Selling a House in South Africa – A Consumer Guide & Costs | Legal Articles


Need Legal Advice?

No Matter What Your Bind We Can Help You



Legal Articles

Selling a House in South Africa – A Consumer Guide & Costs

The process of selling a house in South Africa can be a lengthy one and many consumers are unaware of what it takes to successfully sell a house or property.

Therefore, we have put together a consumer’s guide to selling a house in South Africa, which aims to answer the most important questions related to the matter.

selling a house in south africa

A Consumer’s Guide to Selling a House in South Africa

Knowing how to sell a house, whether you are selling property privately or with the assistance of a real estate, can improve your chances of making a successful sale for the full purchase price that you aim for.

Selling Property Privately or Working with an Estate Agent?

Although it is possible to sell your house privately, this can be a very lengthy and complicated route, especially if you have no previous experience in doing so.

An estate agent is trained and qualified to assist with the selling of property and is able to answer very important questions which you will not be able to answer yourself.

The following are 9 questions that may come up once you have made the decision to sell your house:

  1. What information must you as the seller disclose?
  2. Where do you find a buyer?
  3. What documentation is required by you and the purchaser?
  4. What is the best possible selling price for your home?
  5. Does the buyer qualify for a bond?
  6. How do you transfer ownership to the buyer?
  7. What happens to your existing bond?
  8. Will the sale agreement be legal and binding?
  9. How will you make sure that you get your money for the sale?

The Process of Selling a House

Because of the intricate nature of selling a house in South Africa, it’s advisable to seek assistance from a real estate agent.

However, when choosing your estate agent, it’s important that you make sure the agent is:

  • Registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) (now the PPRA)
  • In possession of a valid fidelity fund certificate or license to operate issued by the EAAB (now the PPRA)

It’s also important to check the fidelity fund certificate to make sure that it is for the current year, and if you’re unsure then you have the right to contact the EAAB for assistance.

How to choose an Estate Agent

Word of mouth is a powerful tool. A good way to find the best estate agent to help you sell your house is by asking around.

It’s useful to ask people who have worked with an estate agent who has successfully concluded a sale on their behalf.

When looking for a suitable estate agent to help you with the sale of your home, you will want to look at the following:

  • Some of their previous clients
  • Their commission rates or fees
  • Their level of knowledge, experience and expertise
  • Their qualifications

Real Estate Agent Commission

Generally speaking, all real estate agents work on a commission basis. This means they are paid for their services only once the sale has been concluded.

You, as the seller, will be asked to agree to pay the estate agent a fee in the form of commission, which is usually calculated as a percentage of the total selling price. In some cases, it may be a fixed monetary amount.

Selling a House in South Africa and Offers to Purchase

An offer to purchase is prepared once a potential buyer has been found. This is typically done by using a standard form.

Your estate agent is required to present to you all offers to purchase that have been received for your home or property.

It’s not uncommon to receive offers that differ vastly from your selling price; this is all part of the process and you are under no obligation to accept any of the offers presented to you.

Although it is the responsibility of your estate agent to advise you on the terms and conditions of each offer, the final decision to accept or decline an offer remains yours.

An important thing to remember when selling your home is that your selling price is not the amount of money you will receive once the sale has concluded. There are numerous costs involved in the process of selling your home.

Therefore, you may want to ask your estate agent to calculate the estimate of the proceeds you will receive once the sale has been finalised to give you better perspective of the costs that you will incur.

Costs of Selling a House in South Africa

The following are just some of the fees that you, as the seller, will be liable for:

  • Legal costs related to canceling any existing mortgage bond registered over the property for sale
  • Rates, taxes and levies in sectional title schemes
  • Commission rate as agreed upon with the estate agent

Selling Mandate

Once you and your chosen estate agent have agreed on a selling price, you will be required to sign a mandate document that effectively authorises the agent to market and sell your house.

The most important thing to remember is that once the mandate has been accepted, the contract comes into force and both parties are legally bound the terms and conditions of the mandate.

Van Deventer & Van Deventer Incorporated - Conveyancing Attorneys South Africa

Selling a house in South Africa is one of the biggest decisions any consumer can make. Conveyancing is just one aspect of selling a home which requires the assistance of a conveyancing attorney.

If you require any legal assistance with regards to selling your home, please feel free to contact our attorneys in Cape Town and Johannesburg today.

Comments are closed for this post, but if you have spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to contact us.


Get the latest updates in your email box automatically.