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Conveyancing fees in 2022: This is what you’re paying for

Once you find your dream home, and put in an offer that’s accepted, you’ll need a conveyancing attorney to transfer property ownership to you. This is what you’re paying for.

Conveyancing Fees

Article summary

  • Once you find your dream home, and put in an offer that’s accepted, you’ll need a conveyancing attorney to transfer ownership to you.
  • The conveyancing service includes preparation and gathering of all documents required to finalise registration of the sale once it is lodged with the Deeds Office.
  • It’s a complicated legal process that is worth every cent of the fee to make sure transfer happens and the new ownership is registered as is required by the government.
  • The transfer fees you pay the conveyancing attorneys are separate from transfer duty paid to SARS. Transfer duties are statutory and cannot be negotiated.

The home buying process doesn’t end with buyer and seller signing the contract. There are still a few steps after that, including the legal process of transferring ownership of the home to the buyer. Here, we explain what the process involves, and what you can expect to pay for it.

What are conveyancing fees?

Conveyancing is the process of transferring ownership of the property from one person to another, or a company or trust; and 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, but are worth every penny, as they cover a range of services.

Conveyancing fees vs transfer duty

Note that 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. As of March 2021, transfer duty is exempt for sales below R1 000 000 and is on a sliding scale thereafter.

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.

For example, a property that is sold for between R800 000 and R1 million attracts a conveyancing fee of between R19 849 and R23 667, inclusive of VAT.

You can use our Transfer Cost Calculator to determine how much your conveyancing fee (listed as transfer costs) will be.

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.

How you can reduce your overall costs

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.

Of course, conveyancing fees are something that occurs later in the home buying process. If you’re still at the stage of buying a property, we can help you get a better deal on your home loan, leading to lower interest rates and saving up money for additional costs, like the conveyancing fees.

We also offer a range of tools that can help with the buying process. Start with our Bond Calculator, then use our Bond Indicator to determine what you can afford. Finally, when you’re ready, you can apply for a home loan.

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