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Frequently asked questions about real estate

RE/MAX Southern Africa shares some answers to common real estate questions regarding property transfers.

Real estate transactions can be complex and can have profound implications on both financial and lifestyle fronts.

Whether you’re a seasoned investor, a first-time buyer, or simply someone curious about the intricacies of property transactions, navigating the world of real estate can be daunting.

To shed some light on the topic, RE/MAX of Southern Africa shares answers to some of the most frequently asked questions to clarify the confusion surrounding the world of real estate transactions.

Can a seller be held liable for repairs after the transfer goes through?
As a general rule of thumb, the previous owner typically cannot be held responsible for repairs after the sale of the home is concluded unless the repairs are owing to a defect that had been deliberately withheld from the buyer – in which case, the onus would be on the buyer to prove that the seller hid the defect.

How much will I be charged for transferring a property into my name?
To get a rough idea on what the whole transfer process should cost, you can look at an online calculator like the one on BetterBond’s website. The calculator will break down what the Transfer Duty vs Transfer Costs & Fees should amount to depending on your purchase price, bond amount and interest rate.

The seller is in arrears on their rates payments, can transfer still go through?
In general, in order for the transfer to go through & the sale to be finalised, the seller will need to acquire a rates clearance certificate, which means that they will have to settle all outstanding debt on the account.

If the seller is not in a position to settle their account, then it is best to speak to the transferring attorney who is involved in finalising the sale, as they will be better equipped to provide advice on these kinds of matters.

I am married in community of property, will my spouse’s credit score affect things?
When you are married in community of property, the banks will most likely consider your spouse’s credit score as well as your own when reviewing your home loan application. A bond originator like BetterBond would be better positioned to give you free advice and guidance on this topic.

How do I become a real estate agent?
There are a few steps to becoming a real estate agent. Agents can choose to join a real estate agency either before or after successfully applying to the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority, registering and writing their professional designation examination.

Often the best place to start is to enquire at an institution that offers real estate courses, such as South African Real Estate Academy or Prop Online Academy. Some universities also offer real estate degrees.

“Real estate transactions can often feel like navigating a labyrinth of paperwork and legal jargon. This complexity is precisely where real estate agents shine, offering invaluable expertise and guidance to streamline the process and alleviate confusion for buyers and sellers alike,” says Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

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