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Property Owners

Selling your property 

Selling procedures are very straightforward.

Once you have found a buyer for your property and sale price, terms and conditions have been agreed upon, you sign a Promise of Sale (POS) Agreement with the buyer. It is mandatory for this agreement to be drawn up by a Notary, who is usually chosen by the purchaser(s). The Notary has a duty of care to both parties.

This agreement is legally binding on both parties until the signing of the final deed of sale. So gazumping, as can happen in the UK, does not happen in Malta.

On signing the Promise of Sale a 10% deposit, on account of the price, plus 20% of the total tax due on the sale (equivalent to 1% of the sale price), is normally lodged with the Notary by the buyers. This deposit will be forfeited in your favour should the buyer fail to sign the final deed for no valid reason at law.

The term of validity of the agreement is agreed between the parties, however, usually agreements are valid for three months. During this period, the Notary will register the Preliminary Agreement in terms of law, carry out searches into the title and apply for any permits if necessary.

There are no restrictions on owners to sell their property at any price. Mainly in the case of foreign nationals, the entire sale price, including sale proceeds of movables (e.g. furniture and furnishings), may be repatriated abroad, in which case, the Notary would need to apply for clearance from the local tax authorities, prior to signing the final deed of sale.

Why use move 2Gozo?

We have been selling property in Gozo for over 15 years

  • We have a proven high turnover of sales to listings compared to other agencies
  • We are best known for our high quality web presence. Our website is uncluttered and easy to use. Our photos are of a high quality, and our descriptions accurately reflect the best of your property’s characteristics.
  • Our website is one of the most up-to-date on the Malta and Gozo property market. We do not knowingly leave properties that have sold months, or even years ago, listed as STILL being for sale. We mark properties as sold as soon as we complete a sale or have been informed by the owners of a sale or POS.
  • We do not clutter our website with hundreds of empty shell properties. Whilst we may still sell these properties, listing them on line is not productive, and would give many potential buyers a negative viewing experience.
  • We personally view and appraise EVERY SINGLE property we put on our books.
  • We can afford to be SELECTIVE and list the BEST properties currently available on the market. This could be yours! You can register here.
  • We keep our online property inventory relatively small for a good reason – Unlike other agencies selling hundreds or even thousands of properties, we know every single one of our properties inside out. As a result you will also get much more marketing focus on your property as we know exactly what properties are on our books at any time, especially when curating shortlists for our buyer clients. They will also be found more easily on our site for the same reasons.
  • All our photography and marketing is carried out in-house which gives us a more detailed insight into the property we will be marketing. On average we list more photos than any other agency in Malta or Gozo, and have been doing so for over a decade. Our competitors often check out our website to see what we are up to.
  • We like to keep ahead of the curve in terms of our online presence and ensure our website is fully responsive and usable on mobile devices.
  • Our commission rates are typically lower than most of the largest agencies in Malta.
  • We keep you informed post viewing and provide you with any feedback we have from the viewing.
  • We are very hands-on with every aspect of a property sale, and typically go well beyond our remit, as often evidenced by our client feedback.

What we offer

Listing with move2Gozo will ensure we advertise your property in the best manner, including

  • Professionally designed property listing pages including detailed description, features, amenities, pricing etc.
  • Up to 30 high quality photos per property 
  • Automatic translation of website into a range of popular languages
  • Online marketing through a variety of means including portals, online adverts, social networks, direct mailshots,etc.
  • We discuss client buyer requirements in detail to understand our brief.
  • Where possible we give you maximum notice of a pending visit to allow you to present the property and so as not to impinge on your privacy. For planned client visits from abroad this is usually a week, but may be shorter if the brief or circumstances change.  We cannot guarantee sufficient advance notice should a potential buyer cold call us wishing to view in a limited time-frame. 
  • All visits are accompanied without exception and we make regular buyer follow ups. 
  • Client feedback reports are provided by email and/or phone.
  • Seller assistance and support from initial Offer through to Contract Completion.  

We help guide you all the way from valuing and marketing your property online, through to a successful completion including assistance with any forms, notaries, and termination and/or transfer of utilities to the new owners. 

What we don’t do

  • Bring along clients whose brief (to us) does not sufficiently match the property on offer.  Client briefings due however change, and/or may not be so specific.  If this is the case then we will inform you and discuss a potential viewing.
  • Turn up unannounced, unless it is only to view the exterior of the property prior to a planned viewing.
  • Take bad photos of your property or use badly taken photos from other sources.

Typically Open Agency marketing rates charged by the largest agencies in Malta and Gozo are 5% plus VAT, and typical Sole Agency rates are usually 3-3.5% plus VAT.

For private/individual  residences/immovable property we charge lower rates than the larger Malta agencies for marketing of your property.  

For developers and larger developer projects we charge the standard Malta Open Agency rate as the larger agencies.  

In all cases we do not charge any fees if a preliminary contract has not been signed,  or where a final contract does not proceed due to specific conditions in the contract not being met. 

In Malta property owner/sellers either contract exclusively with ONE agency for a set period of time, or they have an Open agency agreement (most common), meaning the Owner/Seller can contract separately with as many other agents as they wish. There are distinct disadvantages to this mode of working for the Sellers, which also indirectly impacts the Buyers. 

With Open Agency agreements, each agency is responsible for producing its own marketing materials, sending in photographers and/or agents to the property to photograph it, writing up descriptions, and preparing and uploading/printing them.  For Open agencies this means that the seller has to accommodate many sets of photographers, typically from 3-5 agencies, taking up their precious time and invading their privacy.  The results are inherently inconsistent, and different agents may end up displaying differing prices, differing descriptive information, and vary quality or standards of photographic representation of your property.  

Why are Estate Agency rates in Malta higher than in other countries?

We are asked this question often.  It depends on which country you are referring to. In the UK rates are lower. In the USA and France, for example, the rates are similar and often higher than in Malta.  In some European countries, Agencies charge both the Seller and also the Buyer a commission fee.  

In Malta it is the seller who contracts with the Agency and pays the resultant commission fees due following a successful completion.

In Malta, anyone (off the street) who introduces a buyer to a seller has a legal right to charge 1% of the final sale transaction value from each party (the buyer and the seller), i.e. 2%.  They do not need to do anything over and above the introduction to the relevant property for this commission entitlement, which can also leave both the seller and the purchaser exposed. These persons are referred to locally as “Sensar’s”, a role which existed prior to the advent of estate agencies in Malta. The vast majority (over 95%) in this category do not advertise or carry out any marketing or have other related expenses, as their relationship with clients is either through referral (e.g via friends or neighbours) or coincidental. In the vast majority of cases buyers are often unaware of any commission that may be due from them when shown properties by a Sensar.   

Estate Agents on the other hand spend significant time and effort preparing marketing materials, photography, back-office work and have associated marketing, travel and office expenses on top to cover, leading to them needing to charge higher rates that.  Unlike the situation with Sensars, agency rates are only charged to the Sellers on a successful sale.  Registered Estate Agencies typically offer a much more detailed and comprehensive service as well as helping with many other aspects of a sale or purchase as well as after-sales services.    

Estate agencies by comparison have alot of overheads, office space, local and International marketing, accounting services, commission sharing etc. Estate Agencies also fall under the directive of the Anti-money laundering agencies and need to keep considerable financial data and other details on file.  When taking all these factors into consideration, the fees are reasonable.  

With move2Gozo we provide extensive support and advice to sellers and buyers throughout the entire process (and often beyond) and adhere to high standards and conduct guidelines befitting our professional position and status.   

Industry Regulation

Finally Estate Agencies in Malta will be regulated. It has been a long time coming. move2Gozo has pushed for regulation of the industry for many years. 

As of June 2021 it will be illegal for an Estate Agency or individual Sales Consultants to practice without being licensed, together with mandatory training accredited by the The National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE). 

The Act has been designed to establish a regulatory framework requiring real estate agents, branch managers, property consultants and property brokers to be licensed. The law will now be set out for public consultation for a Bill to be debated in parliament.

New property agents will have to undergo a training course to receive a license only after a two-year probation period. All licenses are to be vetted by a new Real Estate Agents Authority.

Apart from administering the licensing regime, the new authority will set fees and levies, enforce the code of ethics, investigation allegations and irregular practices, and follow up complaints by consumers.

 

 

 

Additional Services

Photo Service 

We put a great deal of focus and effort on this area, as good photos sell a property. A clients first impression is a lasting one.   Display your property in an attractive manner from the start.  We can take additional photos of your property and optimise them for web viewing.  Photos taken for our standard listings are not charged for.   Should a client wish to have larger format images or separate advertising materials prepared then this will be priced accordingly. 

Virtual Tours 

We offer online virtual tours. This is a separately chargeable service.

Currency Transfers

We do not offer this service ourselves but have very good relationships with the local banks. We have also partnered up with International fully regulated Currency Brokers who can provide you with free advice as well as spot rates should you be in a position to make a transfer.  They will consistently offer you better rates than a bank. 

Property Preparation Tips

Stop trying to sell your property: make it buyable
 

Properly preparing your property for potential buyers can make the difference between a quick sale at a good price and a difficult sale with price reductions.

Be objective. Buyers go by what they see, so look at your property through a buyer’s eyes.  Understand its strengths and weaknesses.  A clean, orderly house inspires confidence and sells more easily. If needed, invite a few of your friends over, take them through your home and ask them to make comments on the condition of your property.

Understand, too, that many potential buyers take a look at your property from the outside, without even contacting you. It’s your home’s ”curb appeal” that attracts visitors first.

Here is a list of things to consider to ensure that your house makes a “buy me” impression.

Exterior

A well-maintained garden and/or courtyard

  • Clear the paths
  • Trim the shrubs and trees, if any.
  • Weed the flower beds.
  • Remove anything cluttering up the yard.
  • Clean the pool, garden furniture, BBQ, garbage bin, etc

The interior

  • Clean the house thoroughly, particularly the kitchen, the bathrooms, the windows and the blinds.
  • De-clutter living areas in particular, as clutter is both off-putting but also gives the negative impression the property is not big enough. 
  • Get rid of any useless items cluttering up storage space.  
  • Ideally remove personal items and also any items of value (for security)
  • Give the walls a fresh coat of paint (if painted). A coat of white matte makes rooms look larger and brighter, and eliminates smoke and pet odours.
  • Light the rooms to enhance their appearance.
  • Make sure that everything is in working order in the house (toilets, doorbell, heating, air conditioner, etc.).
  • Don’t forget: the smell of cigarettes can turn even other smokers off. 

Making sure the property and any amenities are in good shape doesn’t increase the value, but it does consolidate it. After all, a buyer expects a working water heater and a watertight roof.

Whether your property is being shown during the day when you may be out, or in the evening, you need to ensure the property’s available and presentable enough for viewing.  Restricting the agency’s ability to carry out a viewing will result in lost opportunities for a sale.

If you are travelling for work or on holiday then do inform the agency and ensure that we have practical access to the property, either by providing the agency with any keys, or via a trusted key holder. 

If you are away often, or have a hectic schedule, then give your estate agent a set of keys to show it when you’re not around.  We always phone ahead of visiting the property, even when we hold a set of keys, so we won’t turn up with prospective buyers while you’re in the shower, or worse.

If you provide us with a set of keys, they will be stored securely and never released to anyone unless authorised by you. And once again, a phone call in advance is courteous.

We always accompany buyers and attend all viewings.  It’s easier to sell a property once you’ve seen it.

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