Fees, fees and more fees!
When you buy a property, people need to make money.
Everyone wants you to part with it.
Most of your fees you will pay to two attorneys.
- Bond registration fee – this is the attorney fee
- Bond deeds office fee – this is what they pay to register the bond at the deeds office
- Postage and petties – they charge this because they don’t use email. This could be variable.
- Transfer fee – this is the attorney fee they charge you to do their job
- Transfer deeds office fee – this is what they pay to register the transfer at the deeds office
- Postage and petties – they charge this because they don’t use email. This could be variable. This could include things like driving to the deeds office and sending the paperwork backwards and forwards – this could include closing figures from the municipality and from the body corporate of the ‘body corporate’ of a block of flats (i.e. close off the levies due).
- Transfer Duty – the government charges people a special amount (often a percentage of your buying price) to buy expensive properties above R 1 000 000. SARS update annually and can be found here.
- If you are buying a sectional title unit, you might be required to pay up levies to 3 months in advance.
- For estates, you might be required to pay the estate levies three months in advance.
- Though not an immediate cost, it is important to register the property’s rates and taxes in your own name. The costs vary from municipality to municipality.
Selling your property
When selling your property, there will be costs.
You would need to make sure your property is in a condition that deems it legally sellable.
Make sure that you settle all arrears fees such as electricity, rates and taxes. If you live in an estate or sectional title block, you need to get your levies up to date, as you would be required to get closing numbers. Make sure that your home owners association fees are also up to date.
Generally, the fees for selling a property is less than buying. This is because the purchaser will cover a lot of the transfer costs.
- Advertising costs and agent fees – when selling through an agent or a website, the agent will charge a percentage of the cost of the property for their services.
- Compliance certificates:
- Electrical certificate of compliance (COC)
- Gas certificate of compliance (COC) if applicable
- Beetle certificate of compliance (COC) if applicable
- Fixing up the property – you might be required by law or by conditions in your contract (the offer to purchase that you signed) to fix up or repair the property
- Municipal closing figures – you will need to pay the municipality to close your rates and taxes account. This again differs from area to area. I think a good measurement could be about 3 months of rates and taxes. If you have any money left over, this could be put into other uses.
- Sectional title closing figures: If relevant, the body corporate needs to supply the attorney with closing figures as well. They normally charge a fee for this – often less than R 1 000
Bond Cancellation Attorney
Bond cancellation fees:
- Bank penalties – if you did not give 3 month’s notice, you require to pay 3 months of interest as penalty.
- Bond cancellation attorney fees – this is normally a couple of thousand Rands – I paid 1% of my property value for this recently, but could be higher depending on the attorney chosen for you
Don’t be deceived, there’s a serious amount of cash-on-hand that you need to buy a property. The main fees you need to consider is the bond costs, transfer costs and small odd fees that you need to pay, as outlined in the hidden fees.
I have tried to break it down as much as I can, but I realise this is a complex thing – and it’s convenient for the people making money from it to be complicated.
Frugal Local runs his own company (Effectify). He does software development and helps small businesses and startups with digital solutions. He enjoys writing articles and simplifying complex things – such as the article you’re reading!