Topic: How to Tips & Guides

Selling an Inherited Property

inheritanceWhen an inherited property lands on your lap, it often seems reasonable to reach a final decision to sell it off. Perhaps it is superfluous to your needs, too large, small, old, expensive to maintain or just not something you could use at this stage of your life.

According to Maltese law, as an heir to the property, you would have had to prepare a valuation of the property, apart from having an official Land Registry site plan endorsed with proper site measurements by an architect. These documents would have been presented to the notary in charge of preparing the necessary deed, by virtue of which the property was devolved to you.

If the immovable property was the residence of the deceased person, then you, as a direct descendant, would not have had to pay any tax on this part of the inheritance.  Once all the inheritance procedures are followed and complete, you will be in a position to resell the property.  Your notary will have guided you on aspects related to the valuation of the property, and advised you accordingly. This means that you will have researched and asked around, to find how much the property stands to be evaluated at the current market conditions.

The previous law stated where the majority, but not all have agreed to sell, it restricted the heirs to sell the said inherited property only after five or ten years depending on when the inheritance took place.  This had caused numerous grief for the community not to mention the vast number of vacant properties.

In the latest 2016 Budget, this period of time was reduced to three years, thus encouraging heirs to agree finally and speed up the process of making available more properties on the market.

Within the White Paper, the Government also reduced the stamp duty to 2.5% on the value of the property if the contract of the new property is executed between the 1 January and 31 December 2016. Furthermore, the rate of final withholding tax that will be levied on transfers of restored property, effected in 2016, will be reduced from 8% to 5%.  The property must be within an Urban Conservation Area (UCA).

The above incentives have been created to further entice heirs to sell their properties, take ownership, restore and increase the supply of saleable homes on the market.

It is probable that the property will need to be cleaned and cleared of personal belongings, and possibly also completely vacated of furniture and furnishings prior to a sale.  If it does not interest you to carry out this chore yourself, there do exist individuals and companies that will come to the property and vacate it at a pre-established fee.

Alternatively, you could approach an auctioneer to try and sell pricier and finer items at a profit.  If need be you could also organise a garage or house sale which you can advertise locally and enrol some family members to help you on the day or weekend assigned for this event.

Once the property is empty, you should approach a reliable real estate agency to provide you a market value again.  At RE/MAX Malta, we have an extensive history of properties that have are on the market and that have been sold which  may guide you through a proper comparative market analysis in order to value your property correctly.

If the property is pretty run-down, we may advised you to give it a quick facelift in order to make it more attractive to possible buyers.  This should not alarm you because many times a property can be excellently embellished by a few simple and easy steps, such as cleaning the front garden of dead vegetation, and INHERITANCEreplacing broken light bulbs. Any junk or remaining clutter should also be removed.

When the property is still in a relatively good condition, and if it still includes some furnishings, our selling experts may suggest that you go along with the proposal of staging the property in a professional way.

This will entail the involvement of staging experts, namely an interior designer and photographic services (all organised by the agency itself).   Staging will do a world of good for you if you want the necessary exposure to the property and sell quickly.  In this case, we may suggest that you enroll in the Exclusive Added Value Listing programme, which is a dedicated Selling system which has proven to sell homes within 90 days.

Contact one of our offices today to understand your possibilities more clearer or send us a request via the request form.

Choosing the right agent to sell your property

real estate agent - best choice in Malta

real estate agent - best choice in MaltaReal estate agents should be your ideal guides when you start preparing to sell a property of any kind. A reliable agent should transmit efficiency which entertains the trust that he or she will know how to go about promoting your property effectively and through the right channels, in order to secure a sale. Whether you need to sell something as small in size and price as a one-car garage, whether it’s a a two-bed penthouse, a residential villa, an office block or an industrial warehouse, an estate agent should be there to help you throughout the entire process.

Easier said than done, and one main dilemma revolves around finding the right agent, man or woman,  to sell your property for you, so we here passing on some suggestions to help you along.

Find a real estate agent who represents an agency whose website you like and enjoy browsing through. If you find the website easy and pleasant to surf, and if the information pertaining to advertised properties is clearly depicted, fully detailed and accompanied by high resolution images, then it stands more if a chance of attracting potential buyers. Research the website for all the information which might possible assist you sold-finding-realestateagentin making your choice.

Word of mouth does help. Asking people you know for recommendations means you are getting a contact who proved to be invaluable to somebody who sold their property successfully. Ask about the level of confidentiality and courtesy, about the number of viewers the agent brought along, about the pre and post sale liaisons which contributed to making the agent worth recommending.

Identify the category of properties within which your property could be placed.  A town house in Valletta sells differently from a similar town house in Qrendi. The differences are several; city vs village; outskirts vs core; finish vs converted, unconverted, semi-converted, furnished, un-furnished; age;  potential for further development, restoration, embellishment;  size. This information will arm you to better discuss sale potential with the agent you choose.

Try to find an agency which may typically specialise in the kind of property you aim to sell. Certain agencies have specialised departments dealing with categories of properties, price ranges, localities, markets. This will address the right buyer immediately, promoting your property where and to whom it is most likely to sell.

Consider selling your home exclusively with one estate agency.  This will get you added benefits and greater attention from the agent and agency since there will be more scope towards investing energy in clinching the sale.  Advertising your property with multiple agencies on an open agency basis, may become counter productive, since yours will be just another property on the list, and not one which is getting the full focus it deserves. An Exclusive listing with some real estate agencies also comes with a marketing package where your property will be exposed to several marketing channels.

A good estate agency will also come prepared to meet you with relative information that would assist you in pricing your property correctly.  Comparative pricing metrics will assist you in understanding where you should place your price on the market.  You may even find out that it’s not worth selling at this time, or on the other hand realise much more potential.  One of the biggest pitfalls when people sell their property is that they price their property without the adequate guidance.

Quiz a potential agent by asking advice on typical selling prices, on staging the property, tips on what would improve or add immediate value to the property. A good agent will not shirk from spending time to explain things to you, to view your property carefully and ask relevant questions. Before he or she leaves your property, they should know it well, so that they can explain its characteristics to potential buyers, clearly and efficiently.

Preparing a property for sale

Preparing Your Home For Sale - House of Character

Preparing Your Home For Sale - House of CharacterIn the fast-paced real estate market, selling a property is a big deal. This is not only because of the market’s competitive nature, but also because of the preparation that has to be undertaken with the property itself. When selling a property especially one that has been lived-in, such as a family home, it is imperative to present it in the best way possible.

Cleaning may not be enough—it might just be the time to put yourself in buyers’ shoes, and prep up your property for selling. Considering the large number of properties that viewers get to view when on the hunt for the right property, it becomes clear that to make your mark on the market, first impressions really do matter.

It is very common that viewers get a strong feeling about a property just from viewing the outside, mainly because this is the first thing they see. So first things first—take a good look at the facade and exterior of your house and make sure to clean the windows, fix the chipped stones, trim and prune the plants, and give a good scrub to the porch and face of the house.  If its an apartment, make sure your welcome mat isn’t in tatters and the walls are painted clean.  Adding some colour in the shape of flowers or potted plants helps to add vitality and give a feel-good vibe to viewers entering the property for sale.

Upon entering a house, the first thing someone perceives is usually the space, and what makes up this space? Light, furnishings and colour. First of all, you want to make sure the light is right, by fixing any light fixtures and removing or changing any heavy curtains that are obstructing natural light from flooding in. Since natural light is an utmost priority, avoid viewings which happen in the evening after dark. According to a recent real estate insights survey brightness is the major aspect that either turns on or puts off the buyer.  Then make sure the furnishings aren’t too big for their rooms—too much furniture may take away the merits of a spacious, well-lit room, as well as make viewers feel cramped.

If you have any pending paint jobs you might as well go ahead and paint over in neutral colours. As much as you like your rainbow living room, it might put off potential buyers, as it all boils down to individual taste.  When selling your property you must always think as if you were the buyer.   After scouring clean thepreparing your home for sale - property in st. julians house it might be time to get into the details. Take some extra time to tighten up all the little loose ends of the house—missing screws from doorknobs and hinges, loose or squeaky furniture, fixtures (bathroom faucets) that need replacing, and so on.  Another important detail is to take away some of the very personal items like family photographs, any wild pieces of art or furniture. Leave only items that are neutral. Neutrality is important because it helps viewers envision themselves inside the house.  Indeed a clean palette allows for better visualisation of what could be and could become.

On the other hand, if you think that the house feels too empty or impersonal, adding something as simple as indoor plants can change how a room looks and feel.  Making potential buyers envision themselves living in the house is crucial— and is part of the process of selling your home. Here are some simple tricks that can help you achieve this. Try and make some spots around the house look appealing for specific activities by placing two or three items related to said activities—a book and coffee tray next to soft furnishings for a reading area. Be aware that viewers have all their senses pricked, and will be out to notice especially things that are off colour, so be sure to avoid obvious oversights. Don’t cook anything with strong odours before viewings are due, enquire whether viewers like pets beforehand, and close the toilet seat!

You need to get the price right.  No matter what changes you make, how nice you doll up the house, or tricks you may utilise to sway a buyer, if you do not price your home correctly – your home may stay on the market.  Read our for page on Pricing your property correctly for more information.

Finally, be nice to potential buyers, offer some refreshments and share some nice stories about the house, and you should be set to make some great impressions!

Maximising the Price of your Property

Here’s 5 simple ways to get your home tip-top before putting it up for sale.

Brightly-lit-propertyWe all spend years turning our house into our home, and we get so used to it, that we sometimes fail to see the simple things that are bringing its price down in the eyes of potential buyers.

These five simple tips will help you maximise your home’s potential and boost how much you could get for it.  You’ll be amazed what these modest hints will do to the price of your property.

Clean Up: When trying to sell your property, make sure it’s spotless. Sweep the floors and sterilise toilet bowls, remove cobwebs from the ceiling and make sure the windows are flawless. Leaving a place looking dirty will instantly put people off the place, and make them think that there’s more work that needs to be done than there actually is.

Make Sure It’s Brightly Lit: All curtains should be open during a viewing, while you should be sure to remove any net curtains so as to let in as much sunshine as possible. Adding mirrors also helps reflect the light. Why? It’s actually psychological. Light is often associated with opulence – think Versailles and the Hall of Mirrors. The brighter a place is, the bigger and more expensive it will seem!

If It’s Broken, Fix It: Light bulbs that aren’t working, toilets that don’t function, broken tiles, and doors coming off their hinges are never a good sign. We all know that buyers will haggle, and broken things will give them further ammunition.

Update Your Kitchen & Bathroom: While the living room and the bedroom tend to be very personal spaces, kitchens and bathrooms are most likely the last places people will redo 240011054-62– given that the ones available are decent and tasteful. This doesn’t mean you have to buy a whole new kitchen prior to putting your house up for sale, but a new lick of paint or updated counter top may make a whole world of difference.

Add Street Appeal: Most people looking for a house will know if it’s the right one within seconds of seeing it in person. That’s why you need to make sure that your house looks great from the outside. Paint or replace your front door, make sure the façade does not look worn, and keep your hall spotless and welcoming.

Moreover, why not go to an open house viewing and take note of the things that bother you or negatively attract your attention? That’s always a great way of knowing what could be done and what could have been done better.

Take these five tips and make sure you follow them.  They will definitely increase your chances of maximising your property price.  You can also ask your local real estate agent in Malta to guide you accordingly.

The Biggest Seller Mistakes

Property Viewing

Property ViewingThroughout the time I’ve worked in real estate in Malta, the property topic has come up in several conversations I’ve had with many acquaintances, friends, business partners and so on. Inevitably, these acquaintances always know someone, heard of someone – or sometimes even refer to themselves – who have been trying to sell their home for quite a few months but are unable to even obtain any offers, regardless of how luxurious their home may be. This leads to the question “What are we / they doing wrong?” (more…)