SELLING PROCEDURE IN MALTA

Selling Procedure in Malta


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Selling Procedure in Malta 

All you need to know about selling your property in Malta

Selling Procedure in Malta

So, you’ve taken the plunge and decided to put your property on the market. The selling procedure in Malta is actually quite straight forward. All the seller needs to do, apart from listing their property with a real estate agent, is to ensure that they have obtained an Energy Performance Certificate and provide the notary with the requested information and documents.

The Energy Performance Certificate

As the owner, you are responsible for getting an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property before putting it on the market as prospective buyers have a right to ask for it. You will be asked to present it when signing a promise of sale and once the property is sold, you are obliged by law to hand over the EPC to the new owners. EPCs give an overview of a building’s energy use and its carbon dioxide emissions. They also give a list of recommendations for improvement. An EPC can be obtained from an authorised assessor and needs to be registered with the Building Regulation Office to be valid. For a list of registered assessors visit the dedicated page of the Maltese government.

The Promise of Sale

The real estate agent will negotiate the selling price on your behalf and once you verbally accept an offer, it is usually down to the buyer to choose a notary who in turn draws up the promise of sale, known as ‘Konvenju’ in Maltese. Ensure that all registered owners are present for the signing of the promise of sale and that you take with you your Identity Card or passport, the original deed of sale for the property as well as all associated plans and building permits. If your property fails to comply fully with planning laws, regulations and policies, the best way forward is to apply to the Planning Authority to sanction your property. Banks usually refuse to issue a home loan for properties burdened with irregularities. Thus, not sanctioning them might drastically reduce the number of potential buyers. 

It is customary that ten per cent of the selling price is paid as a deposit by the buyer when the promise of sale is signed. This is either handed directly to the seller or held by the notary until the final deed is signed.

The final deed

Once the promise of sale is signed, the buyer usually has a set amount of time, agreed by both parties, to gain approval for a home loan. Once all conditions in the promise of sale are met and the notary has concluded the research involved, the final deed of sale is signed, the balance of the purchase price is paid, the keys are handed over to the buyer and both parties pay the taxes due.

Property Transfer Tax 

In Malta, the tax associated with the sale of property involves a withholding tax of eight per cent on the value of the property transferred. However, exceptions apply, most notably the reduction of the tax to two per cent if the property being sold is the sole property owned by the seller, if it has also been his sole ordinary residence and if is sold within three years of acquisition. Property acquired before 1st January 2004 is taxed at ten per cent. 

The notary or a tax specialist can assist you in calculating the amount of tax due. 

FAQ

Does a seller pay Capital Gains Tax in Malta?

Rather than Capital Gains Tax, Malta imposes a withholding tax of eight per cent on the value of the property acquired after January 2004 and of ten per cent for property purchased before that date. 

Is an Energy Performance Certificate required by law?

Yes, an Energy Performance Certificate is a legal requirement in Malta whenever a building is constructed, sold or rented and failure to register it or provide it on request may lead to a fine.

Who chooses the notary for a property transaction?

It is customary for the buyer to choose the notary but the notary works on behalf of both parties. 


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