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Unpacking the Role of Agents and Transferring Attorneys in Property Transactions

  • Latest News
  • March 4, 2024
Unpacking the Role of Agents and Transferring Attorneys in Property Transactions

Photo credit: Mikhail Nilov


PropInsights: Real Estate Revelations

In real estate transactions, the collaboration between real estate agents and property attorneys is crucial for ensuring a smooth and legally sound process for property buyers and sellers alike.

Cape Town real estate expert Sandy Walsh explores why establishing strong links between these professionals is vital and explains the essential requirements, functions, and tips to facilitate a seamless property transaction.


Strong links

Professional real estate agencies must forge robust connections with reputable legal professionals to effectively navigate the complex legal landscape of property transactions.

Cape Town real estate specialist Sandy Walsh, General Manager at Property.CoZa Prestige remarks that a professional real estate agent acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers, and their collaboration with property attorneys ensures that all legal requirements and obligations are met, safeguarding the interests of their clients.



Walsh outlines some factors that play a vital role in effective relationships of people involved in a property transaction:

  1. Clear communication channels: Open and transparent communication between the buyer, seller, real estate agent, and property attorney is essential for clarity and understanding throughout the transaction process.
  2. Timely coordination: This entails coordinating between all the involved parties. Walsh says this includes scheduling property-related inspections, arranging meetings, and submitting the correct documents to avoid unnecessary delays and promote timely progress.
  3. Mutual trust: According to Walsh, establishing mutual trust and respect fosters a collaborative environment where all parties work towards achieving the common goal of a successful property transaction.


Attorney functions

Some of the most essential functions that attorneys provide in property transactions are:

  • Due diligence: Applying thorough due diligence to identify any potential legal issues or encumbrances associated with the property.
  • Drafting and reviewing contracts: Drafting and reviewing sale agreements, reviewing offers to purchase (OTPs), ensuring compliance with legal requirements and protecting the buyer’s and seller’s interests.
  • Processing title deeds and transfers: Facilitating the transfer of property ownership by processing Title Deeds and the mandatory transfer documents and navigating any legal loopholes by liaising with relevant authorities.
  • Financial settlements: Overseeing financial settlements, including the transfer of funds and payment of taxes, levies, and transfer duties.
  • Registration of transfer: Transferring attorneys manage the registration process with the Deeds Office to officially transfer ownership from the seller to the buyer.


Know your rights

Navigating the complexities of property transactions with confidence and peace of mind can be achieved by establishing solid links, adhering to critical requirements, understanding essential functions, and following vital tips.


“The transfer process should never be a mystery,” says Walsh, “The seller appoints the transferring attorney, and the onus is on the buyer to make themselves aware of their responsibilities, the transfer process, and the expected timelines.”


Once the seller has signed the transfer documents, the focus shifts to the buyer to meet the terms of the sale agreement and make the necessary payment within the timeframe to avoid breach of contract.


She explains that the conveyancing attorney will assign a conveyancing secretary to attend to your transfer, and they will be your contact people during the process.Walsh points out that buyers and sellers have the right to:

  • Regular updates on the progress of the transaction.
  • Transparent communication regarding any developments or issues.
  • Assistance in understanding legal documents and obligations.
  • Representation and advocacy from their chosen real estate agent and property attorney.
  • Timely resolution of any disputes or concerns arising during the transaction process.

Lawyer Portrait

Photo credit: Mikhail Nilov


She says your real estate agent should be able to keep you updated on the progress of your property transfer. “However, if you are not receiving this information, the agency’s sales manager or principal agent should be your next port of call.”

“Excellent service delivery should be a priority for any professional service provider. Remember, as a buyer, you are paying for this service.”


Walsh provides these valuable tips for sellers and buyers:

  1. Seek professional guidance:
    Engage the services of reputable real estate agents and property attorneys specialising in property transactions to guide you through the process.
  2. Understand your legal obligations:
    Familiarise yourself with your rights and obligations as a buyer or seller, including contractual terms, financial commitments, and timelines. Your real estate agent can provide guidance here, and your appointed transferring attorney will explain the steps in the transfer process.
  3. Review all documents:
    Carefully review all legal documents before signing, including sale agreements and property disclosures. This is part of the professional service that estate agents and property attorneys provide buyers and sellers.
  4. Ask questions:
    Don’t hesitate to ask your real estate agent or property attorney any questions or seek clarification on aspects of the transaction you’re unsure about. “Being uninformed or not understanding the implications of legal documents or processes can have negative implications and delay the transaction. When in doubt, find out!” advises Walsh.
  5. Stay updated:
    Stay informed about the transaction’s progress, including key milestones, deadlines, and the registration date, by communicating regularly with your real estate agent and property attorney. Your attorney should provide you with a weekly report on the status of your transfer and be available to answer any questions you may have.
  6. Wise up:
    Be sure you know about the transfer costs and when you need to make payment of the full purchase price so that you have your finances in place.

In conclusion, Walsh asserts that navigating legal loopholes when buying or selling property requires a collaborative effort between real estate agents and property attorneys.
“Never think a question is silly or irrelevant; rather, ask, find out and understand the transfer process,” advises Walsh. “Be prepared and informed every step of the way.”


To read a step-by-step guide to property transfer, please follow this link:


Below is a table of the current transfer rates based on the value of a property.

Value of the PropertyRates
R1 – R1 100 0000%
R1 100 001 – R1 512 0003% of amount above R1 100 000
R1 512 501 – R2 117 500R12 375 + 6% of the value above R 1 512 500
R2 117 501 – R2 722 500R48 675 + 8% of the value above R 2 117 500
R2 722 501 – R12 100 000R97 075 +11% of the value above R2 722 500
R12 100 001 and aboveR1 128 600 + 13% of the value exceeding R12 100 000

2024 (1 March 2023 – 29 February 2024)


Please follow this link to SARS for more information on the current transfer rates:

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