Being a responsible seller pays

  • 31.July 2013
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Happy couple holding for sale and sold signs

It always pays to be a responsible seller, especially in a Malta real estate market where the Seller is depended on so much.  This much I realised recently when I was talking to a friend about a property we had purchased some years ago, and whose previous owner remains one of our most reliable contacts. This friend commented how often-times, a property seller may well become your most resourceful and valuable assistant in getting you settled quicker in your new home. 

I had not considered this part of the scenario much but on re-thinking about it, I realised that it is so very true. Why? Well, I remember the purchase of a particular house – we had viewed it with a family still living inside it. Once the deal was settled and the purchase made, the family moved out. Once it was empty, we moved in to re-create it around our necessities. Looking at a house in its bare state can be stunningly shocking especially after the previous owners’ possessions have been lugged out.

Indeed, in this case, we made a number of disappointing discoveries – the previous owners had apparently whitewashed walls in a slapdash manner prior to our viewing, painting around furniture without taking the furniture away from walls. We stared at these unsightly patches on all walls with distaste. That was not all. They also removed a TV aerial we were not planning to have to replace, they took with them all the clothes lines from the roof, left broken furniture we were not planning to have to remove
What does a buyer expect of a seller? Well for one thing, honesty. If you are selling your property in Malta it pays to be honest about things which need fixing around a house that is to be sold. Remember that a disgruntled buyer who discovers a hidden agenda about a property will more likely sue a seller rather than settling for unwelcome and uncalculated costs. Most hidden agendas translate into hundreds if not thousands of Euro in restructuring costs and most times these were never considered part of the equation within which the purchase was made.ourselves…..These were minor things in a long list, but nothing could compare to the eventual discovery made some years down the line, when we found a deviously hidden mishap which had obviously not been divulged to us prior to the sale. Had a ghost come with the house, we would have not felt so deceived and let down. Needless to say, the previous owners never made it to our ‘nice people’ list.

It is so much better for a seller to explain things like what the neighbourhood has to offer, where one can find a reliable and cost-effective maintenance provider in the area, how often the ivy in the garden requires pruning and how to keep the fishes in the pond happy and healthy. Simple things translate into so much avoidance of frustration, wasted time and wasted money.

If the buyer of your real estate in Malta is also purchasing the appliances, take the trouble of leaving behind each appliance’s handbook if you still have it, plus guarantee papers and other related purchase history information. These may come in handy if an appliance eventually needs maintenance or the replacement of some gadget or two. Tell the buyer about the quirks and particularities of your property – explain how the last step on the staircase is a tat higher than the rest; how the garage door needs that extra push to close securely; how the spare batch of keys is missing a key to the garden gate; how the light in the living room will not work if the one in the bathroom is switched on. Share the electrical layout plans – you won’t need them once you’ve left and they may be so precious once the new owners decide to re-wire a room. Don’t be afraid to bargain with possible buyers but do it nicely – compromise, give and take, and between your good will and your agent’s assistance, you are more than likely to find a safe middle way to have both parties happy. And the happier the buyer is, the more likely are you to add him/her/them to your ‘nice people’ list!

This article was written by Marika Azzopardi, a freelance writer and journalist. A frequent contributor to national English language papers and magazines, she writes about a bevy of topics including art, people and life in general. She is also the author of children’s books and short stories, delving into adult fiction from time to time.