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How to sell an inherited property

Inheriting a property can put you in quite a stressful situation; possibly due to it being too large/small/old/expensive to maintain, or because of family politics if you are not the sole heir. Oftentimes, it seems that the most reasonable thing to do is to sell the property.

If you decide to do this, however, there are certain steps that you must take to go through with the sale. According to Maltese law, the heir to a property must prepare the following:

  • A valuation of the property
  • An official Land Registry site plan endorsed with proper site measurements by an architect

These documents are to be presented to the notary in charge of the deed, by virtue of which the property was devoted to you.

In the case of the property having been the residence of the deceased person, and you are a direct descendant, you are not required to pay any tax on this part of the inheritance.

The notary will guide you throughout all the steps related to the valuation of the property, and once all the inheritance procedures are followed and completed, you will then be able to resell the property.

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 advise 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 replacing 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.

How to Maximise the Price of your Property

After spending years turning your house into a home, it’s easy to take certain things for granted – things that, to potential buyers, could be bringing its price down.

It goes without saying that the price of your property plays a major part in the sale. To make sure that it is maximised to its full potential, we thought we’d give you some tips to follow:

Clean Everything

When trying to sell your property, take your cleaning routine up a notch. Consider your home to be a temporary showroom – after all, you are trying to sell it. Wash the floors, sterilise toilet bowls, remove cobwebs from the ceiling, and give your glassware, silverware, mirrors, and windows a good polish. Leaving anything unclean will put people off and give them the impression that there’s more work that needs to be done than there actually is.

Make Sure It’s Brightly Lit

If the viewing happens during daylight, all curtains and blinds should be open to let in as much natural light as possible and show off any views, outdoor spaces, and surroundings. Mirrors are also a great way to help reflect the light, so see if you can add some to the rooms in a way that would enhance them. Also try to switch up any dark or busy soft furnishings with lighter and more neutral shades.

If It’s Broken, Fix It

We all know that buyers try to haggle, and broken things will give them further ammunition. Anything that isn’t looking or functioning the way it should – from squeaky doors and floorboards to flickering lightbulbs and chipped wood or tiles – should be fixed before you invite any viewers over.

Update Your Kitchen & Bathroom

Many rooms like bedrooms and living spaces are very personal, so new residents will undoubtedly make any changes necessary to feel more at home. When it comes to kitchens and bathrooms, a full revamp is probably the last thing they’d do, given that it’s such a cost and hassle to do so. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should buy a new kitchen prior to putting your house up for sale, but a new lick of paint, polished cupboards and handles, and maybe an updated countertop will make a world of a 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. This is why you need to make sure that your house doesn’t only look great from the inside, but from the outside too. Fix up the façade as best as you can – from the pathway and front door to the paint work, and see that it looks as welcoming as possible.

We also recommend that you find the time to go to an open house viewing and take note of the things that catch your attention; both positive and negative. This is a great way of opening your mind and realising what you can do better to increase your property’s value and, moreover, your chance of selling it.

There are many steps that you can take towards maximising the price of your property, and these five tips are a great start. You can also ask your local real estate agent in Malta to guide you accordingly.

5 Reasons for selling your property exclusively with RE/MAX

Selling your property might feel daunting, with all the competition and the constantly changing market. Are you unsure about the best way to selling your house? Are you wary of all the different real estate agents out there?

You have the opportunity to sell your property exclusively with RE/MAX, who are the leading real estate agency in the market today.

The RE/MAX Exclusive listing programme is designed to give your property a special treatment to get it sold within 90 days. Take a look at the slew of perks, and the convenient and effective service RE/MAX has to offer property vendors.

What’s your house worth?

Determining your house value is an important step in selling your property. What’s the point of selling at a high price, when competing vendors can easily beat you? Market-friendly prices guarantee you will sell your house in no time. RE/MAX creates estimates thanks to cutting edge technology which filters through a constantly updated database of the real estate market, to compile comparative market analyses (CMA). This allows for RE/MAX to offer real-time valuations for your property.

Get it on the market with RE/MAX

Selling your property exclusively with RE/MAX ensures a hassle-free process—just the opposite of an open agency agreement. Instead of wasting time and money marketing your property with different agents, the RE/MAX Exclusive listing programme offers the convenience of over 350 professionally trained agents and over 45 years of experience in the real estate industry.


We do the work

One of the most important aspects of exclusivity with RE/MAX, is that everything is taken care for you. Your property will be valued, photographed and marketed on RE/MAX platforms, after which trained agents specialising in your property type are constantly engaging with potential buyers. As a vendor, you will be regularly updated on the progress of the sale.

Effective outreach

What makes RE/MAX such a successful real estate agency, and the best option for selling your property, is its effective outreach and marketing. Spread over a specialised website, social media, outlets in every locality and widespread advertising, RE/MAX has the strongest presence in the market, which guarantees great exposure for your property.

Putting your property on the map

Choosing to sell exclusively with RE/MAX means you are trusting us with selling your property—we are grateful and need to show it! Apart from the great exposure, RE/MAX offers an array of powerful tools for the best results. 3D imagery, virtual reality tours and professionally staged photography of your property help to make your property more appealing and therefore viewed more, along with specially made brochures and your own website. Such tools as buyer match and latest SEO metrics improve search-ability and a strong web presence.

Staging Your Property For Sale

What do you do when you’ve got guests coming over to your property? You make it look its best, right? From clearing up and cleaning to dusting, polishing, and other final touches, you probably have some sort of ritual that you go through to ensure that it’s up to standard. In short, you “set the stage” to prepare a warm welcome for your visitors.

When these visitors are potential house-buyers, however, fluffing pillows and aligning frames isn’t quite enough. Chances are that these people are complete strangers, and they’re not there to see you; but your property. Every single detail is going to make a difference, so if you want to sell your property, it’s your job to make everything look better than ever before.

You may opt for consulting with a staging expert to get the job done, or you can turn it into a DIY project – it all depends on the time and budget that you’ve got. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of tips that will help you with staging your property for sale.

Before you get started, imagine that every room in your house was being photographed for a magazine. Are they picture perfect? If not, start with these easy but super-effective points:

Get rid of any clutter

Cleanliness is definitely important, but decluttering will take you that step further. Be sure to get rid of anything that needn’t be there. Start by putting everything in its proper place, and then move on to other smaller details that are not a necessity for potential buyers.

Check for any damages

Remove any stains, replace broken objects, and see that everything is working the way it should; flickering lightbulbs, squeaky doors, and creaky floorboards included. Anything that can’t be fixed – whether stains or breakages – must be removed altogether.

Get your shine on

Not all that glitters is gold, but it’s surely better than looking old, rusty, or stained. Be sure to polish everything that can be polished – mirrors, windows, glass and silverware, and give your furniture a good wipe while you’re at it too.

Let in some air

Stuffy rooms are far from welcoming, no matter how pretty they look. Open up your windows regularly to change the air around; this will keep the rooms fresh and cool.

Add some life

Plants and flowers are a great way of adding colour and life to any space, and they’re a very easy and inexpensive way of making any room look instantly better and more ‘homey’.

Maximise the space of the property

Try to make every room look as spacious and well-lit as possible. Consider alternative furniture placement options and remove anything that takes up space unnecessarily.

Make it welcoming

Small finishing touches can make a difference both in terms of the aesthetic of the property, as well as the feeling it gives potential buyers upon entering. A fresh door mat, plants, and perhaps some air freshener can go a long way. We also recommend preparing some baked goods and offering tea, coffee, or hot chocolate to visitors to enhance the overall viewing experience.


As you can see, all of these points are perfectly feasible but will make a very big difference. You don’t even have to do it all alone – get some friends or family members to help you out and turn it into a fun group project.

No matter what, remember that every detail counts. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and try to look at your property from that point of view.

For more advice on selling, pricing, or staging your property for sale, get in touch with us today. Don’t forget that our Exclusive properties are sold within an average of 90 days, so if you’re eager to sell, we’re eager to help you!

The 3 things not to do when selling your property

Have you been trying to sell your home for several months with no luck? Or maybe you’ve just started thinking about selling it but aren’t sure where to begin? Thankfully, we’re here to help – and how better to do so by giving you a list of what not to do? Read on to see the 3 biggest mistakes that people make when trying to sell their property:

Not giving it the TLC it needs

The state of a property is guaranteed to be one of the first things that potential buyers notice and can be a massive deal-breaker. Unless they’re specifically looking for a fixer-upper, they most likely don’t want to buy anything that needs significant renovating – both because of the work that goes into it as well as the cost that comes with doing so. Prepare your property before putting it up on the market and get it looking its best.

Not marketing it efficiently

Sticking a “For Sale” sign on a façade window might attract a little bit of attention, but if you really want to get your property out there, you need to market it well. Posting on newspapers and Facebook groups can also get you a few calls, but there’s much more to marketing a property than simply posting about it. Professional online advertising allows you to reach particular audiences which are most likely to be interested in your property, rather than any Tom, Dick or Harry who might just like your post because it’s got a pretty picture.


We know that the market is great for sellers right now, but that doesn’t mean that you should take advantage of that. Chances are that it will only work against you and leave your property on the market for a very long time. Your property is worth no more than what someone is willing to pay for it, and no one will agree to pay more than the market value. And don’t let the idea of reducing the price after several weeks mislead you – this can actually put people off as they will realise you’ve lowered the price and deduce that something is wrong with the property, so it will not encourage them to buy it.

Thankfully, here at RE/MAX Exclusive, we can help you out with all of the above. We can give you tips on how to prepare your property for selling, market it to the right audience, and value it professionally so that you can have a better chance of selling it. What’s more, being listed as an Exclusive Added Value Listing with us comes with several advantages – and we manage to help sell such properties within an average of just 90 days from listing.

Get in touch with us for more information by sending an email to [email protected] today.

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 in Malta


Selling property in Malta is a big deal – especially with today’s fast-paced real estate market. Not only is the market highly competitive, but there’s a significant amount of work that goes into preparing a property for sale. Whether it’s a new property or one that’s been previously lived in, it is crucial to present it in the best way possible. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

It’s not just what’s inside that counts

Cleaning and tidying the inside is definitely a must, but keep in mind that the first thing potential buyers will see when viewing your property is the outside. People do judge a property by its cover, so make the first impression count.

Take a good look at the façade and revamp where necessary – clean the windows, polish the front door, trim any plants, clear the pathway, and even give the walls a fresh coat of paint if needed. If you’re selling an apartment, get a new doormat and make the general area look as presentable as possible. The whole idea is to give viewers a feel-good vibe when approaching and entering the property.

Light it up

One of the main attractions upon entering a house is space – and nothing enhances space better than light! Optimise natural light as much as possible by using bright and light colours on walls and decor, mirrors, and intelligent placement of furniture. When it comes to artificial light, make sure that all bulbs are working (use whiter lights to offer a more natural look) and fix / clean any light fixtures.

You want your rooms to look bright, spacious, and inviting, so take everything into account to ensure optimal results.

Focus on the small details

Once the big stuff is all sorted out, pay close attention to tinier details which add that extra touch of quality to your property. See to any loose doorknobs and hinges, squeaky doors, rusty taps, and chipped paint and furniture.

Also, be selective with the items on display – try to keep them neutral and avoid family photographs and other personal things. This allows for better visualisation on the viewer’s part as it leaves them with an open palette with plenty of room for imagination.

Having said that, you definitely don’t want to leave it looking too empty and impersonal. Many home seekers want to be able to envision themselves living in your property, so it needs to offer that warm “home” feeling. Even the slightest additions can do the trick, such as some indoor plants, art pieces, magazines, books, and some comforting soft furnishings such as cushions and blankets.

Let’s talk about pricing

It’s no news that property prices in Malta have increased, so make sure to get your property valued correctly so that you can ask for the right price. No matter how many changes you make to your property or how nicely you do it up, overpricing it can easily backfire and result in it remaining on the market for a much longer time than necessary.

Read up on our property pricing advice or contact us directly for us to value it professionally by clicking here.

Finally, be nice

Last but not least, welcome viewers in the best way that you can. This might be obvious to some – but we’ve all heard stories about bad experiences with property sellers.

Greet your guests with a smile, give them your time to explain and answer any questions, and even offer some refreshments if you can. This is a great way to make a good impression and will automatically encourage potential buyers as they would be happy to get involved with you.

We hope you found these tips for preparing your property for sale useful. If you’re looking to sell your property, then why not make it exclusive with RE/MAX? There are plenty of benefits to doing this, and we can even get it sold within 90 days! Click here for more information.

Finding the Right Agent When Selling

Selling your property the RE/MAX way

Selling a Home RE/MAX Malta - BalloonThere are so many ways in which people manage to sell their properties, but not all of them are cost effective, time effective, efficient or pleasant. Selling a property, especially a family home, is considered to be one of the most stressful episodes in a person’s life, not only because it equates with a major change, but because it is such an upheaval in the normal day-to-day life of a person not to mention the sentimental value that a goes a long with leaving the memories you may leave behind.

Therefore, finding the right estate agent to help you sell your property can make all the difference to the entire procedure. When you invite a RE/MAX associate to view your property with the intention of listing it for sale within the extremely vast RE/MAX portfolio, you are taking the first step towards a smoother transitional experience, from day one.

Evaluating The Property

RE/MAX sales associates are fully trained in identifying key selling factors in every property they view, no matter how small, large, dilapidated or refined. By talking to you and asking specifically targeted questionsEvaluating a Home in Malta whilst viewing the property alongside you, the associate will be able to qualify your needs and guide you with a plan of action on how to price your property and market it so as to make it more visible to potential buyers. A RE/MAX associate will take location, price and other properties that have been sold as well as listed within the same area in consideration. Special unique characteristics that make your home stand out from the rest will be noted and evaluated.

One must take into consideration that a real estate agent must look at your property from a professional aspect whilst at this stage a home owner is often putting a price on the emotional factors that go with leaving behind a lifetime of memories.

A RE/MAX associate specialises in geographical areas and types of property so that they may focus on understanding the knowledge of a specific market and provide informed guidance. It is understandable to say, “Who does this real estate agent think he is?”, “Who is he/she to put a price on my property?”, But in reality, if the estate agent merely lists your property without asking pertinent questions and does not provide his professional opinion, that should be your cue to ask him/her to leave.

Whilst the property is being listed, the associate will discuss strategy and tips with you so to highlight the most unique aspects of the property. Every property has its very own and unique identifying strong points, but often home owners overlook simple ways they could easily adopt to optimise the value of their property. A RE/MAX associate will help you elevate the property’s standard by providing tips on how to improve its general appearance and how to provide a positive first impression to would-be buyers.

Exclusive Listing Programme – Best Added Value

RE/MAX is the only company in Malta that provides a fully-fledged selling service, which is dedicated to home owners who are motivated to sell. This unique package offers a myriad of marketing benefits including staging and 3D imaging, services the company pioneered in just over three years.

The programme, is an agreement which regulates the relationship between vendor and agency, and provides RE/MAX Exclusive rights to selling your home. An 80% of the homes that are listed into the programme are selling in less than 50 days.

Staging & 3D imaging

Minor cosmetic changes can help stage a property in a big way and the insight of an expert RE/MAX Staging a Home For Saleassociate can quickly guide you, the seller, in the right direction. Owners whose property can be significantly improved in such a way as to impact strongly on the final market value, will be encouraged to make subtle changes so as to show off the property at its very best. Simple basic things such as spring cleaning, changing curtains, moving furniture around and de-cluttering, are the first steps which are generally recommended. Depending on your agreement,the associate will organise a staging procedure, which is included in the Exclusive Listing programme and has proven to be extremely effective. When a property is professionally staged, it can be lifted up a notch or two and attracts more buyers to your door. Another proven method for selling a property is 3D imaging. This procedure is undertaken when a property is not finished or still on plan. RE/MAX will take on the property and bring it to life through digital images.

Questions Answered

Every seller has many questions to ask – Is the price right? How far should I negotiate? What tax implications should I consider? How soon can a contract be signed? A RE/MAX associate will be able to answer all these questions and more. He or she will assist you by making sure to research not only the best way to market the property, but also find potential buyers, fit viewing appointments around your schedule, accompany viewers around the property, advise you on pertinent legal arrangements, guide negotiations, oversee transactions and contractual details, as well as provide practical guidelines linked to the eventual moving of your personal belongings.

More than just a sale

With the assistance of a RE/MAX associate, your property sale experience will be a cut above the rest. Whichever associate tackles your sale, any one of our 220+ associates is fully trained to make sales happen. And with the assistance of a RE/MAX associate, this is not just about the sale. This is all about building a positive sales experience, making your property stand out amongst hundreds if not thousands of properties on the market, and gleaning the best buyer possible.

Definitely more than just a sale.

Selling A Home Professionally

Top of Market Value

Top of Market ValueWhen my son was sick last week I took him to our preferred paediatrician whom my partner and I trust in his competence to diagnose and prescribe any necessary remedies based on his professional competence and his experience in the field of medicine. It is however, not the first time, when my partner and I have decided not to take up the recommendations of a qualified practitioner.

I think that anybody may relate to this story in that we all have an inner gut feeling or an intuition that can sometimes irk us into making our own decisions that we feel are in the best interests of our family.   This analogy can be transferred to several daily scenarios including but not limited to pricing your property.

Just like any professional, the role of an estate agent is to provide a homeowner with the necessary data, market knowledge and experience to make an informed decision. After all, it is the estate agent that views property on a daily basis. It is the estate agent that has historical data to forecast trends and it is the estate agent that has the live database of sold prices of properties in that particular area.

Though probably the most qualified profession to price a property a homeowner will ultimately always make their decision based on a compromise between the advice given from their estate agent, their expectations, the commitments they might have and most importantly their own intuition. More often than not this leads them to try and sell their home at a higher price than that of the market value, which according to statistics from a credible source is on average between 15% and 20%.

Buyer TriangleMarketing a home out of its market value is a common cause of properties remaining unsold for several months. It is proven that the more a property is overpriced the less potential buyers will even want to view a home for sale, whereas the closer one gets to market value the greater amount of potential buyers will want to see a property, enhancing the chances to sell the home. If you see the buyer elimination triangle you will further understand this concept.

Should homeowners consider a professionally equipped real estate agents advice more seriously, they not only would sell their property faster but will also sell at a more reasonable price. This is because potential buyers that view homes for sale marketed on several real estate websites for a long time tend to discount the homes that have remained unsold and eventually homeowners may be subjected to reducing their property price beyond market value. If a homeowner markets their property closer to market value with some room for negotiation the usual occurrence is that the home will sell at the top of market value.

A real estate agent should have the tools to sit down with a homeowner and provide what we call a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA compares property listings that are similar to the home in question against sold properties of the same. By comparing historical data and present market information an estate agent should have the competence to narrow down an accurate valuation together with the homeowner.

The price of a home is one of the major factors that will define the length of time it will take to sell as well as the selling price of a property. There are other factors that will assist you in selling your home, including the presentation of your home and small enhancements that may also improve the value of a property. These tips and more maybe found out by your local estate agent.

The real estate agent is today’s market has changed into a profession where real estate companies are investing thousands of euros in training their staff and associates so that they will be able to provide a superior service to their customers. A professionally equipped estate agent will be able to provide the necessary exposure as well as competent seasoned professionals agents to provide the qualified guidance required in order to secure a timely sale of a property.

This article was published in part on the Sunday Times of Malta on the 8th of February.





Estate Agents | An Uncertain Certainty

Estate agents - an Uncertain Certainty - Honey Valley Mosta

In life there are, as wise men and women say, only very few certainties. One, unfortunately for people who think they will live forever, is dreaded death. The other, even more unfortunately for us all, is unavoidable Estate agency Incertain Certainty tax. Another certainty that can be added is that people don’t really like real estate agents. Some people even try hard to avoid them when selling or buying their property.

People sometimes use estate agents because they feel forced into it—and then gradually they realise that estate agents are hardly ogres who eat in their profits and are in fact good associates. When people use their services they realise that life without them is tough and less lucrative, and as Brian Micallef says “especially if they are as good and dependable as RE/MAX.”

The usual feeling about estate agents—and not just about the rogues out there or the inefficient ones—is that doing without their services means you earn more money. To most people who start dabbling in property the mantra “no agents” sounds like a cash register in their brain.

That was Brian Micallef’s line of thought. Brian works for an established contractor, Devlands, is the son of one of its founders and also runs his own company in construction and property development.

After being gently asked by Carmen Valletta, one of the RE/MAX agents working out of RE/MAX Crown Towers office, to place his properties on their database, Brain gave in and got them listed—a bit reluctantly at first. Soon after the interest in his properties grew and he never looked back.

He now says that the choice of RE/MAX was providential. Sales happened, the way the estate agents operated was close to perfect and he underwent a complete conversion—his aversion to estate agents became a true belief in RE/MAX and all they say.

“The money which seems lost in agency fees is way compensated,” Brian tells me “by the service, the promptness, the advice and the actual sale time. With RE/MAX things move and they know the market inside out. They do not, as I would have done if I did it alone, waste time chasing people who are not the right buyers for my properties. And with their knowledge and sales technique they actually achieve a proper and better deal. So the idea that you make more money without agents is totally mistaken.”

Brian was all praise for RE/MAX but he also said that he now believes that all agents who work professionally render a great service to the developers, the sellers and also the buyers. Less time wasted, more certainty of sale to the right person—what more can one ask for?

Brian is a quiet man but one who is resolute and ambitious. However, his ambition does not make him arrogant and he is very down-to-earth. In fact he phoned me to move our appointment by 15 minutes as he was stuck in traffic while picking up his daughter from school and was very apologetic about the delay, which in reality was no more than 10 minutes.Estate agents - an Uncertain Certainty - Honey Valley Mosta

There are quite a few pointers connected to that phone call. He’s obviously a usually punctual person which in his work as contractor, developer and project manager is a great plus. And as I found out when I checked about him he delivers—on time every time.

The phone call also proved how polite he is. And he takes time off—properly planned—from his busy schedule to meet one of his daughters from school to take her home. And as we talk about family life he goes on to tell me that he does spend a lot of quality time with his children and his wife. Life is hardly just money, apartments and sales—life is about enjoying it.

“The thing that gives me most satisfaction in building,” Brian tells me “is when I start something from scratch and develop it completely. Seeing the land being cleared, the foundations laid, the walls and floors erected. And then being able to compare the empty space that preceded your work with the end result is exhilarating.”

“And what,” I ask Brian “is your main ambition?” I imagined he would mention something extravagant, a tower on the lines of Babel—but all he asks is that his life “is quite comfortable and to leave a few apartments for my two girls,” he tells me most matter-of-factly.

Brian developed a range of apartments in Mosta and most have already been sold on plan by RE/MAX. Brian is full of praise for the whole philosophy of RE/MAX and for their people. In fact he has recommended them to a number of friends and clients—and all have been as satisfied as him.

Life without death and taxes could be interesting. But, without RE/MAX or agents as good as them, selling and buying property would be a major headache.

By Victor Calleja