The Home Selling Process
If you are a homeowner thinking about selling your home, then there is a chance that you have gone through the buying process before. And, although you might be familiar with the laws and regulations involved in the transfer of property ownership, there are a few things that as a seller you need to do to maximise on your profit and sell your property fast.
Get yourself and your home ready
It’s only when you prepare yourself for the important steps you take in life that you’ll be able to reap the most benefits out of them. And selling your home is no exception. It is by no means a small feat and you need to prepare well for it: psychologically, first and foremost.
Make sure that you are ready to part with your property which might have been home to your family for years, or which you might have inherited and has a sentimental value to you. Whatever the reason to sell, you need to accept the fact that someday soon the place is going to see a new owner moving in. Before you start the selling process, ensure that you are fully committed to see it through, as pulling out of the deal can be costly for you.
Once you are set, get your home ready. Start by getting rid of unwanted stuff. Next make any necessary repairs to plumbing, electricity and the structure itself, like filling any cracks in the walls. After the works are done, give the walls a fresh coat of paint. Then declutter and deep clean your home, and that means the floor and the ceilings and everywhere in between. Consider changing any curtains that look tired or old fashioned. You could also remove over personalised items that make it harder for other buyers to imagine it as a place of their own. By giving your home a makeover you make it look its best and increase its appeal to prospective buyers.
A small tip if you are trying to sell a vacant place. If you have moved out of the property and have emptied most of it out, it’s better to remove everything rather than leaving in any odd pieces of furniture like broken chairs or an invaluable cupboard. It makes the place look decrepit, reducing its appeal.
Get your home valued
Once you feel that your home is market ready don’t rush into listing it; you need to think about how much you want to fetch for it. You can do this in steps.
First of all, research market trends. Do this by checking out the asking price of similar homes in your area – go on www.zanzihomes.com/property-in-malta and you will find a wealth of properties in Malta by location, which will give you an indication of the market in your area.
At around the same time, get a professional to appraise your property. At Zanzi Homes, our real estate agents know the market well and can value your property, based on the type, size and features of your home.
Finally think about how much you want for it. If you wish to sell fast, our agents can indicate a listing price which is competitive: one that hovers somewhere between the fine line of a price set to sell and a price slightly above market value in order to reap a profit. It’s not difficult to achieve this and get a return on investment; this last decade has been known to be the most profitable period for property sales in Malta.
Get your home listed and noticed
Consider listing your property with us. This is because it comes with added benefits that you can’t enjoy if you seek to sell your property on your own. The most obvious, but important nonetheless, is that you can have your property added to our searchable database. People seeking to buy a home in your area, will come across your property for sale too. By listing it with us, you are increasing your chances of your home to be noticed. And an inside tip – try to sell around spring. It is known to be the best period for selling your home.
Another way of drawing attention to your property is by having professional photos taken – they are the first impression of your property. Remember that when people decide to look for a new home, the first thing they do is go on real estate websites to browse pictures of properties. Professional photos will do your home justice by bringing out its best features. Consequently, they will make it stand out and entice potential buyers to view it in person.
Get ready to receive home viewers
When interested buyers come to view your place, make sure that is clean and clutter free. Also, light a candle in the living area and ensure that the home is smelling fresh by washing the floor with some floral or citrus detergent. These tips have been known to leave a lasting impression on the buyer by making your place look more homely and attractive.
And while on the subject of home viewers, it can be tiring to have the home ‘guests ready’ all the time. Another benefit of engaging a Zanzi Homes real estate agent is that they can help with the process by setting up appointments for you and showing the home to serious buyers only. This means that you don’t have to waste time looking for buyers yourself or be faced with calls at inconvenient times of the week.
Get one step closer to selling
When there is a serious buyer, you will start negotiating price and time frames – the time when you are ready to move out, or when the buyer will be able to purchase the property.
When it comes to the final price, all the property owners – spouses, partners, siblings – have to be in agreement on what is an acceptable minimum offer. How much are you willing to negotiate? This needs to be discussed in advance and be clear to all parties selling. Don’t be afraid to negotiate but be realistic.
Once both the sellers and the buyers agree on a price, then they can sign the first of two contracts: the promise of sale, widely known in Malta as ‘konvenju’. This is a contract, the details of which are negotiated by both seller and buyer, that binds all parties to an agreed period of time while the necessary documents are obtained and arrangements are made. All registered owners and prospective owners need to be present for the signing. When the term expires and all conditions are met, there is the signing of the second and final contract.
The konvenju is drafted by a notary, customarily chosen by the buyers, who will act in the interests of both parties. It is important that any conditions put forward by either party need to be included in this konvenju.
One of the most important conditions is the term for which the konvenju is valid. This varies anywhere between three months and eighteen months or more, depending on the paperwork and permits that need to be completed in the meantime.
Another condition that needs to be satisfied in order for the sale to go ahead is that the research carried out by the notary about the title to the property brings up nothing irregular. This means, most importantly, that there are no anomalies in the ownership of the property. Other conditions that may be included concern the granting of Planning Authority permits and bank loans.
There are other conditions that could be included depending on the individual case. However, as a seller, make sure that your property conforms to all Planning Authority regulations. In the case where it is not, it is important to get regularised, otherwise the konvenju could fall through.
Upon the signing of the konvenju the buyer hands over a deposit of 10% of the total value of the property. Usually this is kept by the notary. The buyer also pays one fifth of the stamp duty (which amounts to one fifth of 5% of the total property value, in other words, 1% of the total)
The sellers are also bound by law to present an Energy Performance Certificate of the property. This is obtained from an authorised assessor (registered with the Building Regulations Office) who inspects the building and issues a certificate rating its energy efficiency and suggests any improvements that can be made to better it.
Get the contract signed
If all conditions are met and satisfied, then the parties can sign the final deed. The rest of the total payment is passed on to the sellers, and the keys to the property are handed over to the new owners. Taxes are also paid by both parties. The buyer pays the stamp duty, and the seller pays the withholding tax, which is 8% of the total selling price (or 10% if the property was bought before 1st January 2004)
Get thinking about making that move
Selling your property may seem like quite a task. On the one hand it can feel overwhelming but it can also be rewarding to see your property well-valued and -appreciated. We hope that we have made the process a little clearer. Why don’t you speak to one of our agents at Zanzi Homes to have any other questions answered and get a valuation of your home?