Many property transactions never materialize because either the owner or the buyer are not properly informed or prepared to go through with the transaction.
The result is that even minor issues hinder the transaction.
I have decided to give some tips to both sides to help them stop wasting valuable time and enhance transactions.
Tips to owners/sellers:
- As soon as the decision to sell is taken, the seller must know exactly how much money will have to be paid in the form of capital gains tax, immovable property tax and other fees, before committing to a sale.
- If the property in question does not possess a title deed, the seller must inform the prospective buyer at which stage of the licensing procedure the property is, that is to say, if it has been built in accordance with the building permit and if the certificate of final approval has been obtained.
- The owner must seek the advice of a property surveyor or a real estate agent to set the correct asking sales price. It is important that the initial asking price is 3-9% above the market price to give the seller some room for negotiation.
- Viewing times must be wisely chosen to avoid excess traffic or parking issues that may cause a problem. The external and interior areas of the property must be in good condition. A thorough cleaning and some painting can go a long way.
Tips for buyers:
- Buying a flat or a house could be the single biggest value transaction you make in your lifetime, thus ensure the property you choose fulfills, if not all, at least most of your key requirements.
- As such a decision involves parting with a substantial sum of money, keep your options open and research the market before you reach a decision.
- When determining the loan you’ll be seeking take into account taxes and fees to be paid to the state, before the purchase can materialize.
- Minimize your risks by finding out, at which stage the title deed procedure is, before you commit to a down-payment.
Tips for Landlords:
- Renting your property involves signing a contract with someone you know very little, so make sure you get references for the tenant because once he settles in your property it may be difficult to react.
- Make sure the tenancy agreement clauses are fair and beneficial to both parties; else you will face issues down the line.
- Setting the rental value at the right level is very important, as it should reflect the market conditions at the time of the signing of the agreement. If the rent is too low or too high problems will surface sooner than you may imagine.
- The owner is solely responsible to deliver the property to be rented to the tenant in a functional condition. It is good practice to inspect the property together with the tenant at the start of the contract to avoid misunderstandings.
Tips for tenants:
- Renting is an important decision and moving to a new place is always a bit of a hassle. Make sure the property you are about to rent fulfills your requirements before signing the tenancy agreement.
- Make sure that the rent will not adversely affect your standard of living. In other words, make a family budget before you commit to renting a property probably beyond your means. Usually the tenant cannot terminate the tenancy before its expiry i.e. you may be liable for the full rental period.
- Signing a tenancy contract is a serious commitment, so make sure you fully understand and agree with all the clauses of the tenancy agreement, before you sign it. For example find out how much is the cost of the monthly common charges.
- Ascertain that the utilities are functioning properly before you sign the tenancy contract. Certain safety aspects such as the electric installation must also be observed.
By: George Mouskides
General Manager, FOX Smart Estate Agency
Chairman Cyprus Property Owners Association (ΚΣΙΑ)