How to go about selling your home and buying another one

The purest forms of real estate transactions are one-directional: the buying or selling of a property. More than often, this can be more complicated, for example where you may be looking at purchasing a new home on condition that the current one gets sold first.

This is mostly done where the profits of the sale of the current property you own, go towards the deposit or down payment on the second one.

In most cases this is an uncomplicated, but conditional process and many new homeowners have bought their dream homes and upgraded or scaled down this way without any problems. Some may even choose a safer route and hang on to the savings or profits they make from the sale of their home, while they rather opt to rent a property during the time they look for their next home.

In this writing we will be discussing the first option: selling and buying at the same time. This is sometimes referred to as a “chain” and strike fear into some sellers, causing them to include addendums upon accepting your conditional offer. These addendums usually take the form of a fixed period that you will have time to sell your home in in order to buy theirs, or even agreeing to the fact that in the meantime they can accept any other offers that may be presented to them or even penalties imposed. All of these conditions are considered fair practice and are put in place to safeguard the interests of the seller.

As a sign of goodwill, you may be willing to offer some form of a deposit to show them that you are serious about buying their home, even though the whole sale hinges on selling your current home first.

Be assured, selling your current home while buying a second one conditionally is done every day all over the world and almost always works out favourably. We at Frank Salt Real Estate have been assisting buyers and sellers through this process for more than 51 years and we have the experience of how to do this successfully. Please contact any of our offices or consultants if you want to know more and how to go about it.


1. How to Assess Whether You are Ready to Sell Your Home:

People sell their homes for many reasons while others live in theirs for a lifetime. These reasons may include factors such as families that grow or shrink, other needs that change, finances, speculation with property, geographic relocation of owners, career changes and many more. However, more importantly, ask yourself just some of these questions below before you make the serious decision of putting your house on the market:

  • Is it the right time for me, personally and financially, to sell?
  • What are the market conditions and what are homes selling for, in this area, similar to mine?
  • Do I have a clear idea of what type of home I want next?
  • Am I prepared to go through this stressful period?
  • Will I have enough money as a deposit for the next property?
  • Are there any issues with my current home I need to address before I sell it, do I declare it if there are and is this the reason I am selling it?
  • Am I prepared to spend some money to make it more appealing, if need be?
  • Am I selling because of urgency or emotional pressure and may my judgement just be a little bit cloudy?
  • Do I have enough money to cover all the costs involved in the selling and marketing process?
  • What do I have to leave behind when I sell my home?
  • Do I have a timeframe in place of what I want to achieve and when?
  • Should I first buy another property and then sell the current one I own, or the other way round?

This all depends on:

    • what you are comfortable with and
    • whether you have the financial means to afford to do this

Many sellers are not in a position to buy a second property as well and they usually need the proceeds from their current house’s sale to contribute towards or as a down payment towards/on the purchase of a new home.

If you find yourself in the favourable position that you can afford to buy a second property while living in the current one, this will give you a lot of peace of mind. It will mean less pressure exerted on the whole process and you will be able to take your time to make a sound decision about the next property you want to buy. Additionally it may also give you more bargaining and negotiating power to get the best deal, as you are under no real deadline to move.

As you already own a property and do not need to move or use the collateral towards the next property in a hurry, this is the ideal scenario – but not many prospective buyers find themselves in this situation.

 

Having a clear answer for any of these questions is very important: it could mean the difference between making and losing thousands of euros in the process. The best time to sell are when you know what you want, the market conditions of demand and supply are optimum, you have the money to fund the sales process and you are clear-headed and think about it unemotionally as a business decision that should ideally be in your best interest.

As we all know, real estate is one of the best investments over time and as a forced way of savings, has set many people onto a path of self-sufficiency and financial well-being. Make the wrong decisions at the wrong time and it could cost you dearly.

Now that you know that the time to sell your current home and look for a new one is perfect, let’s look at the next step.

An Overview in Brief: What is involved?

At first, it may seem like you are about to climb a very high mountain…but rest assured, having the right estate agent beside you all the way can make things a lot easier. They know the market conditions and probably even know your property! They may even already have buyers for you home and a property for sale that will be perfect as your new home. In this case, it could not be easier as all the negotiations are handled by professionals under one roof; you get the best representation in both selling and buying and it’s in the agent’s best interest to look after you all the way.

Frank Salt Real Estate’s professional teams can assist you from start to finish. Arrange a meeting with them and they will explain the whole concept of selling and buying at the same time to you in detail. Upon mutual agreement to start the whole process, they will seamlessly work with notaries, banks, attorneys, conveyancers, the deeds office and more to get your dreams fulfilled. They will take care of the marketing of your home, arrange open houses and show days, show interested buyers around and even find you your next dream property.

Below are some of the steps you will have to go through during this time. As we said before, it may look complicated and like a lot to do, but having a professional estate agency by your side will not only speed up the process, it will also ensure that you are taken care of and safeguarded during the entire series of events that make up the buying and selling of  properties simultaneously.

Should you be set on selling your home, here are some preparatory steps you can take and costs to bear in mind:

  • Get a personal financial analysis done by a professional to determine your current debt-to-income situation
    • Income can be a salary, investments or any other sources of money such as retirement funds, payments from trusts, dividends from shares, shares you own and more. Expenses are usually, for the vast majority, taxes owed, loan repayments on cars, houses, credit cards and any other accounts you may have. The most logic step is to have a credit check done of your personal finances by a certified professional or institution.
    • As part of this assessment, get your current property valued in conjunction with an architect and a real estate professional and determine whether you are looking at having made any money during the time that you have owned it. The latter can be of substantial financial help in the case you made a wise investment at the time.

 

  • Consider all the costs involved in the process, from start to finish. Some of the following may or may not be included, but in the majority of cases are:
    • Agent’s Commission due
    • A deposit of 10% of the total value of the property you consider buying
    • 1% of the stamp duty costs (with the remaining % to be paid on day of signing the final purchase agreement or contract)
    • The architect’s fee for inspecting the new property of your choice
    • The notary’s fees
    • Home Insurance
    • Contents Insurance (This is optional)
    • Life Insurance (this is mandatory in the case where you apply for a bond or loan on the remainder of the purchase price, should you not pay for the property in cash/the full amount)
    • Remodelling and upgrading costs (if not buying new)
    • Sundries (such as deposits for electricity and water accounts to be set up, WiFi etc)

 

  • Bank “pre-approval” and the benefits of being “pre-approved” in principle

    • It is a good idea to open discussions with you bank in the case where you require a home loan.
    • Make sure you get it in writing what they are prepared to loan to you as a buyer. Nothing is more disappointing than finding the home of your dreams and then just to find out that you cannot afford it or do not have the approval from the bank for the loan.
    • This will also set the agent and seller at ease to know that you already have done your homework and clarify the search process for finding you the right property.

 

NOTE: Getting pre-qualified is no guarantee you will get a loan to that amount or a loan at all, but it will be a very good start to the process.

2. Home Loans and how to go about getting one

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It is presumed that you already have a bank account and a bank of choice through whom you will apply for a home loan. Several home loan options are available with most banks, so choose the one that is right for you.

First, a Sanction Letter will be drawn up by the bank and be handed to both parties prior to any money being released for exchange. In this document, the terms of awarding the forthcoming or pending loan amount will be explained. Should your institution of choice require collateral to back up the loan amount, the latter will be noted and explained in this document as well. It will also cover the interest amount applicable, the duration of time for repayment of the amount, as well as sundry costs and any fees that will be charged for facilitating the loan.

Documents you need to apply for a Home Loan will likely be:

  • Your application itself
  • Bank statements from the bank covering 3, 6, 12 or even 24 months depending on their criteria
  • Recent pay slip and FS3
  • Architect’s/Manager’s estimate of the property value based upon an on-site inspection
  • A land registry copy of the site plan of the property
  • A personal proposal of what you require in regards of the loan
  • An outline of any expenses regarding the purchase of the property
  • A character reference if you are not an existing account holder
  • Photocopy of ID card
  • Copy of the preliminary agreement/promise of sale
  • Due diligence background documentation regarding the proposed buyer and seller

 

Another is for the party that is holding up the whole process, to apply for a bridging loan so they can purchase the property they have put an offer on.

3. Bridge Loans: all you need to know

  • If you have a home that is in the process of being sold, bridging loans can be used to buy another existing residential property and then the loan will be fully repaid when the first property is sold.
  • Banks will ask for security or guarantees for the full loan, plus you will have to take out life insurance to cover the amount as well. Besides this, you will also have to take out buildings’ insurance for the full replacement value of the building the loan is taken out against. Additional conditions regarding security for the loan may be required by the bank.
  • You, together with your bank will have to determine what repayment interest rate suits you best: a variable or fixed rate based on the number of instalments or repayments until the loan is paid off.
  • Most bridging loans have an interest-only repayment until the full amount is repaid when you sell the property against which the loan was granted.
  • The loan will come with several costs and fees and the best is to find out from your bank what they are. Fees are non-refundable and loans usually must be repaid within two years. You will have to submit the usual list plus possible additional documentation when applying for these types of loans and the best is to find out from your bank what they will require.
  • Please ensure you also find out about tax implications applied to credit such as this and you will also be expected to go through a Credit Assessment should you have any other repayment obligations, as this will influence the outcome and decision of the bank as to whether they are prepared to loan you the money and how much, if at all.
  • Our best advice is to speak to your bank’s loans division manager and discuss the whole process of applying and the responsibilities that comes with it.

 

Set fees and other possible fees:

The costs can quickly mount up, so try and keep the process uncomplicated and make as little changes as possible. You may be charged additionally for each amendment or change made during the process such as the processing of all paperwork, legal, searches and updates, anything done by the architect, progress reports, commitment, waivers, postponements, cancellations, anything by or from the land registry, conservation privilege, the closure, rescheduling, changes in the conditions of the sanction, anything on the advising of irregularities and even related third party fees.

At The Frank Salt Real Estate Group, we can assist and advise you regarding home loans. The whole process of representing buyers and sellers is our business; it is what we do best. This includes looking after you through the process of applying for a home loan too. As any of our agents and representatives on how we can be of service in this regard, as we have long-standing relationships with all the major banks.

Once you have completed the home loan application process and gained approval for the loan amount, your notary or bank may at this stage ask that you to hand over a deposit, to be kept in trust, as a sign of goodwill. Do not be hesitant to do this, as it shows everyone involved that you are serious and mean business. During this time, all parties will conduct comprehensive investigations into the ownership and legalities, all steps which are set out in detail later for you reference.

4. How to find the right estate agency to help you out:

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One of the most important decisions in the whole process of buying and selling is to find a very good estate agent with a stellar track-record. Why do we advocate working with an estate agent? The reasons are more than obvious:

  • a long history of success denotes a happy client base
  • you get added value based on the agent’s experience and knowledge of the real estate market
  • having a good name associated with your property lends more credibility to the whole transaction
  • you can count on expert assistance and advice from a consummate professional
  • professional care being taken with the entire transaction
  • you will get privileged access and introductions to properties no-one else have listed as they may be on a sole mandate with only your agent
  • you may get early access to brand-new new listed properties that may not even be advertised yet

A good estate agent will usually also have testimonials on record from real clients as to what experience they had.

Besides being involved in representing the buyers and sellers of property, our real estate professionals have long-standing relationships with:

    • notaries
    • banks
    • architects
    • the land registry

This can speed up the whole process, whether you are a buyer or seller, considerably.

Our branches also have access to a pool of pre-qualified buyers looking for property investments in your area, so you may be selling sooner than later!

Frank Salt Real Estate has more than 51 years of history in Malta and is the market leader when it comes to representing buyers and sellers. With branches all over the Malta and Gozo, you will access to properties in all budgets, locations and sizes, not to mention all types of property styles such as apartments, penthouses, houses of character, maisonettes, townhouses, Palazzos, developments and more.

5. Preparing and staging your current home for selling 

In the selling process, pictures play the biggest role. Buyers qualify a home visually, besides other factors such as location and price and they will make up their minds at a glance when looking at your home’s pictures. First impressions are the most important.

Smart looking homes sell faster and that is a fact. Therefore, staging your home prior to selling is very important, as you will be competing against other sellers in the same area and price range who have done their homework and prepared their home by staging it. If possible, you have to do whatever it takes to make your home stand out as “the one”. This will allow you to not only sell quicker, but also to get the full asking price and sometimes even more if buyers start competing for your home. It is known in the trade as “curb appeal”; that special set of factors that makes your home irresistible and the home everyone wants to buy. At Frank Salt Real Estate we employ the services of a professional photographer to get the most out of your home, but ultimately you, as the owner, have a key role in preparing your home for its sale. Spending a few hundred euros getting your home in tip-top shape can possibly add thousands of euros in order to achieving the best selling price. More than often, should more than one buyer fall in love with a good looking property, it could start a bidding war!  Below are just some of the benefits you get from Frank Salt Real Estate’s Sole Mandate Packages, which will assist you with the process of preparing your home for sale:

  • Guidance on the presentation of your property
  • Complimentary home staging service
  • A dedicated digital brochure
  • Virtual and video walkthroughs of the property
  • Photographs taken by a professional photographer
  • Point of sale signage

We are providing you with a list of helpful hints and tips on how to achieve the ultimate “show house”, one that is always ready for viewing and one that is ultimately the most photogenic and appealing to any buyer.

A Picture is worth a Thousand Words

Nearly all properties are online, represented by an agency and this is the first place where potential buyers start their search. Their first encounter with your home will be through pictures and it is imperative that these pictures are perfect.

Declutter and Depersonalise!

Part of a home’s appeal is the fact that it SHOULD look like people are living there, but there is a fine line between a tasteful lifestyle picture and one that is messy and full of clutter. People associate disorganised and messy with unsanitary and a measure of disrespect shown towards a property; they will ask the question as to why the current owners do not care about the property and are likely to move on to the next one that is for sale and better looking. Pack away piles of magazines, toys, electronic paraphernalia such as remotes and game consoles, hide unsightly cables and wires and put books and large numbers of ornaments out of sight or even better, start packing them in boxes and store it out of sight. Less is more.

Properties that exude a neutral feel have a better chance of selling, so remove personal family pictures, religious and political literature, posters and books of any kind. The more personal items that fill a room, the more viewers will focus on these items instead of the property itself.

Neural colours, décor pieces and items all blend harmoniously and ultimately enhance the size and mood of any room, something which buyers are very aware of when looking for potential in their would-be new home.

Clean, clean, clean

Before taking pictures of your home or showing it to potential buyers, make sure it is spotless. Buff any shiny surfaces, clean any finger-marks around light switches, door handles and wall plugs, see that mirrors are shiny, descale chrome or metal taps and faucets, bleach porcelain items such as basins and toilets, degrease ovens, microwaves and deodorise washing machines, dryers etc. Do not forget to dust the grills on air-inlets for air conditioners and pack away portable fans. Make sure your fridge is spotless, inside and out.

Lights and Lighting

One of the most important elements in setting the tone for your home is the lighting. Lighting is effective and cheap and can instantly convert any room into a buyer’s dream. Natural sunlight bursting into a room denotes warmth, freshness and appeals to almost anyone, whereas darker and subdued areas can be cleverly converted into cosy, intimidate settings with the right table lamp or ambience lighting, instead of it being perceived as dark, gloomy and damp and to be avoided.

When showing a home, open the windows, draw the curtains back and switch on the lights where needed.

Ultimate Curb Appeal: The Exterior of Your Property is Key

Curb appeal is applicable to the outside of your property, what the buyer first sees when they arrive for an on-site inspection or in a picture of the outside when looking on-line. It will be the most important promise as to what a buyer can expect and sets the tone for the rest of the property.

Replace or fix broken post-boxes, cut back foliage, repaint walls and fill in any cracks, remove dirt, oil and debris from driveways or walkways, and make sure the windows are shiny and clean. Plant flowers in flowerbeds and mow lawns, see that pools are sparkling and most of all ensure that anyone’s visit turns out to be a wonderful, positive experience.

Should you be taking any pictures of your property, avoid the wrong time of day when shadows can hide detail or make the property look gloomy, avoid cars in driveways, dogs or people in any of the pictures and remove children’s swing sets, hoses, pool equipment, portable barbecues and other exterior clutter before taking a picture.

6. Handling negotiations of the sales and purchase

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Our best advice is to leave it up to the professionals. The worst thing to do is to treat these negotiations as a personal battle and getting involved emotionally. Unless you have substantial past experience, buying or selling a home is daunting to any newcomer and can potentially be riddled with complexities and legalities if you get it wrong.

Our agents have all the skills and years of experience to make sure it works out as a win-win situation for both buyers and sellers. Appointing an estate agent to do the negotiations on your behalf, buying or selling, is thus a wise decision.

Besides the benefits of appointing an agent, as mentioned previously, removing yourself to the fringes of the process will allow you much needed time in order to do other things such as keeping your current property up-to-date and prepared for viewings, organising your inevitable move and seeing that all the admin relating to the home that you are selling, is up to date.

Your appointed agent will be in constant contact to show you new properties, bring prospective buyers around for viewings and present any offers made on your property to you. Agents will also assist in dealing with any requirements regarding submitting and reviewing applications and other admin associated with the current or new property. They will deal with buyers and sellers on your behalf and make sure you get the best market related price for your property so you can close the deal and move on sooner than later.

Finding another property at the same time

You may have already seen a property you like and can afford to purchase it while you are living in the current property for the time being. This option is the most likely to be stress-free and have no or little time constraints and you can wait for all the negotiations and paperwork to be concluded before you move in to the new property and then sell the other one.

The second option is the most likely scenario: looking for a new home while you are still in the process of selling the current one. In this case, the conclusion of the sale of the new property to you will also hinge on the condition that your current home is sold first in order to facilitate the second sale. This can be sped up by appointing a trusted real estate company to handle both transactions on your behalf. They will be aware of the conditions and smooth the transition over, as they know your current situation, requirements and have all your information under one roof. It is also beneficial to have one agent acting on your behalf with both the sale and acquisition, as they will be your ambassador during and for all the negotiations.

Many property purchases are handled this way without any complications, in fact, it forms the staple of most property sales to the ordinary public and one of the best ways to get it done smoothly is make use of a trusted, experienced real estate agent.

7. The Conditional Sale or “the chain”

Selling your current property at the same time as buying a new one.

This is a very common way of buying a new property for existing property owners. You have outgrown your current property and want a bigger space, need a home closer to work or just have different needs to those that you started out with on the property ladder. As stated, in most cases this can be a smooth transition to which all parties consent and are happy with. Some sellers dread to be part of this, as they cannot bank on a “guaranteed” sale of their property and thus cannot move on themselves. This then becomes “the chain” where the dependence on one sale influences everything that comes after it. Complications higher up in “the chain” can affect several buy/sell scenarios down the line. Most of the time everything works out fine for everyone involved, but expect sellers to put certain safety stops in place such as:

  • Sellers continuing to market their home as “For Sale” even though they have “sold” to you;
  • Sellers opting to accept other offers that are not dependent on any conditions that may come along after having “sold” to you (this is considered fair);
  • Sellers Accepting offers that may be higher than yours – which you may have to match or come up with the money for sooner, should you be absolutely set on making the specific property your new home;
  • Sellers will almost always have a time constraint built in: a specific period of days or weeks in which you have to come up with the money.

There may be other more elaborate or complicated conditions, but discuss this with your agent and see how they can deliberate with the seller to your best advantage so that you get the home of your dreams in the end.

Just remember, the longer “the chain”, the more complicated it becomes – so ask your agent if there are any other parties involved in the whole process.

Solutions to breaking “the chain”:

  • “The chain” can become frustrating when one of the parties stall the process for all involved and should be avoided.
  • One solution to break “the chain” is that one of the parties may need to move into temporary accommodation so the others can complete the sales process/es and move in to their new property/ies, should they have no complications from their end.
  • Another is for the party that is holding up the whole process, to apply for a bridging loan so they can purchase the property they have put an offer on, but this is an expensive exercise and banks are reluctant to granting bridging loans or financing.

Keep in mind that the sale of one home and the purchase of another are 2 separate legal transactions! Be careful with a conditional sale, as penalties may be incurred on late completion of the sale or failure to complete the sale at all. Once again, discuss this with your agent.

As we said before, the best, hassle-free and safest way is to sell you current property first and then look at buying another. Having cash in the bank will also give you considerable clout when it comes to the negotiations when purchasing a new home.

8. The Conveyance Process 

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Owning a home in Malta, or anywhere else for that matter, is the best way to save and become financially independent. In the event of a sale, two things happen: first there is the Promise of Sale and then the Conveyance of the property.

Conveyance is done in order to assure that the property acquired is registered in your name as the new owner, without any problems or complications. This is a due diligence process during which many legal facts and statements have to be investigated which involves the Public Registry among others.

For instance, where property is sold to a non-resident, permits are needed: the AIP (Acquisition of Immovable Property) Permit. Any person, EU or Non-EU that have resided in Malta for less than 5 years, need an AIP Permit to buy a property.

The acquisition or selling of immovable property also has tax implications such as Capital Gains Tax, Property Transfer Tax, Stamp Duties and more. It is thus understandable that the investigating of what applies to whom involved in the buying and selling process and making sure it is all carried out to the letter of the law, takes a considerable amount of time.

Just remember, it is in your best interest that all these legalities are 100% approved by the relevant authorities and that rightful ownership must never stand a chance to be contested or cause any problems at a later stage. No-one wants a surprise when you are already stressed out by the buying or selling process or both of a property/ies.

The conveyance process is a specialised field and handled by our highly experienced conveyance staff at Frank Salt Real Estate. They deal with all the relevant parties and institutions on your behalf, in conjunction with your agent and will make it as stress and hassle-free as possible.

Set a Date for the Whole Process

This is an absolute must. Having an open-ended, unclear time for when you foresee selling and buying is not a good idea. Setting a time limit on which date you want to complete the whole process will spur all parties on to get things done. It may even be a good idea to include a clause of possible cancellation of the sale should the deadline be unreasonably exceeded. Extending and extending a deadline date can also incur more costs. If you decide on a set date, inform all the relevant parties such as your lawyer, notary and agent. Make sure it is a realistic expectation, with reasonable time allowances for all of the various processes. Before making a decision regarding a deadline date, discuss this with your agent first.

What Happens Upon the Conclusion of a Sale?

Whether your current home gets sold or you bought another home, upon conclusion of the sale, the parties involved will have to sign the final Deed of Transfer/Final Contract, whereby someone will become a new homeowner!

Arriving at this point, some costs could be:

  • Settling fees owed to the notary
  • Paying stamp duty
  • Paying a deposit

Make sure to ask your agent and notary to oversee and ensure everything is done by the book and that you are aware of all the facts before your final signature.

Once this has been done, the contract will be registered with the Public Registry. Now will be the time where you take possession of the keys and the property and make it your home.

9. The Final Contract

Before you sign the Final Contract, make Sure the Property Complies with Current Laws.

Due to the age of many properties, but also in the case of new ones, many fail to comply in accordance with approved planning laws, regulations and policies. The Government introduced a scheme of sanctioning properties for this very purpose so that owners can sell without any issues, complications or worries.

The Sanctioning Process Explained to Regularise an Illegal Structure:

  • You need to appoint an architect to submit an online application including certain documentation such as the site plan, drawings of elevations and sections and photographs
  • Your application is then published in the Government Gazette and on the Department of Information’s website. The public’s option to submit statements regarding your application have 30 days to respond.
  • The case officer files a report regarding your application with a recommendation
  • The Planning Commission consisting of 3 members make a decision regarding your application in public
  • Their decision is then published in the Government Gazette and the Department of Information’s website
  • As the applicant or objector you will have the right to appeal at this stage, should you not agree with the outcome

Fees involved:

  • An administrative fee of €50 for every application, paid by the applicant.
    • This is calculated on the total/combined roofed area of each floor of the particular property being regularised.

A 25% surcharge on the fee applies in the case of extension of the scheme.

In the case of a refusal, an applicant will be refunded 90% of the calculated fee.

More information can be found on Planning Authority website.

The Need of an Energy Performance Certificate

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An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is a requirement of the EU Directive, namely the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and Maltese Law, specifically the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations (EPBR) of 2012 (LN376/2012).

Property owners must ensure that when buildings are constructed, sold or rented out, an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is shown to the prospective new buyer or tenant and handed over to the buyer or new tenant on the date of entering the contract of promise of sale or rent agreement.

An EPC assesses the geometry, construction and finishing material of the building such as double/triple glazing, ventilation, insulation and shading elements. It also takes into account lighting, hot water systems, air-conditioning and renewable energy systems like, for example, PV panels.

What services need to be activated/de-activated when selling or buying?

Many people that are busy buying and selling are so busy with the process, they forget the simple things like having services terminated or activated in the old or new property! This can be very frustrating, for example on the day you move into your new home, you find out you have no electricity, WiFi or water!

In the case where you forget to have it de-activated in your sold home, you may end up paying for costs incurred by the new owners as these accounts will still be in your name! It may sound very basic and simple to point out that you do not forget to pay attention to these matters, but failing to do so can be costly and downright inconvenient.

10. Downloadable Moving Checklist

Planning properly and way in advance will make the process of moving into your new home a smooth and stress-free one. Spreading the planning over time will also help you to make clear-headed decisions, revise some of the tasks and to-do items and you are less likely to forget something. The last thing you want on the day of the big move is end up in a panic situation.

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Emergency planning for last minute complications

In the event of something going wrong the very last minute, make sure you have a contingency plan in place. It’s been known that unforeseen events like natural disasters, illness or even an accident can derail the best made plans at the last minute. Always make sure you have enough cash on-hand, are properly assisted and insured and most importantly, take it step by step! Rushing around on the day of the move will make you overlook important details; you will forget things and the momentous event will leave a bad memory.

Note down the contact numbers of temporary accommodation or arrange this to be available with friends, just in case you need it. Make sure your vehicle(s) have enough fuel and that pets are taken care of properly and have a spare set of keys of the new property with other members of the family. The best advice is to plan well ahead and revise this planning if needed…things always change over time.

Buying and selling property is a fact of life

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You may do this several times during your lifespan and it is both exciting and invigorating. It is also the best way of forced savings on the planet! There is no better satisfaction than seeing your investment appreciate over time and how this contributes to your financial freedom, personal growth and well-being.

Whether you are selling first and then buying another property or buying and selling at the same time, the process will come with the associated stress, joy, laughter and sometimes tears. Ultimately our best advice is the same as throughout this writing: get the assistance of a professional estate agent working for a reputable company to iron out many of the complexities and you will never look back. Good, experienced agents with an impeccable track record are worth their weight in gold.

Should you want to discuss looking at houses for sale in Malta or Gozo, want to know about the buying and selling process, how to go about getting a home loan, want to know about the whole process of conveyance or even just require someone to come and do your home interiors after you have moved, call your nearest Frank Salt Real Estate branch. As Malta’s oldest and biggest market leader in real estate, we have been assisting buyers and sellers successfully for more than half a century.