Your bond has been registered. What happens next?

What to do after bond registration

With your purchase offer accepted and your bond approved, you’re well on your way to finally owning that dream home. So, what happens next?

“On average, it takes 69 working days for your bond to go from ‘granted’ to ‘registered’,” says Rhys Dyer, CEO of ooba, South Africa’s largest bond originator.

“The good news is that, during that time, you’ll have lawyers working on your behalf so you’ll be guided through every step of the process,” he says, explaining that the bank granting your bond will put you in touch with the attorney who will let you know what you need to do in terms of paying the relevant costs and signing the transfer and bond documents.

ooba's step-by-step guide to buying a home

From making an offer on your dream home to having it transferred into your name, here’s your 12-step checklist:

Step 1: You and the seller sign the offer to purchase.

Step 2: The bank grants your bond and instructs the bond attorney to register it.

Step 3: The seller advises the transferring attorney to transfer the property. The title deed and cancellation figures are requested from the bank at which the current bond is held, and a statement of rates and taxes is requested from the local authority.

Step 4: The bond attorney informs the transferring attorney of the amount available for guarantees and requests the draft deed of transfer and guarantee requirements.

Step 5: The cancellation attorney is asked to cancel the seller's bond upon receipt of a guarantee for the amount owing.

Step 6: The transferring attorney receives the title deed and cancellation figures and sends a copy of the deed of transfer and the guarantee requirements to the bond attorney. The transferring attorney requests the buyer and seller sign the transfer documents. The buyer pays the transfer costs and the transferring attorney then pays the rates and taxes and the transfer duty.

Step 7: The bond attorney prepares the bond documentation together with the relevant account. The buyer signs the documents and pays the costs. The bond attorney prepares and issues the necessary guarantees, forwards them to the transferring attorney and prepares the bond documents for lodging at the Deeds Office.

Step 8: Once the transferring attorney has received the guarantees, they are forwarded to the cancellation attorney.

Step 9: The cancellation attorney obtains consent for cancellation from the bank that holds the seller’s bond.

Step 10: After all the documents have been signed and the costs paid, the transfer, new bond and cancellation bond documents are prepared by the respective attorneys for lodging at the Deeds Office.

Step 11: The Deeds Office takes around two to three weeks to check the documents before they are ready for registration by the attorneys.

Step 12: On the day of registration, the bank pays out the loan in accordance with the guarantees issued. Allow at least three months for the registration and transfer of the bond.

Insider advice from ooba's experts

1. Hold off on renovations before transfer

In some instances, a buyer might want to move in before transfer has gone through, and in others, the seller might still be living in the house when it has been transferred to the new owner.

“In this case, the person in residence will have to pay occupational rent, which is agreed in the offer to purchase and calculated by the attorney on a pro rata basis,” says Dyer. “This rent should always be paid through the attorney so that there can be no room for misunderstanding.”

He advises buyers who move in before the transfer has gone through to hold off on any major renovations until the property is registered in their name. “It happens very rarely, but there have been instances where the transfer does not go through for whatever reason, and then the buyer incurs losses on renovations or repairs.”

2. Use the waiting time to put money aside

While you wait for the transfer to go through, the best thing that you can do is start putting money aside for your first bond repayment, Dyer advises.

“You can significantly reduce the amount you end up repaying on your bond by putting in more than you are required to pay each month. Once you’re in a new home, your extra cash will be consumed with getting your house in perfect shape, so while you have a break, try to save.”

3. Pick your moving date with care

Removal companies charge more at the end of the month than at other times, so if you have any choice or flexibility about when you move into your property, try to avoid that end-of-the-month crunch, Dyer suggests.

“Buying a home is one of the most daunting and exciting things you’ll ever do,” he adds. “Waiting until you can truly call the property ‘mine’ can be frustrating, but if you use the time to budget and plan, moving in will go a whole lot more smoothly.”