REALWorld Law

Sale and purchase

Effective transfer of ownership

How is a lawful and proper transfer of title to real estate to a purchaser effected?



Once a sale and purchase agreement is concluded in a notarial deed, the notary applies for registration of the change of ownership at the local court holding the land register for the property in question. Transfer of ownership takes place when the change of ownership has been registered in the land register.

Until such registration, a buyer is only protected if a priority notice of conveyance is registered in his favour. This is usually included in the sale and purchase agreement. A priority notice is registered in the land register before the change of ownership is registered and is usually a pre-condition for the payment of the purchase price to the seller. If a priority notice is registered, any change in the land register which endangers the buyer's acquisition of title is relatively invalid and the buyer can demand correction of the land register.