About Property in SA

The South African Deeds Registry System

South Africa boasts one of the best deeds registries in the world.
The entire process starts once you have found a property you wish to purchase after which you will be required to sign an Offer to Purchase/Agreement of Sale. This document states information such as the seller and purchaser details, the sale amount, any suspensive conditions and any further information needed. Please note that unlike many other countries throughout the world, once signed, this document becomes a valid and legally binding contract from which neither party can withdraw without incurring various legal consequences.

The signed Offer to Purchase/Agreement of Sale is then handed to a Conveyancing (Property Law Process) attorney who will attend to the registration of the property. The nominated Conveyancer (Attorney) acts on behalf of the seller. The purchaser is not required to have an attorney but can appoint one to supervise the transaction on his/her behalf.

The nominated Conveyancer will apply for a Rates Clearance and Valuation Certificate and will follow up on the fulfilment of any suspensive conditions, such as a guarantee for payment of the purchase price or confirmation of the purchase price or confirmation of a bond/mortgage approval if necessary.

All the costs pertaining to the transfer are for the account of the purchaser as well as Transfer Duty (a tax payable to the Receiver of Revenue). Transfer documents will be drawn up by the Conveyancer for signature by both seller and purchaser. Once these are signed, all costs are paid and everything is in place, the documents are lodged in the Deeds Office. The process in the Deeds Office takes between seven and ten days to come “up for registration” and the Conveyancer has five working days to finalise all outstanding issues and can then register the transfer. The entire process from signature of the Offer to Purchase/Agreement of Sale to the actual transfer date can take up to three months.

After registration of transfer, the new Title Deed (Ownership Deed) takes approximately two to three months to come out of the Deeds Office and is sent to the Conveyancer who then forwards it to either the Bond attorney (if a bond/mortgage has been taken out) or to the purchaser.

Cape Town

As arguably the most beautiful city in South Africa, and some would say the world, Cape Town is a holiday destination like no other. Cradled between the Atlantic Ocean and the iconic Table Mountain, the Mother City offer visitors unique and varied experiences. Boasting the smallest yet most diverse floral kingdom in the world, exceptional winelands, beautiful stretches of unspoiled beaches and a temperate climate, you will never be left wanting for something to do or see. With activities such as paragliding over Sea Point, shark cage diving in Gansbaai, seeing the cute penguins waddle around at Boulders Beach or tasting some fantastic wines at one of hundreds of great vineyards, Cape Town has it all.

Reasons for purchasing property here are as varied as the cosmopolitan city itself – from holiday makers wishing for a familiar place to return to year after year, to someone looking for a safe investment for their money. Whatever your reason for wanting to buy here, we are sure you will not be disappointed.

Although our office is based in Cape Town, we assist clients with buying property all over South Africa.

Frequently Asked questions

What is a Non Resident Consultant?

A Non Resident consultant is a specialist who assists foreign clients to ensure that their documentation is correct for Reserve Bank exchange control purposes in respect of property purchases or sales.

Do I need to have a bank account in South Africa?

No, however if you wish to rent out your property you will require one for the rental income.

Can I, as a Non Resident, rent out my property in South Africa?

Yes, but you will need a Non Resident bank account for rental income to be paid into.

Can I, as a Non Resident, get a bond/mortgage in South Africa?

Yes, however Non Residents are only able to obtain a maximum bond/mortgage amount equal to that of the foreign currency introduced into South Africa.

Is Non Res SA a foreign exchange company?

No, we assist clients in various aspects relating to the introduction and repatriation of funds for Reserve Bank exchange control. We do however work in conjunction with a Foreign Exchange company to assist our clients to obtain excellent rates of exchange.

Do I need a visa to purchase property in South Africa?

No, however if you wish to stay on holiday or business for any length of time in the republic you will need to ensure you have the correct visa in place.

Can a Non Resident and a South African Resident buy a property together?

Yes, however certain documentation must be retained for repatriation purposes.

I left South Africa many years ago, am I now a Non Resident?

Not necessarily, as you would have had to formalise your emigration via one of the banks in South Africa. If this has been done, you will be classed as a Non Resident.

If I bring money in to purchase a property, can I take it and any profit out when I sell in the future?

Yes, provided you have kept all the relevant paperwork to be linked with all the sale documents.