The time it takes to transfer property

These figures are taken from a paper written by John de Lisle. They show the average time in weeks from the acceptance of offer to the registration of the transfer in the Deeds Office or its foreign equivalent. The countries are the following:

  • Denmark
  • France
  • The Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • England
  • South Africa

The light blue bands represent the average shorter period, while the dark blue bands represent the average longer period.

View graph

Link to the paper

Reader Comments:

Lesley Mocke 17/07/2003:

In New Zealand they are working on 24 hours to transfer a property. Estate Agents commission is paid from a 10-20% depsosit taken on signature. The Purchasers all have their money ready no post dated cheques are accepatable. 12 days after the deposit has been banked in the Agents Trust account it may be paid out in commision if all the suspensive constions have been met. If the Purchser defaults he does not get his deposit back. Purchasers are expected to have all their finances and ducks in row before putting pen to paper. The rules for every one are more stringent than in SA and envorceable. Everyone behaves including the Estate Agent ;)

Heather Latigan 04/12/2003:

From what I saw when working in a U.S.A. law office (not doing conveyancing myself), the client has to get all his finances finished before anything is sent to the conveyancer. He and his own attorney sit in the bank with the seller's attorney and hand over the money, and only thereafter do the documents get sent to the conveyancer for the actual registration to be done. At this stage, nobody cares how long the conveyancing takes, and it can take ages as they have to produce property searches going right back to the first transfer of the stand. I saw one irate conveyancer's comment to the Deeds Office, that "before it was bought from the Indians it was owned by God." When I visited Australia my son and daughter-in-law were in the process of buying property. It took about the same length of time as our transfers do, i.e., started some weeks before I arrived, and was not finished until quite some time after I returned home after a 5 week visit. Our system seems to work well in protecting people's rights to their property, even if it is a bit slow. If the rates departments could get their delays back to what they used to be, things would be much improved. It's all very frustrating at present. Even transfer duty receipts seem to be taking longer than usual.

Tracey Mills 05/06/2012:

How long does it take to transfer a property that was sold on Sheriff's auction? Would really appreciate a ballpark figure.

Leave a comment:

Security Picture (click to change)
Word shown in picture:
menu close

Search Articles