Local property prices in Malta have been steadily going up by between 6% and 10% annually since the 1960’s. And during the last decade, some areas/localities even recorded an annual percentage rise of up to 20%. These rocketing prices and increased competition between the local developers have combined to make the sale or purchase of a property in Malta one of the most stressful transactions a consumer will ever make. And this is where the real estate agents start to play an important role.
A real estate agent is more of a “guide” than a “salesperson”. They act on your behalf as your agent, providing you with advice and guidance and doing a job – helping you buy or sell a property. There are also times when you need the most current information about what has sold or is for sale, and the only way to get that is with an agent. Remember that real estate agents in Malta or anywhere else are professionals who spend their days valuing properties, attracting prospects, arranging viewings and negotiating sales.
The trouble is that most people view real estate agents in Malta or for that matter anywhere else in the wrong light most probably because there is the element of commission involved. It is true that the seller and the buyer (indirectly) will be expected to pay a fee or commission if the property is sold. But in return, the real estate agent will offer helpful services, the value of which may easily exceed the commission price and which you may not be able to obtain otherwise.
Helping the Seller
The right asking price is perhaps the most essential ingredient in the selling strategy. It is always very tempting to ask a few friends and relatives for their opinion and finally determine the price. But if the asking price is too high, people will not even bother to view it and the result is that you won’t even reach the market place. Ask too little for your property in Malta or Gozo, and you are potentially giving away part of your assets! An experienced real estate agent can help you determine a reasonable asking price by giving you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and valuable information of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
Once your property in Malta is on the market, the real estate agent might have an inventory of qualified buyers who may be interested in viewing your property. If you are lucky enough, you might even sell property within the first few weeks!
A real estate agency will also take care of your marketing plan. In most cases they will advertise your property free of charge. And if the buyer puts an offer that does not meet your asking price (as it happens in most cases!), the estate agent will use his expertise and negotiating skills to find a compromise and close the deal. The agent should also assist in making sure the closing goes through as planned and the change of possession takes place as smoothly as possible.
Helping the Buyer
When you decide the time is right to invest in a property in Malta or Gozo, you’ll need to ask yourself how much you want to invest. The next logical step is to find the properties that fit your needs and requirements. But do you have the time, energy, sources of information, and market knowledge to find the right property for you? A real estate agent has many resources to assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each and every property that meets you requirements.
A real estate agent will also:
• Give you a wider choice by showing you a large selection of properties that meet your requirements
• Explain all the procedures and expenses involved in buying a property in Malta
• Negotiate the right price for you
• Suggest a reputable notary
• Keep you informed as new properties come onto the market
Remember… a skilled and knowledgeable real estate agent will save you time and money
How should I select an agent?
• Ask friends or relatives for recommendations.
• Check the business directory or drive around the neighborhood in which you want to buy, looking for real estate agents who specialize in that area.
• Look for an real estate agent with a good reputation. Ask people who have bought houses in the neighborhood and see if they can give you any suggestions
• Call well established real estate agencies
• The cheapest is not always the best. Find an agent that gives the service you need and want.
You may also want to seek the services of two or three different estate agents so that you can compare what each of them has to offer.
A final word
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today can easily exceed € 90, 000 for a good-sized apartment. If you had a € 90,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a certified accountant? And if you had a € 90,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of a lawyer? Therefore, considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish not to consider the professional assistance of a real estate agent when searching for a property in Malta!