There are a number of costs to factor in when selling a property – many of which are payable upfront before transfer can occur. To avoid being caught short, sellers are advised to have adequate savings in place before placing their home on the market.
Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, warns sellers that, while an agent’s commission is payable after transfer occurs, other costs such as home inspection fees, compliance certificates, as well as municipal rates and levy clearances will all need to be paid before transfer can take place.
Some of these costs are easy enough to calculate and to budget accordingly. For example, the rates clearance certificate will be issued by the local council who will ask the homeowner for roughly three months payments upfront. To work out roughly how much this will cost, simply multiply your last rates bill by three and start saving towards that total.
The compliance certificates, on the other hand, will be trickier to budget for. Generally, there will be a call-out fee for the inspection to take place and additional cost will occur thereafter depending on how many issues there are to address before the certificates can be issued.
“Sellers with older homes are advised to have more cash set aside for these repairs than sellers of newer builds. Compliance rules can change over time, which usually means that older homes will have more to address to become compliant than newer homes,” Goslett warns.
Another cost many sellers forget to account for is the associated moving costs. Costs for this can vary depending on whether you are hiring a professional moving company or moving on your own, as well as how much furniture you have to move, how great the distance is between the two properties, and how tricky the move will be (e.g. first floor apartment versus a flat on the tenth floor with no elevator).
“There is a lot to consider when putting your home on the market. This is why I always recommend building an open and honest relationship with your chosen real estate professional. As experts in their industry, real estate agents are able to provide knowledgeable advice that can help you be better prepared for all the known stumbling blocks. If you’re thinking of selling in the near future, arrange a free consultation at your nearest RE/MAX office sooner rather than later so that you have the time to build up enough cash reserves for all expenses that will occur during the process,” Goslett concludes.