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Preparing your Home for Sale

16 April 2017

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Preparing your Home for Sale

Prepare yourselves psychologically since some owners when it actually comes to it, they have second thoughts for the sale.

We have reported in the past that whereas buying a property in Cyprus is not difficult due to the abundance of supply, selling your own property may be more difficult than buying, since you will have to compete against the well organised developers and agents. For this reason the selling time may take up to six months and even more (depending on how marketable your property is). Consequently, if resale of the property is in your mind when buying, bear in mind the general market needs and not your own.

The more marketable and of a wide financial appeal your property is, the lesser the time required to sell and the greater the possible gains.

  1. In selling your property you must try on-the-spot advertising first. Placing a “for sale” sign on your land/house/flat is the best form of advertising [some people, however, feel embarrassed to do this, whereas others do not want the hassle with people knocking on their door at all hours].

  2. The appointment of estate agents (avoid exclusivity) is recommended. The commission payable is normally 3% (Nicosia) and 5% in the seaside towns on the sale price, although there are agents, mainly in Paphos area, who charge 8% (note that when dealing with foreign agents, this may reach over 10%). For this reason agree on the agent’s commission beforehand. Do not accept the deal whereby the price is fixed by yourself and the agent gets the commission plus what he can obtain in excess of the fixed price (greedy agents may overprice your property and, consequently, render it unmarketable).

  3. We suggest that you appoint a qualified valuer (contact the Cyprus Association of Surveyors for a recommendation) who will ascertain the value of your property and its sales terms. You may find that you are undervaluing or overvaluing your property, with negative results on your sales prices and period of sale.

  4. Appoint several (2-3) selling agents but check who they are (your Bank Manager and the Association of Surveyors may recommend reputable ones).

  5. If the on-the-spot advertising/agents do not achieve a sale, try to advertise through the local press (or internet) yourselves.

  6. Bear in mind the payable taxation (if any), the exchange rate and the exportation of the sales amount etc prior to commitment.

  7. The sales/transfer of a property’s ownership is a straightforward and simple procedure. You simply present yourself at the Lands' Office counter, together with the purchaser and you sign a sales form. Provided that there are no registered impediments and there is a clear title, the deal is concluded within the hour. Bear in mind that prior to the transfer you must have paid all outstanding property taxes on your holding and obtained a certificate of tax release from the Inland Revenue.

  8. Bear in mind that when you sell your property you are liable to Capital Gains tax (although having in mind the various exceptions and tax relieves, this will be minimal if it is your main residence).

  9. Do not take for granted that you will pay only capital gains. If you do this often [i.e. buy and sell] you will find that you are liable for income tax [higher tax rate].

  10. If you are not the registered owner and you sell “your” property, you need the cooperation of the original owner to cancel/assign the sales agreement (see our past articles on resales/cancellation agreement) or you can opt for an assignment of the original sales contacts.

  11. In order for one to sell the property to a non E.U. member you need to have the Council of Ministers approval when transfer. Bear in mind that you may have to pay transfer fees and if the property is not registered on your name in case of a resale.

  12. Whatever you do when you buy/sell your property we suggest that you employ a reputable legal firm (preferably one who is not connected with a developer/or has his own property for sale). Agree on the fee beforehand.

  13. Be prepared to answer the buyers’ questions regarding the title, financiers release, town planning and building permit, certificate of final approval etc (these items refer to non title properties).

  14. Finally prepare yourselves psychologically since some owners when it actually comes to it, they have second thoughts for the sale. Our recent experience was with the seller insisting to leave in the house her cat (with a written agreement binding the buyer to look after the animal] is an example in hand.

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