What costs are involved when buying a house?

A basic list of costs you can expect to pay, excluding the purchasing price of the property.

Costs for buyers

Transfer Duty

Transfer duty is a cost payable to the Receiver of Revenue when you buy a property for more than R750 000. The amount will depend on the value of the property.

Lawyer’s Fee for Conveyance

The role of a transferring attorney is to arrange for a smooth transfer of ownership between the seller and the buyer. A lot of confusion always arises between the buyer and the seller as to who should bear the costs for those services. Although the attorney is acting on instructions from the seller, the buyer is however liable to pay for their services.

Other smaller costs

There are other smaller, variable costs such as FICA fees, Electronic Instruction fees, Posts and Petties and disbursements. These amounts may differ from Attorney to Attorney and from transaction to transaction. Typically these may total about R2 000.

Conveyancer's Fee -Bond Registration

These are fees that the institution lending you the money to buy the house may charge you. For example:

  • Initiation fee as determined by the financial institution.

  • A monthly administration fee that will be determined when you enter the agreement

Costs for sellers

Municipal Rates and Taxes

Payments of outstanding municipal rates and levies are the responsibility of the seller until transfer of ownership has taken place. The seller will be liable to pay these rates during the transfer and registration process until the property is lodged and registered at the deeds office.

Conveyancer's Fees for cancellation of his bond over the property;

If the seller has a bond registered over the property, it must be cancelled on transfer and the seller is responsible for payment of the conveyancer's fees for cancellation.

Electrical Certificates

It is compulsory for homeowners to be in possession of a valid Electrical Certificate of Compliance.This document certifies that the electrical work and installations on a property comply with the regulations required by the South African National Standards and are safe.

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Additional costs summary