Answer to a question from a reader

How much does it cost to change ownership of a house?

The short answer

There are several costs involved in the process

The whole question

My stepfather bought a house without my mother knowing about it. When the house was in arrears, she agreed to take out a home loan to pay the previous owner of the house. The house is currently registered in her name, but my stepfather is the one paying for it. Since the house in arrears and registered in my mother’s name, she is concerned that it will negatively influence her chances of buying her own house. How much will it cost her to change ownership of the house?

The long answer

If the house is in your mother’s name, she is the legal owner of the house and she can sell it if she wants to. If she is in arrears with the home loan she took, perhaps the best place for her to start is to discuss the problem with the bank which is lending her the money. She can ask them for advice on how to sell the house so that she can pay the arrears.

This is how the process of transferring the ownership of the house works:

The seller and the buyer must agree on a price. The seller chooses a conveyancing attorney which is a lawyer who does the transfer at the Deeds office. The buyer must pay the conveyancing attorney’s fees.

The seller must pay the conveyancing attorney to cancel the bond (the home loan) on the property. The seller must also pay the estate agent’s commission (if she employs an estate agent) and for the Electrical Certificate, Rates and Taxes Certificate and Infestation Clearance Certificates.

The conveyancing attorney will ask for the required documents from both the buyer and the seller (banking details, ID documents).

The conveyancing attorney will prepare all the transfer documents and both the buyer and seller must sign the deed of sale at the Deeds Office.

Once the documents have been lodged with the Deeds Office, both the buyer and the seller will be notified and the seller will be paid the following day.

Answered on June 9, 2020, 9:47 a.m.

See more questions and answers

Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.