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Selling your property actually appears less overwhelming if you break it down into a series of easy-to-follow steps, which is precisely what we've done for you!
Whether it’s getting the right agent or signing the Letter of Offer, we’ve got you covered. So, if you're at a loss, keep calm and carry on reading!
1) Research The Market And Set A Price
To sell your property, you first need to decide how much it's worth. To get an accurate idea of the value of your property, you can engage a property agent, or appoint a professional valuer.
Getting a property valuation is also useful as it can help you increase your chances of getting your house sold.
A valuation is usually carried out by a firm recognised by the bank you’re taking a loan from. It takes into account the recently transacted prices from the government’s Valuations and Property Services Department (JPPH).
Bear in mind that most home loans from banks go up to a maximum of 90% of the amount based on the valuation, not the agreed price between seller and buyer!
So if you decide to price your property above the market value, the buyer will need to make up the difference in amount with their own hard-earned cash.
An example of this would be the following: Your property’s valuation is RM100,000, so the loan amount would be RM90,000.
The buyer will therefore need to cough up the RM10,000 difference with his/her own money.
If you didn’t get a valuation done and decided to set an ambitious price of RM160,000, the bank’s loan will still cover only up to RM90,000.
This means your buyer needs to find RM70,000 in cold hard cash to cover the difference! Even if a buyer can afford that, chances are they’ll look at better deals.
After you complete a valuation, you can also perform your own research and factor that into the selling price.
Look up properties in the vicinity and how much they're valued at. And if any have sold recently, how much they were sold for.
Take note of the total number of properties sold, as well as how long it took for them to get sold. This can give you an indication of how in-demand your area is.
Finally, when setting the price tag, always be mentally prepared that a prospective buyer will try to negotiate a better deal for themselves.
2) Get The Right Property Agent
A good property agent is a valuable asset when you’re trying to get your property sold for as quickly and profitably as possible.
They’ve been trained to be familiar with the entire property selling process, including helping you find the right buyers and negotiating on prices.
First off, anyone who says they’re an agent – whether it’s for estates, houses, land, or property consultancy – needs to be registered with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents (BOVAEA).
Secondly, you may have heard the terms “real estate agent” (REA) and “real estate negotiator” (REN), but aren’t sure if there’s any difference between them.
RENs are certified by the BOVAEA, employed full-time by an authorised real estate firm, and can’t work independently or for multiple firms.
REAs are fully certified and registered under BOVAEA, and can open their own real estate agency with up to 30 RENs working under them.
For a REA to be fully certified, they must undergo a more comprehensive procedure, as well as have at least two years of working experience under the guidance of another REA.
A good way to start the search for an agent is to get recommendations from your friends and family. This is one of the most valuable and honest ways to get feedback about a particular agent.
Don’t be afraid to ask the agent as many questions as you like when you meet him/her, such as which properties they’ve sold recently, and whether you can contact their past clients for references.
And if you want to sell your house without an agent? While it’s not uncommon to do so, selling your home without the help of an agent might require even more hard work on your part (the owner).
According to Sam Leng, a REN with Kith & Kin Realty, without an agent, the owner/seller would need to do all the hard work of self-promoting the property by themselves, like hanging banners or posting on online platforms. By engaging an agent, all this can be avoided.
“When you engage an agent, the agent is supposed to represent you (the owner) to take care of your interests, such as negotiating the terms and settling disputes. When you see owner and tenant disputes online, most of the time, it can be solved easily with a good property agent. In other terms, think of property agents as a solution provider.
The owner/seller wants to rent or sell a house, and we step in as solution providers. We share on how to market the unit properly, assess the unit’s condition, help filter prospective tenants’ profiles and ensure their credentials are legit, etc,” said Sam.
3) Get Legal Help
When you sell a property, there’ll be certain legal procedures you need to go through, especially related to the transfer of ownership.
It’s recommended that you get a lawyer at the beginning, since you’ll want professional help in drafting the necessary legal documents.
Having a lawyer by your side is also an added assurance in case anything with legal jargon crops up, or you're in need of urgent legal advice.
You’ll also need to consider the legal fees involved – these are standardised by the Solicitors’ Remuneration Order.
The fees are as follows:
For the first RM500,000
1.0% (subject to a minimum of RM500)
For the next RM500,000
For the next RM2,000,000
For the next RM2,000,000
For the next RM2,500,000
If the property sale price goes over RM7.5 million, you can negotiate the rate of the legal fee, but it won’t exceed 0.5%.
4) Make Your Property Presentable
When you make the decision to sell your property, you should be taking steps to make it look presentable and welcoming to prospective buyers.
First impressions are EVERYTHING – buyers coming down for viewings will only spend a short while looking over your house, and you’ll want to impress them in as little time as possible.
Consult with your property agent and get them to help you look over your home. An unbiased eye will help you see flaws that you may have otherwise missed, and property agents are experienced enough to know exactly what to look out for.
If your property is dirty and messy, it’s a huge put-off to many potential buyers. They will base their opinions on the current situation of your house, not how it will look when it’s done up by them in the future.
Declutter your home and give it a fresh coat of paint to liven up the space. If you have a garden or lawn, cut the grass and clear any litter. Repair anything that’s faulty, such as plumbing, creaky doors, or popped tiles.
5) Advertise And Show Off Your Property
You’ll need to let people know that your property is for sale, so advertise it. Take the time to take nice photos of your house for the property listing.
Open the windows to let in lots of daylight and use a good camera. Alternatively, you can hire a professional photographer to take pictures for you.
Once you’ve gotten some beautiful photos of your place, your agent can then begin the task of advertising it through both traditional and digital channels.
Alternatively, you can make use of your own social media to spread the word. You can ask your friends and family as well – word of mouth is more effective than you can imagine!
6) Prepare For The Viewings
When prospective buyers express interest in your property, they’ll want to come around for a viewing of the physical space.
Tidy up your home before the viewing, plus open the windows to let in as much natural light and fresh air as possible. Remember – first impressions matter a lot!
While the viewing is going on, let the buyer freely explore the house and try not to hover around them too much.
Although building good rapport with a potential buyer can increase the chances of a sale, you don’t want to come off as being too pushy.
7) Negotiating With The Buyer
You’ve found a potential buyer who is expressing genuine interest in purchasing your property – congratulations! It’s now time for the both of you to negotiate on the price.
Negotiations are dependent on several factors, such as your asking price, how the market's condition is, and how urgent the sale is.
Always set a margin for negotiation. For example, if you intend to sell your property for RM600,000, you might want to set the price at RM630,000.
Your agent will be able to give you invaluable advice on how to conduct these negotiations effectively. He or she can also assist both you and your buyer in reaching a mutual agreement.
8) The Letter Of Offer
Once an agreement on the sale price has been reached, both you and your buyer will need to sign a Letter of Offer.
An estate agent will ask the buyer to pay an earnest deposit when the letter is drafted. This deposit is usually 2~3% of the offered amount.
A Letter of Offer should contain the following information:
- The legal names of the buyer and seller
- The legal address of the property
- The price that has been agreed upon
- The deposit amount
- Any items such as furnishings and fittings that are included in the sale
- The date before which the SPA must be signed
Once the offer has been accepted, your lawyer will then be able to begin legal preparations for the sale.
When the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) is executed by the buyer, they will pay the first 10% of the purchase price (the down payment).
You’ll receive the documentation and they will need to be stamped. You need to complete this within 14 days of the signing of the Letter of Offer.
Standard terms for any SPA states that the remaining 90% will be paid to you within three months from the date that the SPA is signed and stamped.
This time period can vary though, based on factors such as the agreement, the type of property, and who you dealt with.
10) The Actual Sale!
Once all payments have been made and all documentation completed, the property will be considered successfully sold, and ownership transferred to the buyer.
Note that you might have to pay RPGT (Real Property Gains Tax). The rates for RPGT are as follows:
As you’ve just seen, the entire process of selling your house in Malaysia can be broken down into just 10 simple steps!
Now that you know what it takes, here’s one last tip from us: Make sure to avoid the following mistakes when selling your home!
1. Getting emotional
You might not be able to disassociate yourself from your home enough to let it go, which might affect the selling process and its selling price.
2. Not hiring an agent
Selling a house is hard work and in some cases, a certain level of knowledge and experience in handling prospective buyers. An agent will be able to help you with all of that so you won’t have to fret and worry.
3. Setting high prices
If your selling price is much higher than your neighbours’, it may ward off buyers instead. Instead, put a realistic price on your home with property valuation and compare it with other similar properties.
4. Selling while the market is highly saturated
You will be competing with other sellers, which makes the selling process an extremely competitive one.
5. Not providing photos of the property, or providing badly taken ones
Unflattering photos can make your home look less desirable to buyers. If no photos are provided, it can feel like a chore for the buyer to visit or personally request for some. Worse, they may even think the home is in bad condition and that’s why there are no photos.
6. Hiding or lying about major problems
Honesty is always the best policy. If there are any problems with the home, come clean with the buyer and agent so they’re well-prepared, or risk being branded an irresponsible seller.
7. Expecting buyers to accommodate to you
Whether it’s setting up viewings or negotiating prices, it’s important to learn to accommodate buyers. You do want to sell your home, after all, so focus on the goal and work towards it.