During our Property Weekend at ‘’The Mall of Cyprus’’ in November we had the chance to meet with many property owners.
FOX focused on property owners wishing to sell or rent and discussed with them the possibility to handle the promotion of their properties.
Among other things discussed were different ways of promotion, the selling price, taxes, the preparation of the property to be photographed or videotaped, the finding of the right clients, the closing procedure, documentation etc.
During our discussions we had the chance to gather Property Owners’ most frequent questions, which we list below with our recommendations.
The following questions are of interest to owners:
· Q: Is this right time to sell my property?
A: Selling a property is a serious decision. The seller must be ready to answer to the following questions. Am I satisfied with today’s market prices and where will prices be in 2-3 years? Will I buy another property when I sell mine? Am I pressed to sell because of personal needs? Answers to these questions shall play a vital role in your decision. We believe that today’s prices are at a normal level and the time is right. We do not expect prices to rise in the foreseeable future.
· Q: What must I do to prepare my property to secure an easier sale?
A: usually a thorough cleaning, a coat of paint, minor repairs will suffice. We avoid major renovations because usually they do not translate to a serious increase in price. However, sometimes a major repair may be essential if the property does not sell as is.
· Q: What is the capital gains tax I will be asked to pay when I sell?
A: The answer is not simple because different information has to be gathered (interest on loans for the purchase of the property, if this is the first sale the owner is making, if renovations have taken place, the real estate agent’s fee, etc.). It is important for the owner to know how much tax will apply before launching the sale procedure as this may affect his decision whether to sell altogether. Some owners may realise that after paying the taxes, fees, repairs etc., there is not enough money left for the bank and therefore the sale is not possible. The estate agent will be the one to help with the calculations once the information is available.
· Q: What is the right price for my property?
A: During the sale procedure an estate agent will be on site and will suggest the market price of your property and set the asking price to facilitate a sale. It is very important the property enters the market at the correct asking price. Sellers often suggest starting at a high asking price so they can reduce it if not attractive to buyers. This is a bad practice because serious buyers will be amongst the first to view the property and reject it because of the high asking price and usually will not come back even after the decrease of the price.
· Q: What is the selling procedure and which documents will I be asked to sign?
A: Among other things to be discussed during the first on-site visit by a FOX consultant will be the asking price, if minor renovations must be carried out and the relevant viewing form will be signed. This document establishes the rights and obligations of both FOX and the owner in this transaction. It clearly and explicitly states the fees to avoid any misunderstandings.
FOX’s real estate agent will place and promote the property on the company’s website employing the means of FOX’s network. Interested buyers will be contacting the agent and when it is determined there is serious interest from a potential buyer the price will be negotiated and if concluded it will lead to a sale agreement.
A preliminary/draft agreement is drawn up to reserve the property, followed by the signing of the final sales agreement and the title deed transfer. A FOX associate (under the guidance and control of FOX), will usually handle the procedure to be followed at the Land Registry Department as well as the obtaining of the various clearance certificates.
· Q: I have a nice flat to sell but it is on a badly-maintained building. What can I do?
A: You first need to make sure you participate in discussions about the building and try to get elected to the main Administrative Committee, if there is one. If not aim to elect one, in accordance with the relevant legislation. A lawfully elected Committee can decide about renovations and apportion the cost to each owner based on the area/size of each flat
· Q: I have disagreements with my building’s Main Administrative Committee (MAC). What shall I do?
A: Based on the relevant legislation a building’s main Administrative Committee has a lot of powers and it is usually better if an understanding is reached. Should you believe the MAC is acting outside the law you can pursue the issue with a lawyer you appoint but take into account that these procedures are usually lengthy.
· Q: I’m having problems with my tenants. Some are late payers, some object to a rent increase, someone has left leaving behind unpaid bills and damages. What can I do?
A: If you are a member of ΚΣΙΑ (Cyprus Property Owners Association) you can ask them for advice and they will refer you to their lawyers.
The cure is usually proportionate to the offence. The shortest route to a solution is usually to discuss, negotiate and reach an understanding
If this is out of reach there is always the alternative of a legal procedure which is usually quite lengthy and costly. Further to that a final court decision might be impossible to be enforced
We are sure there are a lot of other questions which do not appear in our article. Should you be troubled by other issues don’t hesitate to call us on the free phone line 800 800 82 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To safeguard and speed up the sale/rental of your property you should trust it to a professional real estate agent. Selling or renting a property is a serious decision and must not be taken lightly.
Written By : George Mouskides
General Director FOX Smart Estate Agency
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