The role of the transfer attorney
In terms of Section 15, read together with Regulation 44 of the Deeds Registries Act, 47 of 1937, all deeds and documents requiring registration in the Deeds Office must be prepared by an attorney, notary or conveyancer.
This requirement has been regulated by South African law as a way of ensuring the process of a property transfer is managed effectively, since it holds such significant value for all parties concerned.
The transfer attorney will take responsibility and will oversee the full transfer process from the time of instruction through to registration in the Deeds Office. This includes drawing up of transfer documentation, managing processes with bond and cancellation attorneys where appropriate, overseeing signature of transfer documents by both buyer and seller, and managing the lodgment and registration process within the Deeds Office.
Choosing the right transfer attorney
The property seller has the right, based on common law, to elect a transfer attorney to manage the property transfer. If the seller does not know an attorney who can assist with the transfer, he or she can contact the Law Society in the relevant province who will be able to assist.
Conveyancing is a specialised field of law, and because a property transfer involves dealing with large sums of money and requires depth of knowledge of the system requirements, it is advisable to work with a reputable and well-known transferring attorney. A specialised conveyancing firm will be able to offer the expertise both buyer and seller need in order to ensure a smooth property transfer.
When selecting a transfer attorney for a transaction, doing thorough research can help in identifying a conveyancing firm that not only comes with the necessary expertise, but also one that has a solid reputation of service excellence, good communication and trustworthiness.
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