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How Long Does Transfer Take After Lodgement?

Quick Summary

The transfer process after lodgement can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on various factors. It involves steps such as document examination, registration, and payment of the seller’s proceeds. Delays can occur due to factors like workload, efficiency of conveyancing attorneys, and the banking system. It is important to choose a reliable attorney and budget for additional costs during the process.


The process of transferring ownership after lodging the necessary documents with the Deeds Office can be a complex and time-consuming one. Many factors come into play, which may affect how long it takes for the transfer to be completed.

In this blog post, we will explore the timeline and various steps involved in transferring property ownership after lodgement. We’ll also discuss some common questions related to this topic that homeowners often have.

Understanding these processes is crucial for both buyers and sellers as they navigate through their real estate transactions. So let’s dive in!

Understanding the Transfer Process

Once you’ve lodged your transfer documents with the Deeds Office, there are several important steps that need to take place before ownership can officially change hands:

  1. Examination at The Deeds Office:

    • After receiving your documentation, officials at The Deeds Office examine them thoroughly.
    • This examination aims to ensure accuracy and identify any errors or discrepancies.
    • Depending on workload levels at The Deeds Office, this step could take anywhere from a few days up until several weeks.
  2. Registration of Documents:

    Once all issues identified during examination are resolved satisfactorily, registration occurs where official records reflect new owner details along with other relevant information about the transaction such as purchase price, etc.

  3. Issuance of Final Account:

    After successful registration, the Deeds Office then prepares the final account which includes the amount due to the seller. This document serves as an invoice detailing funds owed by the buyer towards completion costs like legal fees, taxes payable (transfer duty), rates, municipal charges, and administrative expenses. The issuance timeframe varies but typically ranges between a few days up to a couple of weeks.

  4. Payment Disbursement:

    Upon receipt of payment instructions, the conveyancing attorney representing the buyer arranges disbursements. These attorneys receive funds from bank accounts held by purchasers. They subsequently pay out amounts owing, including proceeds going directly back toward the original owners. The seller receives money once all payments have been made.

Timeline of the Transfer Process

The transfer process timeline can vary depending on several factors. While it is difficult to provide an exact timeframe, here’s a general overview:

  1. Lodgement at The Deeds Office:

    • This marks the beginning of the transfer process.
    • It involves submitting all necessary documents for examination and registration.
  2. Examination Period:

    The examination period varies based upon workload levels within the Deeds Office but typically takes a few days up to a couple of weeks.

  3. Registration Completion:

    Once examinations are completed successfully, registration occurs where official records reflect new owner details along with other relevant information about the transaction such as purchase price, etc.

  4. Issuance Of Final Account:

    After successful registration, the final account detailing funds owed by the buyer towards completion costs like legal fees, taxes payable (transfer duty), rates, municipal charges, and administrative expenses gets issued. The issuance timeframe ranges between a few days up until a couple of weeks.

  5. Payment Disbursement Timeframe:

    Upon receipt of payment instructions from the conveyancing attorney representing the buyer, the seller receives money once disbursements, including proceeds going directly back toward the original owners, have taken place. The time required depends on the efficiency level exhibited by both parties involved in this step.

It’s important to note that these timelines are approximate and subject to various external factors beyond anyone’s control, which may cause delays. So patience during the entire procedure becomes a crucial factor.

In conclusion, transferring property ownership after lodgment requires careful attention to detail and adherence to established procedures. Its duration could range anywhere from a matter of weeks to months. By understanding each stage involved in this complex journey, you’ll be better equipped to navigate through your real estate transactions smoothly.

Understanding the Transfer Process

When it comes to transferring property ownership, there is a specific process that takes place after the lodgement of documents with the Deeds Office. This process involves several steps and can sometimes be accompanied by delays. It’s crucial for both buyers and sellers to have a clear understanding of this transfer process in order to navigate it smoothly.

Examination of Documents

Once all necessary documentation has been submitted to the Deeds Office, they will examine these documents thoroughly. The purpose of this examination is to ensure that everything is in order and meets legal requirements. During this stage, potential errors or discrepancies may be identified which could lead to further delays if not rectified promptly.

The duration of the examination process at the Deeds Office can vary depending on their workload at any given time. While some cases might only take a few days for approval, others may experience longer waiting periods extending up into weeks or even months.

Choosing a Reliable Conveyancing Attorney

To facilitate an efficient transfer process without unnecessary complications or setbacks, choosing a reliable conveyancing attorney becomes paramount. A competent conveyancer who specializes in property transfers will possess extensive knowledge about navigating through various intricacies involved during each step along with ensuring compliance with legal regulations throughout every phase.

By selecting an experienced professional who understands how important timing is when dealing with property transactions, you increase your chances significantly for smoother proceedings from start till completion.

Timeline of the Transfer Process

Once the transfer documents have been lodged with the Deeds Office, there is a timeline that needs to be followed before final payment can be made. It’s important to note that this timeline can vary depending on various factors such as workload and efficiency.

1. Lodgement at the Deeds Office:

  • After all necessary documentation has been submitted by both parties involved in the property transaction, it is lodged with the Deeds Office.
  • The lodgement process involves submitting all relevant paperwork for examination and verification.

2. Examination Process:

  • Once lodged, the transfer documents undergo an examination process at the Deeds Office.
  • During this stage, officials carefully review each document to ensure accuracy and compliance with legal requirements.

3. Potential Delays:

  • It’s essential to understand that delays are not uncommon during this phase due to several reasons including high workloads or errors found within the documentation provided.
  • These delays could range from a few days up until several weeks depending on how busy they are or if any discrepancies need further clarification or correction.

4. Approval & Registration:

  • If no issues arise during the examination process, the transfer documents are approved and registered.
  • Registration involves officially recording the transfer of ownership.

Factors Affecting the Transfer Time

The time it takes for a property transfer to be completed can vary depending on several factors. It is important to understand these factors and manage your expectations accordingly.

1. Complexity of the Transaction

The complexity of the transaction itself can have an impact on how long it takes for the transfer process to be finalized. For example, if there are multiple properties involved or if there are legal complications such as disputes over ownership rights, it may take longer for all parties involved to reach an agreement.

2. Involvement of Multiple Parties

If there are multiple parties involved in the property transfer, such as buyers, sellers, conveyancing attorneys, and banks or financial institutions providing home loans, coordination between all these entities can sometimes cause delays in processing documents and completing necessary tasks.

3. Efficiency of Conveyancing Attorney

The efficiency and effectiveness of your chosen conveyancing attorney also play a significant role in determining how quickly your property transfer will be processed. An experienced attorney who specializes in property transfers will know exactly what needs to be done at each stage and ensure that everything progresses smoothly without unnecessary delays.

4. Banking System Processes

Another factor that affects transfer times is banking system processes. Once registration has been completed by the Deeds Office, the buyer’s bank must release funds through their own internal procedures before they get paid out.

It’s essential not only to choose a reliable conveyancer but also stay informed about any potential issues that could arise during this period so you’re prepared should any unexpected delays occur. By being aware of these factors affecting the overall timeline, you’ll have realistic expectations regarding when you might expect completion of transferring ownership from seller(s) to purchaser(s).

Additional Costs and Considerations

When it comes to transferring a property after lodgement, there are several additional costs that buyers and sellers need to be aware of. These costs can have financial implications, so it’s important to understand the full picture before entering into a property transfer.

1. Legal Fees:

One significant cost involved in the transfer process is legal fees. Both buyers and sellers will require the services of conveyancing attorneys who handle all legal aspects of the transaction. Conveyancing attorneys charge for their expertise and assistance throughout the process, including drafting documents, conducting searches on behalf of both parties, liaising with banks or mortgage lenders if applicable, attending meetings at various stages during registration processes, etc.

2. Transfer Duty:

Transfer duty is another expense that needs consideration when transferring ownership from seller to buyer through sale agreement execution (conveyance). Transfer duty refers specifically only towards immovable properties such as land or buildings being transferred between individuals/entities within South Africa jurisdictional boundaries; this tax levied by SARS based upon value determined according current legislation governing these transactions – usually calculated using sliding scale rates depending on purchase price/value thereof.

3. Rates Payable To The Municipality:

Another cost associated with property transfers includes rates payable to municipalities where your new home resides. These municipal charges cover essential services like water supply & sanitation facilities provided by local authorities which must be paid regularly irrespective of whether you’re living/renting out said premises until finalization occurs post-registration formalities completion period stipulated under relevant laws/regulations pertaining thereto i.e., Deeds Registry Act 47 Of 1937 amended time-to-time thereafter since its enactment date till present day scenario prevailing now!

4. Administrative Costs:

In addition to other expenses mentioned above, sellers should also consider administrative costs related to document preparation, courier/postage fees, and any miscellaneous charges incurred during the transfer process. It is important to budget for these costs as they can add up and impact the overall financial outcome of the property transfer.

Understanding these additional costs is crucial for both buyers and sellers. It’s recommended to consult with a conveyancing attorney or seek professional advice from experts in real estate transactions to get an accurate estimate of all potential expenses involved. By having a clear understanding of these costs, you can budget accordingly and avoid any surprises during the transfer process.

Remember that each transaction may have unique circumstances, so it’s essential to discuss your specific situation with professionals who are well-versed in South African property law and regulations. Being financially prepared will help ensure a smooth transition as you navigate through the intricacies of transferring ownership after lodgement at Deeds Office.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ 1: How long does the examination process at the Deeds Office usually take?

The duration of the examination process at the Deeds Office can vary depending on several factors. It typically ranges from a few days to several weeks, primarily influenced by their workload and efficiency. While some cases may be processed quickly, others might experience delays due to high volumes or complexities in documentation.

FAQ 2: What can cause delays in the transfer process?

Several factors can contribute to delays during the property transfer process. Some common causes include errors or discrepancies found during document examinations, issues with obtaining necessary clearances or certificates required for registration, outstanding debts that need settlement before transferring ownership rights fully, disputes between parties involved in negotiations such as buyers and sellers disagreeing over terms of sale agreement.

Additionally external circumstances like strikes within government departments responsible for processing transfers could also lead to significant hold-ups beyond anyone’s control.

FAQ 3: How can I ensure a smooth and timely transfer of funds as a seller?

To facilitate a smooth and timely transfer of funds as a seller:

  1. Choose an experienced conveyancing attorney who specializes in property transactions.
  2. Provide all requested documents promptly without delay.
  3. Communicate effectively with your attorney throughout each stage ensuring you are aware if any additional information is needed.
  4. Cooperate closely with other parties involved (e.g., buyer’s attorneys) responding promptly when they require further details/documentation etc.
  5. Be prepared financially – have bank account details ready so payment proceeds smoothly once final accounts issued after successful registration has taken place.
  6. Monitor progress regularly through open communication channels established early-on; this will help identify potential bottlenecks sooner rather than later allowing corrective action where possible avoiding unnecessary setbacks along way!

Remember it takes collaboration among all stakeholders working together towards achieving shared goal which ultimately benefits everyone concerned including yourself!

FAQ 4: Are there any additional costs I should be aware of during the transfer process?

Yes, there are additional costs that you should be aware of when going through the property transfer process. These may include:

  1. Legal fees: You will need to pay your conveyancing attorney for their services in facilitating the transfer.
  2. Transfer duty: This is a tax levied by SARS (South African Revenue Service) on properties being transferred and varies depending on purchase price or value thereof.
  3. Municipal rates payable: As part ownership change municipality requires payment outstanding amounts due them before transferring rights new owner.
  4. Administrative costs such as obtaining clearance certificates from various authorities like local council confirming no arrears exist regarding utilities etc.
  5. Bank charges associated with receiving funds into seller’s account.

It’s important to budget for these additional expenses so they don’t catch you off guard once final accounts issued after successful registration has taken place!

FAQ 5: Can I earn interest on my deposit during the waiting period?

Whether or not you can earn interest on your deposit depends largely upon what was agreed between buyer and seller at time sale agreement signed. If it stipulated that any monies paid towards purchasing property would accrue interest until date actual registration takes effect then yes – otherwise unless specifically stated within contract itself generally speaking deposits held attorneys trust account do NOT attract whilst awaiting completion formalities required complete transaction successfully!


  1. https://www.ooba.co.za/faq/what-happens-after-lodgement-at-deeds-office/
  2. https://www.news24.com/fin24/money/money-clinic/money-clinic-im-a-first-time-homebuyer-how-long-does-the-home-transfer-process-take-20220423
  3. https://www.property24.com/articles/how-long-does-it-take-for-a-seller-to-receive-their-money-after-a-registered-sale/29659

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