The Hidden Cost for Estate Agents
Many people may not be aware of the cost and requirements placed on estate agents for the privilege of being able to operate within most of the gated communities along our Dolphin Coast.
This week Simbithi Eco-Estate will be hosting its annual accreditation exam for those sales and rentals agents who intend to service the Simbithi home-owners. As the Principal for Seeff Dolphin Coast I will also be required to write this exam. It has a 90% pass rate requirement.
There is also a small fee of R7,560 to be paid by each person writing the exam. This is one way to limit the numbers of those hopeful agents who have decided to focus their attention on the Simbithi real estate market.
The Simbithi exam is the most advanced of its kind that I have come across amongst the gated estates we service. The exam covers a broad range of information from the legal aspects of the Simbithi Sale agreement, the Memorandum of Incorporation and the estate Rules as well as the softer issues such as the various nature trails and the history of the estate. Simbithi's levies and fees are relatively low and competitive when compared to a range of other estates.
The monthly estate levy is only R1,650 plus the Simbithi Country Club social membership fee of R450 p.m. The Levy Stabilisation Fee (LSF) is R16,500 as a once off contribution paid by the incoming purchaser.
This compares to the Zimbali Coastal Resort LSF fee of R52,244. Simbithi's golf membership consists of a joining fee of R21,588 as a once off fee and annual subscription fees of R5,750 for the initial member and R2,421 for secondary family members.
These are competitive rates for the quality of golf course that Simbithi offers. As a Peter Matkovich designed par 60 executive short course with thirteen par 3's, four par 4's and one par 5 it is a lot shorter than the championship golf courses such as Zimbali but is a challenging and beautifully designed course.
One of the biggest challenges on this golf course is the deceptively short par 3, 17th hole called "Isiqhingana" meaning tiniest island in Zulu. The green is a tiny island reached from an elevated tee by only those who have their pitching game dialed in. If you are looking to build in Simbithi your building and landscaping plan submission fees to the architectural review committee amount to R14,850.
This is outside of the municipal submission. This fee is not quite as a high as the R21,921 I am just about to pay to Zimbali for my own home building project. Both Simbithi and Zimbali have similar fees payable by the seller on the sale of a property. Simbithi charge 1% of the selling price as a resale levy.
Zimbali charge 16,67% of the gross agency fee as a resale levy when an agent is involved, which amounts to approximately 1% of the selling price. In the event of a private transaction in Zimbali, a flat fee of R37,224 is charged to the seller.
The one fee that many buyers and sellers may not be aware of, as the estate agent typically pays for it, is the cost of the sale agreement purchased from the home owner's association. In Simbithi this is R405 per pack and is similar to the R424 charged by Zimbali for their sales pack.
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