Sellers and purchasers of property are often overwhelmed by what the property industry typically refers to as the 'transfer process'. What does it really entail?
The phrase 'transfer process' refers to the set of events that take place after signature of a sale agreement up to the moment that the purchaser
legally becomes owner of the property. In any transfer, the process can involve three attorneys, whose activities are interlinked. This works as follows:
The seller appoints a 'transferring attorney' in the agreement. This attorney monitors compliance with the terms of the agreement and prepares the necessary documents for the transfer of the ownership in the property.
The transferring attorney will correspond with the 'cancellation attorney'. The latter is appointed by the bank that holds a current mortgage bond over the property which must be cancelled prior to the transfer of the property to the new purchaser. The seller must make payment of all the amounts outstanding under the bond, usually generated from the sale proceeds.
The third attorney is the 'bond attorney' who will register a bond over the property in favor of the bank immediately after ownership is registered in the name of the purchaser. It may happen that one attorney attends to all three aspects, or only one or two. These are nonetheless separate transactions and the costs are separate for each, whether performed by one attorney or three.
When each of the role-players has finalized their respective transactions, they arrange for simultaneous lodgement of their documents in the deeds office. There it is checked for legal compliance after which the documents are submitted for formal registration. Registration takes place when the Registrar of Deeds signs the respective documents and on this moment, ownership legally passes to the purchaser.