Legal Process When Buying A Home

The Step-By-Step Legal Process When Buying A Home

If you are buying home that already exists from a seller who already has a home loan, it is important to know that there are three different sets of attorneys that are involved that need to perform a variety of functions, although a single attorney may carry out more than one function.

If you are not familiar of what your attorney or the transferring attorney’s roles are when buying or selling a home, there is a step-by-step legal process when buying a home that needs to be adhered to.

The transferring attorney:

  • The transferring attorney is always appointed by the seller.
  • This is not cast in stone and can obviously be negotiated, should the buyer and seller wish.
  • The transferring attorney arranges the transfer of a property into the name of the new buyer, which is done through the Deeds Office.
  • A pro-rata rates amount is paid to the municipality.

The transferring attorney then obtains a rates clearance certificate.

  • The transferring attorney also arranges for the payment of occupational rent al if and where required.

The Bond Attorney

  • The bond attorney is usually appointed by your bank, although this is also usually open to negotiation.
  • It is the duty of the bond attorney to register your bond through the Deeds Office.

The Cancellation Attorney

  • The cancellation attorney is appointed by the seller’s bank.
  • The main function of the cancellation attorney is to cancel the seller’s bond.

The Deeds Office:

  • There is a Deeds Office in each province.


The Deeds Office usually:

  • Has a full description of the property being sold.
  • Is in possession of the current deed of sale on the property.
  • Is able to furnish full details of the current owner.
  • Has on file, full and comprehensive details of the bond on the property.

When a property is sold a new deed of sale is essential. The property’s ownership is then transferred to the new owner; furthermore the current home loan on the property is then cancelled and the amount owing on the bond is deducted from the sale of the property. The new owner’s bond is then registered with the property.

The municipality will require a pro-rata amount for rates, which may include charges for water as well as sewerage. A rates clearance certificate is then issued.

If you are confused about the legal process when buying a home, visit our Wizardmidrand site for a step-by-step guide regarding the necessary legal information required.