-placed to advise on a suitable transfer date.
Where a transfer date is specified, this is often followed by the phrase ‘…or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter’. The transfer process typically involves at least three sets (or more) of attorneys, two banks (one to cancel the seller’s bond and one to register the purchaser’s new bond), a municipality, SARS, and in some cases homeowners’ associations and body corporates. Where transfers should occur simultaneously or are financially dependent on one another, these parties are compounded by the number of linked transfers.
Because of the various different processes and role players, and the necessity of parties paying the prescribed transfer fees, costs, and levies on time, there is a chance that the transfer date agreed to by the parties has to be pushed back. It also happens that transfer is scheduled for the 1st of the month, which falls on a Saturday and Sunday. Transfer will only occur on the first working day following that, even if lodged timeously.
Once deeds are lodged at the deeds office, the examiners subject the deeds to rigorous scrutiny to ensure that the transfer of ownership and conditions of title are brought forward precisely. If the examiners raise a concern, the matter is either brought to prep with an examination note, or the deeds are rejected, requiring the conveyancer to correct the deeds and re-lodge.
DOES THIS MEAN THE TRANSFER CAN TAKE HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES?
No. Your conveyancer should try to register the transfer on the agreed date to the best of their abilities. This involves requesting documentation and information early, applying with the necessary stakeholders at the right time, keeping both parties informed of the costs involved in the transfer and the dates for payment, and constant communication with seller, purchaser, and agent(s) to ensure that all parties are fully aware of the progress of the matter and any potential delays.
IS THERE ANYTHING THAT CAN BE DONE?
Most offers to purchase provide for occupational rental to be paid, which is an amount paid by whichever party is in occupation when the transfer registers (if they are not the owner). An example is if the seller remains in the property after registration or where the buyer moves in before the transfer is registered in the deeds office. The payment of occupational rental allows a purchaser to move in on a specified date while allowing the seller compensation for moving out before transfer.
The choice of conveyancer is critical, particularly to avoid delays and ensure a personalised service that is in the interests of all parties. Always choose a reputable conveyancer who delivers on their promises and makes your transfer their priority.
Gillian Erasmus Attorneys Inc is a female-owned and run conveyancing firm. We always provide personal and honest advice, and we guarantee that the transfer of your property is in safe hands. Our director, Gillian Erasmus, is your personal contact throughout the transfer of the property and will ensure that what you agree to becomes a reality.