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.