Buying and Selling Property Expenses in South Africa

Besides the purchase price, you’d be wise to understand the various other expenses related to buying or selling real estate.



Buyers


When buying a property in South Africa, the amount you offer to purchase the property is not the price you are going to pay. What else is included past the offer price?


Registration Fees and Transfer Duties


Generally, you should budget for an additional 8 to 10% of the purchase price for other costs such as registration and transfer. Always aim to put down a deposit, as this will increase your chances of a successful home loan application.


Cost Breakdown


You’ll find a full breakdown of these costs on the South African Revenue Services website. Upon meeting with your transfer lawyer, they should provide a proforma statement of charges.


It should include transfer costs, deeds office fees, petty expenses and postage. There are also FICA fees, and you would be wise to obtain an online estimate of these costs from your estate agent in advance.


Moving Costs


After finalising the deal, you must factor in the costs of moving all your belongings to your new home. Even if you don’t plan on using a removal company, there will be costs you should budget for. Think petrol, boxes, packing tape and bubble wrap, for example.


Sellers


If you are selling your property, there are a few costs you will need to factor in that may determine your asking price.


Compliance Certificates


When selling your property, you’ll need funds to pay for electricity, gas, plumbing, and electric fencing certification where appropriate. Should any faults be discovered, sellers are also responsible for the repair costs.


Municipal Accounts


You’ll need a rates and taxes clearance certificate from the municipality; otherwise, the registration of the property in the new owner’s name cannot happen. The city will also require two to six months of upfront utility payments to cover property taxes during the registration process.


Should the registration be complete in less time, you will be refunded. Likewise, if you live in a sectional title estate, you could expect to pay approximately three months’ levies before the sale can be registered.


Bond Cancellation Fees


As soon as you list your property on the market, you should send a written letter to the bank to make them aware of your intention. Should you fail to do this, you’ll be required to pay the fees involved in cancelling your home loan. Most banks expect a 60- or 90-day notice to avoid penalty charges.


Preparing and planning for additional expenses will stand you in good stead and prevent mishaps or losing opportunities. To avoid disappointment, always discuss these fees in detail with a trusted real estate professional or lawyer.