Property transfer costs: Who pays what?

The buyer and seller of a property are responsible for certain costs associated with the transfer process. Here’s a look at who’s liable for what.

December 7, 2021


Transfer fees

These are payable to the transfer attorneys and include provisions to obtain a) the rates clearance figures and certificate and b) the levy clearance figures and certificate from the body corporate or homeowners association, and to cover the cost of the rates consultant as well as the associated management admin fee.  

Transfer duties

Any transfer duties in respect of the purchase price are payable to SARS and are included in the pro forma statement of account issued by the transfer attorneys.

Levy or rates split

The account issued by the transfer attorneys can also include provisions for a levy or rates split as certain managing agents and local authorities require that the attorneys arrange the pro rata split on registration of the property.

Bond registration fees

These are payable to the bond registration attorneys appointed by the bank.


The bond

If there is a bond registered over the property, it must be settled along with the bond cancellation attorney fees. The bond cancellation attorney is appointed by the bank once the transfer attorneys have applied for settlement figures from the bank.

Rates clearance figures

These are issued by the local authority and include the outstanding amount owed to council. They also include provision for the payment of the account for a period of between three and five months. Certain councils may require additional certificates like a water clearance certificate and SPLUMA certificate.

Levy clearance figures

These are issued by the body corporate and homeowners association, if applicable. They include any arrears amount as well as provision for the payment of the account for a period of between two and three months.

Compliance certificates

These include electrical compliance, electric fence compliance, gas compliance and beetle certificates, where applicable.

FICA verification fee

This is required to confirm the identity of the seller in respect of the property.

Other transfer-specific costs

These can include the correction of an incorrect title deed, replacement of a lost title deed etc.

To calculate general transfer and bond registration fees, please use our calculator or the Snymans app. For a full and detailed quotation, please contact our office.

Written by Wessel de Kock

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