The Property Price-Waiting Game

  • 07.December 2011
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In this day and age, many will agree that owning a property in Malta is the best investment.  It’s not always easy to take that giant leap to sell your first home and purchase another in order to improve on what you have.

The first thing highly likely to come to one’s mind is shooting up the price and increasing the property’s value in order to “save” having to take out another loan on top of an existing one.

It definitely doesn’t work that way. In fact, by doing so, you will find that you will be losing out big time in the long run. And I could safely state this from an experience I’ve lived myself.

Imagine this. You price your malta property at €100,000 but in actual fact your property is worth much less according to current market evaluations. You list your property with a string of malta real estate agents and every now and again you may get a knock at your door or a call to have your property viewed.

A year down the line… and the said property is still floating on the market with no sign of a potential buyer.  An agent calls and asks whether you would like to keep the property listed sincea year has passed and you have been reluctant to lower your price. You ask him to re-evaluate your property (something you should have done the first time round) and on doing so the real estate agent in Malta has to bear the brunt of having to shock you. You are faced with a straight question: do you want to sell your property fast or sell it at all for that matter? If so, the agent insists, the price must be drastically knocked down. Realistically, your property won’t sell for more than €70,000; that’s €30,000 less than you believed your property would sell for. It’s the tough truth. And this is the reason why, a year later, you still haven’t closed on a deal. You are in a dilemma. Well, if you are not so desperate one can decide to stay but if you are determined to improve, there’s no better way out.

Hold your horses. Don’t dismiss the agent who told you what you wanted to hear!

The longer you wait, the less chance of finding that elusive “right buyer” or the one who, perhaps, is far too silly to realise that a property is over-priced.

Face another truth. In this day and age, property buyers are much smarter. A few clicks of a mouse and they can compare your property with hundreds of others.

Despite all this, the truth is that in the end there’s a buyer for everything. But wouldn’t you rather spare yourself the mental agony of seeing your property sell a year or more later? I am not stating one should give away his/her property.  And this is where real estate agents should step into your world. After all, that is why they are here.

Sellers are facing reality. That’s why properties are not being sold so easily.

If you’re trying to sell today, don’t get carried into the price-waiting game. Don’t wait while your property gets stale.

If the agent could sell your property in Malta at the price you’re asking now, it would be in his/her interest to sell it at that higher price – so if the agent advises selling it at a lower and more realistic price, don’t hesitate.

By Duncan Barry

Duncan Barry has been working as a sub-editor/journalist at The Times of Malta for 21 years. During the last four years he has headed the Features Department coordinating the production team of the said newspaper while also editing and compiling content for lifestyle supplements. The author writes about various topics including human stories, real-life dramas, culture and entertainment, travel & adventure, among others.