“Chema chajiuza, kibaya chajitembeza” – Swahili Proverb
I was almost tempted to pen this article in Kiswahili right after sounding like a wise sage. The proverb loosely translates to “A good thing will sell itself, an inferior one will have to walk itself – looking for a buyer”. In construction and property development, both cases may be true. A skilled contractor who employs quality workmanship while adhering to standards will have to spend less on promoting himself since word of mouth will work to his advantage. People talk. Houses and property developments are not left out in conversations either.
After covering some of the crucial property development costs a developer in Kenya has to handle, today we will feature the costs associated with the phases that come after the building has been completed. The developer needs either buyers or tenants to occupy or buy the units in order for the property development to make financial sense. In the post-construction phase, the various fees are paid either by the buyer or the seller.
PROPERTY AGENT’S FEES
Like the professionals involved in the construction process, the property agents are paid in terms of percentages. As we discussed previously, the consultants are paid a percentage of the construction cost. A property agent, however, is paid a percentage of the rental value. Usually, this is determined by the number of agents that a developer involves.
In Kenya the property agent’s fee is paid by the property seller. It is approximately 1.25% of the selling price. Developers must familiarize themselves with the agents’ and contractual terms before engaging their services. Use of professional and accredited property agencies would minimize the risks associated with selling property. This fee can be negotiated. It is also worth noting that a working knowledge on contracts will be helpful.
The practice of estate agency is governed by the Estate Agents Act.
If you have attended any, or most of the real estate expos and exhibitions in town you will find all types of properties being put up for sale: office spaces, apartments, proposed projects, detached homes, semi-detached homes — name them. The ladies and gentlemen in those booths busy showing you plans and models while using colourful language and showing epic 3-D movies of the developments are doing one thing: Promoting.
Some developers do the promotion directly while others engage services of agents. Promotion is important in obtaining either buyers or tenants. This process requires funding. In Kenya, this is often negotiated between the developer and agents as it varies depending on the type of the development, scale of project [multi-phased and single phased projects] and stage of development where preconstruction involves promoting off-plan developments and completed developments selling completed units.
PROPERTY SALE COSTS
The Estate Agents Act mentioned above also governs the sale of property by professionals in Kenya. There are agent’s fees involved as discussed above. The costs also entail a legal fee, usually 1.5% of the sale price and a stamp duty ranging between 2% and 4%. Most of these fees are paid for by the buyer of the property.