What is conveyancing
When you have bought a property the process of transferring ownership of the property to one party to the other is called conveyancing.
What are conveyancing fees
The conveyancing fees are what the buyer pays the attorney who conducts this legal process. The fees form part of the extra costs that come with purchasing a property.
What are the difference between conveyancing fees vs transfer duty
Conveyancing fees are separate to transfer duty, which is a tax levied on the value of any property acquired by any person by way of a transaction or in any other way.
What does conveyancing cost?
Fees are variable based on guidelines issued by the Law Society of South Africa. They are calculated on the purchase price of the property or the capital amount of the bond.
Add to that, the conveyancing attorney will charge additional fees for every service they complete, from requesting cancellation figures to preparing relevant documentation, applying for rates clearance, transfer duty and conducting deeds office searches.
Who pays the fees?
The seller usually appoints the conveyancing attorney but their cost is covered by the purchaser. This can make the fees quite challenging for the purchaser to negotiate and is something to keep in mind when signing your offer to purchase.
What does the service include?
The conveyancer will ensure that the Deed of Sale meets all the legal requirements. They will also gather and produce all supporting documentation necessary to finalise registration of the sale once it is lodged with the Deeds Office.
The information they will request includes details of the home loan, cancellation figures and title deeds from the seller’s bank as well as a Rates Clearance Certificate from the municipality.
They will also need to draft certain documents. These include a Power of Attorney to Pass Transfer, signed by the seller, authorising them to transfer ownership of the property. The conveyancers will have to file a declaration of marital status and solvency of both parties, noting each of their identity numbers in the document.
The conveyancers must also prepare a declaration for transfer duty or VAT in addition to home loan registration documentation for the buyer, as required.
A conveyancing attorney is one of the most important people in the home-buying process and is responsible for ensuring that ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer, and that the buyer does not pay until the property is registered in their name.