5 unexpected costs you may not have thought of when selling your house

Selling your house doesn’t just involve a property agent, a moving company and maybe a storage facility thrown into the mix.

Gerhard van der Linde from Seeff Pretoria East lists some potentially unexpected selling expenses you may encounter:

Home staging: Although Home staging is not yet very common in South Africa it is gaining popularity in especially the luxury sector where sellers sometimes choose to invest in top class furnishings and décor in order to present their homes in the most beautiful way to achieve the best possible price.

Staging your home however requires a significant financial investment so careful consideration is needed before deciding.


Whether you are staging your home or not, your home will probably need some work done in order for it to be presented in the most attractive way.

This may include professionally cleaning the windows and carpets, repainting the interior and/or exterior of the home, repairing roof tiles, gutters, leaking taps and light fixtures and may cost you more than what you have bargained for. The best advice would be to fix and update these things as they break or become unattractive so that you don’t need to incur massive expenses all at once when it comes to selling.


Getting a professional inspection done: Although inspections are generally paid by the buyer and happens after the offer to purchase has been accepted, it is strongly recommended that sellers also appoint their own inspector to take a look at their homes even before listing.

By doing this sellers can avoid nasty surprizes that could cost a lot of money at a later stage and knowing what is wrong and what needs to be fixed will make the sale smoother in general.


Bond cancellation fees: When a seller has a bond registered over a property it must be cancelled on transfer (usually with 90 days’ notice) and the seller is responsible for payment of the conveyancer’s fees for cancellation.

This cancellation has to comply with certain legislation as well as the relevant financial institutions’ procedures and costs.

There are several costs involved that include the month-end balance before cancellation; any homeowner’s insurance premiums that would have been debited to the bond account in the next three months; any life assurance premiums that would have been debited to the bond account in the next three months; and legal costs, interest, retention amounts and early termination interest if applicable.

Penalty interest can be avoided by giving the bank proper notice of the intention to cancel the bond, speak to your estate agent to get more information.


Compliance certificates: Sellers also need to obtain compulsory Electrical, Electrical Fencing and Gas certificates before selling and sometimes also need to present an Entomologist certificate. Many banks and Insurance Companies are now also asking for copies of the registered plans of the property as well as the occupation certificate before granting a bond or providing insurance.

With this in mind it is recommended that sellers appoint a draftsman to redo and submit plans for approval before listing (this includes things like a pool, lapa, carport, additional rooms or anything that is not on the plan).


Read: Top 10 towns and suburbs in South Africa for multi-millionaire second homes

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5 unexpected costs you may not have thought of when selling your house