In the latest copy of my monthly newsletter, I will focus on selling/buying your property (especially in sectional and full title community schemes), and some of what it entails, legal and otherwise. If you read carefully and keep the information in the back of your mind, it can save you a lot of money and put you into a knowledgeable position when dealing with the other parties. It will also help you have an understanding of the contract you are signing!
I hope that you will find the content interesting and that the information will be of value to you. Please feel free to pass these articles on to your family and friends.
Understanding the Extra Costs of Buying and Selling
Selling your sectional title unit or full title home in a homeowners association may have many aspects that you may not know about, and which may cause questions and sometimes unnecessary conflict and costs.
Clearance figures have to be obtained by the transfer attorneys for levies, municipal accounts, and often insurance certificates. You, as the seller, will also have to provide COC’s (Certificate of Compliance) for electricity and gas (if you have gas installations with large gas cylinders). In some instances, even COC’s for the electric fence of the community scheme!
A lot of confusion and conflict arises about who is responsible for what costs, and I will give a brief overview to try and clear up the confusion which is often shared by estate agents, the attorney’s staff (and even some attorneys!), and the parties to the contract.
The contract usually states that transfer costs will be for the account of the buyer. These costs are specified for the transfer of the property into the name of the buyer, the registration of the bond, transfer duty (tax) (where applicable), and the attorney’s fees.
However, the seller has a duty to provide certain information and evidence, which will be for his cost. The items named in the second paragraph, are the responsibility of the seller (except if specifically altered in the contract). The expensive side of this is that clearance figures have to be for a future date, well outside the date that the expectation is for registration (otherwise a new clearance certificate has to be obtained, which will incur additional costs).
The effect is that levies are paid largely in advance, to a date that may well be three to six months into the future. The seller is responsible for the levies and the cost of the clearance certificates! The clearance certificate issued by the managing agent, (and the one by the municipality) must keep the body corporate (or municipality) covered against any possible losses that cannot be recovered after registration into the name of a new owner.
When registration occurs, the transferring attorneys distribute the costs between the parties, in accordance with that date. That is the date that occupation rent, received or receivable is finally calculated and often the levies are also done in the same way. This is where the problems arise! If they don’t know what they are doing, costs will be allocated to the wrong party, or someone may pay for something he has already paid for!
As soon as the managing agents are informed of the registration date and details of the new owner, a new account is created for the new owner. His account will be debited for levies from that date forward. The levies received in terms of the clearance certificate should always cause a credit on the old account (the seller), which will be returned to him when bank details, etc. are received. (Sometimes there are a waiting period for the sake of security)
If the attorneys do the calculations and divide the levies between the two parties, the natural and correct allocation by the managing agents may cause the wrong party to pay for some of the levies. If the attorneys inform the managing agent, of how they made the division, the managing agent can then on their side allocate levies to the correct party. Important: If you know who is responsible for what, you can check that it is done correctly!
It is important to note that there should always be a credit owing to the seller after registration, whether levies or property rates at the municipality!
Hopefully, somebody will benefit from this knowledge! As the content of these newsletters is published on our website: www.jotam.com you should be able to get it there, when you need it in the future!
Tax season 2019/2020: Capital Gains Tax explained
It is not uncommon to misunderstand how Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is determined and applied when it comes to the sale of your home or investment property.
In simple terms, CGT is payable by individuals, trusts and companies when you sell a property that has increased in value since you purchased it.
Income tax obligation
CGT forms part of an individual’s income tax obligations; it is, in other words, not a separate tax, and therefore must be accounted for/declared in the annual income tax assessment (IT34). Regardless of when the property was originally purchased, CGT is payable if there is a profit gain on or after 01 October 2001.
Primary vs secondary
A primary residence is considered the home used for personal use; in other words, the home you most regularly live in. SARS considers the sale of your primary home as CGT-exempt up to the first R2-million gain. A second home sale has no CGT exemptions or exclusions that can be applied.
How profit/loss is determined
Deduct the original cost of the property from the amount that the property was sold for. This will indicate the profit or loss that has been realised.
The terminology used for defining the original cost is ‘Base cost’. Base cost includes the original price paid, less all the costs incurred during the ownership period, e.g. renovations, transfer costs and duties, attorney’s fees and agent’s commission.
Read the full article here.
Top Tips When Buying Real Estate
Do you know why it’s not wise to make any huge purchases or move your money around three to six months before buying a new home?
Call Minari on 072 588 8136 to receive your free report entitled ‘Top Tips When Buying Real Estate’. Get the answer to this question as well as tips to get the most out of your money.
Renovating for Profit
If you’re pursuing a ‘renovate and flip’ strategy, not only do you need to become an expert in the suburb that you’re intending to buy, but you also need to be smart about what you decide to renovate to generate the highest return possible.
1. Assess risks
Like any investment, some risks come with the ‘renovate and flip’ strategy. The greatest risk is that you may be unable to sell the property for a profit or you may not be able to sell for the profit margin that you set out to achieve. To manage these risks, you need to be realistic not only about your budget and profit margin but also about the time and planning of your renovation project. Enlist the services of professionals to ensure that you don’t make the wrong decisions.
2. Define your strategy
You need to consider whether you are planning to sell or hold the renovated property. If you’re planning to sell, you want to ensure that a quick profit margin will be guaranteed. If you’re planning to hold the property for a period, then you want to ensure that it will benefit from capital growth.
3. Market research
Become familiar with the property prices and market conditions of at least three neighbouring suburbs of interest. Research renovated properties like the one you’re thinking of buying so you can estimate a realistic sale price for your property.
4. Property selection
Once you’ve selected the suburb, you need to decide which type of property is likely to outperform the market. Ideally, you should find a property for 20% below the median price for the suburb that is cosmetically distressed (such as poor paintwork or outdated interiors), as this will ensure that it has good renovation potential.
Read the full article here.
A new teacher was trying to make use of her psychology courses in class.
She started her class by saying, “Everyone who thinks they’re not smart, stand up!”
After a few seconds, Little Johnny stood up.
The teacher said, “Do you think you’re not smart, little Johnny?”
“No, ma’am, but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself!”
How Can I Help You?
Your home may be worth more than you think!
Are you thinking of selling your home? Are you curious to know what your home is worth in today’s market?
Contact Minari on 072 588 8136 today for a market analysis.
Talk to an experienced agent who will work one-on-one with you to ensure you get the highest possible price in the shortest possible time.
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