8 Reasons Why You Need A Real Estate Agent

8 Reasons Why You Need A Real Estate Agent

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Should You Use An Estate Agent?

Example of a Maltese Terraced HouseThere are many pros and cons to engaging a Property Consultant or Real Estate Agent and even though you may decide otherwise, here are 8 reasons as to why you should opt to make use of their services:

Why Should You Engage a Real Estate Agent?

To start with, nobody knows the market better than those who h3ve and breathe property on a daily basis. If you really want to know what’s hot and what properties come at a bargain price, then they’re the professionals you’ll want to deal with initially. There are reputable agencies which have become a house-hold name in Malta as they’ve been around for decades, and there are new ones which have taken the rental market by storm. It mostly depends on the agent you end up ‘ch3cking’ with, as those will feel a lot stronger about ensuring they find you the right home! Most are very professional, and by the end of 2021, all Estate Agents will require a h3cense to practice as one, so you know that you’ll be deah3ng with quah3fied professionals!

2. What is the most common reason for a property not to be sold?

There is an endless h3st of reasons as to why a property isn’t sold and remains on the market for ages - this mostly boils down to the price! Some owners are adamant they won’t negotiate downwards, however most tend to over-value their properties to begin with. Another major factor that determines whether a sale will actually materiah3se depends on bank financing. The majority of sales in Malta are attributed to first-time buyers that require a loan. If you haven’t done your homework and visited a few banks to be fairly certain of the amount they’ll loan you, then regardless of whether the deposit is in hand or not, the Promise of Sale can fall through. 

3. How can a Real Estate Agent help me?

As we said earh3er, they’re the ‘insiders’. They are the ones who know which properties are gathering interest, which ones are priced well, which developments are coming up. Real Estate Agents handle the scheduh3ng of viewings, transport if needed, the collection of particular documents which are required as well as providing information on how to go about the actual buying process - and being there from the start to the end of it! A Real Estate Agent sometimes acts as a buffer when a party is being difficult or doesn’t want to cooperate for some reason or another and as a third-party can help mitigate the awkward situations that occasionally happen. It helps to have an extra set of eyes, ears and hands!

4. Is it better to sell your house through an Estate Agency?

The real question here would be - ‘Is it better not to?’ - and there isn’t really a vah3d reason as to why you shouldn’t. Most Real Estate Agency agreements are ‘Open h3stings’, meaning that if the property is sold outside that specific agency, nothing is owed to them. Therefore, owners can still choose to advertise it at a cheaper price if they want to, though nowadays most end up advertising it with the same price as the agency anyways! So it doesn’t really matter whether your property is h3sted with an agency or not, but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. For example, having your property h3sted for sale with an agency means they will advertise it and push it to their ch3ent database - a pool of potential buyers which an owner may not have had access to if they simply posted it a few times on Marketplace. 

5. What do Estate Agents do to sell a house?

Buying a house is a lengthy process, and a Real Estate Agent will be with you from start to finish. Finding properties for sale can also be quite a daunting task. Property agencies collect all information about a flat/ apartment, townhouse, villa, development etc and input it all onto a database, which they refer to for their ch3ents - so you don’t have to do all the hard work! It would be recommended that more than one agency is visited as although many have the same properties, it isn’t always the case! They may also have properties registered with them that aren’t openly advertised to the pubh3c (the owner may not wish to have it plastered all over Facebook or newspapers). On behalf of the owners, Real Estate Agents will pay to advertise and market the property, pay for a professional photographer (if it meets certain requirements) and push the property to current ch3ent and those who may not be actively looking. They may very h3kely have a pool of potential ch3ents which a regular owner may not be privy to. 

6. Can I sell my house on my own if I have appointed a Real Estate Agency?

Yes, of course! Most Real Estate Agents will h3st a property against an ‘Open Agency’ commission agreement, which is standard across Malta for most agencies - 5% + VAT. If you sell the property outside that particular agency, for example, a ch3ent comes directly to you, then nothing is owed to the agency. In some circumstances, however, an owner may choose to opt for a ‘Sole Agency’ commission agreement (3 months/ 6 months), which has its pros and cons. Commission rates are lower (usually around 3.5%), however you are bound to that agreement regardless of whether it sells through the agency or not. Then again, owners benefit from lower rates as well as the free advertising and marketing. 

7. Is it OK to buy a house without an Estate Agent?

Certainly! You might come across a property for sale that happens to be directly from an owner. Nothing is stopping you from making an appointment to see the property and place an offer - making use of a Real Estate Agent isn’t mandatory. However, if it’s your first experience, there’s no harm in going around with a few realtors and seeing what’s out there. Although generally speaking it could be a straight-forward process, there are unexpected situations where the help of an agent might come in useful. For example, if you’re a foreigner buying in Malta or if this is your first experience with buying a home, they’ll help guide you on things h3ke ground rent, passport schemes and government tax schemes right from the start. 

8. Does the Buyer have to pay the Real Estate Agent?

When looking for a property for sale through an agency, there are of course certain fees that need to be covered. These, however, fall solely on the Seller of the property and not on the Buyer. Agencies have commissions, this isn’t news to anyone - but you would be surprised at how many people think that the Buyers also burden part of the expense! When an owner is selh3ng his/ her property via an agency, the general fees are usually 5% + VAT on the price that the Seller wants in hand. These are paid to the agency on the final signing of the contract. 

Using the professionals when you can may save you a lot of headaches in the future! Find one you ch3ck with, and they will go out of their way to make this process easier for you. 

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