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Selling Your First Property

Unveiling the Hidden Costs of Selling Your First Property


Have you ever bought your first home and been so swept up in the excitement that you didn’t quite pay attention to all the associated costs? It’s a common scenario. After all, the thrill of finally having a place to call your own often overshadows the financial details. But now, as you contemplate selling that first property and moving on to your next adventure, the reality of the expenses involved can be daunting. Let’s delve into the breakdown of these costs and ensure you’re well-prepared for the journey ahead.


  • First-Time Buyer Discounts: A Double-Edged Sword


As a first-time buyer, you likely benefited from various discounts and incentives, potentially saving a significant amount on your initial purchase. Many have taken advantage of discount packages offered by real estate agencies like Frank Salt Real Estate, combined with government schemes, resulting in substantial savings. However, while these discounts eased the burden during the purchase, they may not carry over to the selling process. It’s essential to understand the shift in financial responsibility now that you’re transitioning from buyer to seller.


  • The EPC Certificate: A Vital Requirement


One of the essential documents you’ll need as a seller is the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This certificate provides crucial information about your home’s energy efficiency and carbon emissions, often required by banks when buyers apply for loans. While you can enlist companies to handle this on your behalf, expect to incur costs of approximately €300 for obtaining the certificate.


  • Navigating Estate Agency Fees


When selling your property in Malta, estate agency fees typically amount to around 5% of the sales price, subject to negotiation. It’s important to remember that this fee is also subject to an 18% VAT, which can significantly impact your overall expenses. Negotiating with your chosen agency or exploring alternatives may help mitigate these costs.


  • Understanding Notary Fees and Tax Clearance


Notary fees, typically borne by the buyer, vary depending on the services required. Additionally, sellers, especially foreign nationals, may encounter tax clearance requirements. Ensuring your taxes are up to date is crucial for obtaining a tax clearance certificate, although exemptions may apply depending on your circumstances.


  • Navigating Final Withholding Tax


Final withholding tax implications can significantly impact your finances as a seller. While certain exemptions exist, it’s essential to consult with your notary to understand your obligations fully. Factors such as property ownership duration and location can influence the tax rate applied to the sale value.


  • Managing Expenses Related to Moving House


The cost of moving house can vary widely depending on your circumstances. Whether you opt for a DIY approach or enlist professional movers, it’s crucial to budget accordingly. Requesting quotes from multiple moving companies can help you make an informed decision and avoid any last-minute surprises.


  • Preparing for the Journey Ahead


As you embark on the journey of selling your first property, understanding the associated expenses is key to a smooth transition. By acknowledging and planning for these costs, you can navigate the process with confidence and ensure a successful outcome. Remember to consult with professionals, such as notaries and real estate agents, to gain a comprehensive understanding of your financial obligations and explore potential avenues for cost savings.

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