The role of a transfer attorney or conveyancers

If you considering buying/ selling your property you will hear the word conveyancing thrown around quite a bit. In this article we explain what it is and what the conveyancing process is.

What is conveyancing?

According to the private property website Conveyancing is the legal process that takes place when lawful ownership is obtained of immovable property. Each time a property is sold a new deed of transfer must be drawn up and registered. This is to ensure the security and certainty of an owner’s title to his property.

There are three conveyancing attorneys involved in the property buying/selling process:

Transferring Attorneys
transferring attorneys transfer the property from the seller to the buyer. They represent the seller and are appointed by the seller.

Registering (or Bond) Attorneys
These attorneys register the bond over the property in favor of the bank that is financing the purchase of the property. They represent the buyer and the bank granting the buyer’s home loan. These attorneys are appointed by the bank granting the buyer’s home loan.

Cancellation Attorneys
They cancel the seller’s existing home loan on the property. They represent the bank cancelling the seller’s home loan. They are appointed by the bank cancelling the seller’s bond.

If you are in the property market here are a few things to bear in mind:

According to Stacey Bartlet director of Photshane, Henney Attorneys, as a rule of thumb, our common law determines that a seller is the party entitled to nominate who the transferring attorney must be, given that the seller carries more risk than the purchaser. That said, nothing prevents parties from agreeing that the purchaser can nominate the transferring attorney.

The purchaser is then required to raise the purchase price, cover the transfer fees (yes this includes paying all 3 of the above mentioned attorneys) and meet conditions such as financing. The transferring attorney has to ensure that the purchase price is secured and available.

Regardless of who appoints the conveyancer, the conveyancer owes a duty of care to both parties and must represent both parties fairly, unless a dispute arises, in which case the transferring attorney will be allowed to act on behalf of the party who nominated him.


  • Not every attorney is a conveyancer so before going to any attorney’s office for this service ensure that they actually practice conveyancing.
  • When your bond application is approved enquire whether same will include transfer costs if it doesn’t the purchaser may have to pay this amount out of his own pocket

Speak to your legal provider before undertaking to purchase/ sell immovable property so that you are well aware of all the financial

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