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29 June 2023

Agencies, please do not disturb: main mistakes when selling real estate in Cyprus independently

Not everyone wants to pay a real estate agent for their services, especially since the usual fee is quite significant. However, selling real estate in Cyprus independently might prove to be even less advantageous if one makes one or more mistakes. What are these mistakes and can they be avoided when selling property as the owner? Find out in our article.

Mistake #1: Poor understanding of the market

A real estate agent is someone who has been immersed in the real estate field for many years and knows well where, what, and for how much. They understand what an adequate price would be for a specific apartment/house in a particular location, have a rough idea of potential buyers, and are aware of whether prices are likely to rise or fall.

Even if an owner has been residing in an area for a long time, knows many neighbors, and monitors prices on various websites, they still cannot be as well-versed in the real estate selling situation. For instance, it's realistically difficult to independently determine the price. In the worst-case scenario, one could opt for a valuation service. However, analyzing the market and understanding the potential buyer's profile are much more complicated tasks.

One might wonder why an ordinary person who simply wants to sell their property should delve into such intricacies? At the very least, to avoid underselling—or conversely, setting too high a price. To expedite the deal. Lastly, to make the process smoother and more effortless.

Mistake #2: Document Issues

One of the main difficulties that prompt sellers to turn to real estate agents is the proper documentation process. At any time, in any country, there are bureaucratic nuances that are incomprehensible to the layperson and hence appear complex. A real estate agent, as a professional, aids in drafting a contract skillfully, compiling necessary paperwork, and offering advice for non-standard cases (mortgaged property, asset division, remodeling).

The complexity of selling an apartment or house in Cyprus is doubled for those who have not been on the island for long. Even if the owner speaks conversational Greek, this won't suffice to comprehend the complex turns of business language. It will also be problematic to navigate the nuances of Cypriot legislation regarding the sale of real estate, including by foreign nationals. In this scenario, a knowledgeable specialist will certainly be of assistance.

Assistance will also be required in cases where property is not being sold but is being inherited or gifted. In other words, in this context, a real estate agent serves as a guarantee that the transaction won't fall apart at the most inopportune moment due to the absence of a required document.

Mistake #3: Tax and Fee Issues

Property owners need to bear in mind that they cannot "freely" sell an apartment or house in Cyprus. They'll have to spend a certain sum of money, including fees for document processing, as well as capital gains tax (or more accurately, capital growth tax).

Interestingly, an experienced real estate agent can significantly help save on taxes. In this regard, Cypriot legislation is quite lenient and provides numerous allowances and exemptions. For instance, it's possible to be completely exempt from paying tax by proving the costs associated with operating a residential or commercial property.

Mistake #4: Language Barrier

Insufficient language skills can lead to misunderstandings out of the blue. It should be noted that the level of conversational proficiency sufficient for daily life may be inadequate when selling real estate. Documents will contain terminology and unfamiliar lexical structures that can sometimes be challenging even for a native speaker, let alone someone speaking the language as a non-native.

It's also worth noting that all official documents in Cyprus are presented in the Greek language. Therefore, if an owner is relying on English while on the island, in this specific case, they will need the assistance of a specialist.

Mistake #5: Inability to Present the Property Attractively

Not everyone possesses the skill of selling, and that's perfectly normal. However, in important cases, it's better to entrust the sale to a professional. It often happens that a good apartment takes a long time to find buyers for one simple reason: the seller cannot establish effective communication.

A real estate agent in this case is a real treasure. They can assist in the following ways:

  1. Negotiating with potential buyers—realtors are always accessible, skilled in communicating with strangers, and know how to engage them.
  2. Proper advertisement presentation—if necessary, the specialist helps create appealing, attractive photos and writes descriptions (even in multiple languages).
  3. Skillful property showcasing—a professional knows exactly how to start and finish, how to answer questions, and how to address objections.
  4. Creating an overall positive impression. This is a unique skill that, of course, not all realtors possess. But if you find such a specialist, rest assured, buyers will quickly come forward and agree to the deal.

It's also important to remember that realtors already have their client base. It's quite possible that they can find buyers in just a few days.

Mistake #6: Significant Time Expenditure

A specialist is always about delivering high-quality services and time savings. Of course, an owner can always independently figure out all the intricacies of selling real estate in Cyprus and sell their apartment or house. The question is, how much time will that take?

Each mistake made (for example, those listed in the article) can delay the transaction timeline by weeks, months, or even years. Within that time, the market can change, and complicating circumstances might arise. Moreover, in general, no one wants to engage in the sales process for an extended period and be literally "living out of a suitcase."

This is why the payment for a realtor's services often becomes equivalent to the time spent. Sometimes it's even more advantageous! Therefore, property owners should think twice—are they ready to manage everything themselves when time is of the essence?

Mistake #7: Risk of Falling Victim to Fraudsters

It can't be said that there are many fraudsters in the real estate sector in Cyprus. However, they do exist, as do simply dishonest or incompetent realtors. One encounter with such an individual can cause much more damage than hiring a qualified specialist with good experience.

Interestingly, professional realtors quickly recognize not only scammers but also those buyers "not worth spending time on" and those who "bring too many problems." Therefore, they serve as a protective "filter" of sorts, helping to weed out unnecessary and unreliable people.

Sell your property quickly and profitably!
Interested in property on the island? Visit the number one real estate agency in Cyprus, DOM! The agency's website showcases the largest property database in the country—with over 30,000 residential and commercial properties across the entire island. Choose and contact professional brokers who will help you make the right choice!

Also read:

  1. 10 Skyscrapers that will Adorn Limassol in the Coming Years
  2. School Near Home: Options for Buying Property Near the Most Popular Educational Institutions
  3. Best Cyprus Entertainment for Outdoor Enthusiasts
  4. How to Sell Property in Cyprus When the Owner is a Minor
  5. Medical Tourism in Cyprus
Source: DOM
Photos: DOM, Flickr
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