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4 hidden costs when selling your home

Selling a house is a big decision, and one that could have hidden costs.

This is according to Lolly Unterlsak, Property Consultant at Jawitz Atlantic Seaboard in Cape Town, who says sellers should be aware of all the costs involved, even the unlikely ones, before deciding to sell so as not to be unpleasantly surprised.

“Speak to a reputable estate agent and ask them about the costs specifically. That way you’ll be aware of any surprises before they come along,” says Unterslak.

“An estate agent should be able to put your mind at ease by highlighting the costs from the start to ensure an easy and pleasant sales experience.”

Unterslak discusses possible hidden costs for sellers:
  1. Agent’s commission and VAT

    An estate agent charges commission on the sale of any property, and it is usually expressed as a percentage of the purchase price. Note, however, that this percentage excludes VAT. This total is the seller’s responsibility to pay.

  2. Compliance certificates

    Compliance certificates are a legal requirement in order for a transfer to be registered. It is a seller’s responsibility to provide and cover the costs of electrical, plumbing, gas and, in some cases, beetle and electric fence certificates of compliance.

    “Nowadays, there are companies that offer the full service so sellers only need to deal with one supplier,” says Unterslak.

    Of course, should anything be non-compliant the cost of repairing it in order to obtain the certificate could also be an unexpected cost.

    “Sellers should make sure they are in full compliance of the latest municipal bylaws in their area. In some cities, these bylaws change quite frequently, so keeping maintenance money aside to cover this would be a wise move,” says Unterslak.

  3. Occupational rent

    In the case of the seller not being able to vacate the property on the agreed-upon date after the transfer, they will have to pay occupational rent to the new owners. Sellers should make provision for this expense in the event that their new property is not ready to occupy or make alternative accommodation plans.

    “Make sure your new home is ready a few days in advance of the transfer so you won’t have to incur occupational rent,” says Unterslak.

  4. Moving costs

    And finally, there are moving costs and the insurance needed to cover your belongings in transit.

    “Sellers should also keep in mind the cost of physical storage, should the need arise to temporarily store any of your things until you take occupation of your new home,” says Unterslak.

8A Gert Kotze Street,
Western Cape,
South Africa, 7560
021 982 0965
021 982 2509

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Grand Central,
Eerste River,
Western Cape,


021 902 0246

021 982 2509


Founded by Freddie P. Steyn in 2015, FPS Properties is one of the newest estate agencies in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town. We are professional, dynamic and fully accredited estate agency. We strive to give all our clients professional and cost effective services to ensure that your property is rented or sold within the amount of time.

FPS Properties is supported by FPS Attorneys who will ensure that all transactions are correctly executed and furthermore will gladly assist with any and all legal queries to give you the added peace of mind.

Our agents are friendly and efficient and will gladly do free property valuations and provide sound property advice.

In short FPS Properties’ philosophy is simple… that by working closely with the client and becoming attuned to their business ethos, we can deliver pro-active and effective solutions thus creating ~ ”Clients for Life”