Selling a property

The process of selling a property can be very tedious and time-consuming. At Falzon Legal, whether you are selling a residential property or commercial property, our team of experts would be there to guide you through the process.

The Contract

Before you sell your property, the first thing that should be done is preparing the ‘‘contract of sale’’. This should be done before your property is placed on the market for prospective buyers.

What should be in the contract?

The contract of sale is a vital document when selling your property and should contain the following documents:

  • Zoning Certificate (s.149 certificate usually issued by the Local Council);
  • Drainage diagram;
  • Certificate of title;
  • A record of documents creating easements, rights of way or restrictive covenants; and
  • Swimming pool Certificate of Compliance (if the property has a swimming pool).

A failure to attach these important documents in the contract of sale could enable the purchaser rescind the contract of sale within 14days of exchange. This would not happen where settlement has occurred.

Appointing an Agent

In selling your property, it is important to appoint an agent that would handle the marketing and advertising of your property. This is crucial in the sale process because the percentage of commission fees and expenses each agent charges differs and at this point, it is important to involve your solicitor. Typically, this would be provided by the agent (a guide of fees, commissions, expenses). At Falzon Legal, we would assist you in recommending an appropriate real estate agent for your property.

Exchange and Cooling Off

When the parties have agreed to the terms of the contract of sale, there would be an exchange of contracts from both of them. At this point, the property would no longer be available on the market because the seller is by law, contracted to sell the property.

The exchange of the contract is often done at the office of the real estate agent. The purchaser has a ‘‘cooling off period’’, usually five (5) business days, which can be extended by an agreement between the parties. This time enables the party to withdraw from the contract via a written ‘‘notice of rescission.’’

On the expiration of the cooling off period and the purchaser does not rescind the contract, a full deposit (normally 10% of the purchase price) has to be paid. After this, the buyer cannot withdraw from the deal.

Settlement

This is the last stage of the sale and this process takes approximately six weeks after both parties have exchanged the contract of sale. Once this has happened, the payment for the property being sold would be finalised with your bank and other things that would be taken into consideration such as bills and tax. After all these have been concluded, there would be a transfer of ownership.