If you’re a seller and selling your house to others, you should read this.
When you want to sell a house, you will typically engage a property agent, or maybe you will sell your own.
And the reason for selling your house usually means you need the money fast for whatsoever reason.
Hence, you want to sell the property at a higher price and lower cost as you want to maximize your profit margin.
Make sense? Yeah, that’s about every Seller mentality.
But do you know, there are a few expenses in selling your house?
The COST involved in selling the property are as follows:
a. Lawyer Fees
You need to hire a lawyer to complete the legal documentation. That will depend on whether you are using your own lawyer or using the Purchaser lawyer. I talk more about the subject below.
b. Real Property Gain Tax
If you’re selling the property with profit, there might be a Real Property Gain Tax. The best part you can get an exemption for the Real Property Gain Tax for one time or take advantage of the newly announcedRPGT exemption until 31 December 2021.
c. Property agent referral fees
If you engage a property agent, you need to pay referral fees of 3%.
SELLING THE HOUSE ON YOUR OWN
As a seller, you will try to sell the property yourself first. Because, as I said earlier, you want to maximize your profit, right?
So, you will create a banner and put it out on the main gate, and hopefully, someone will call.
If that doesn’t work, you will try to do an advertisement online or through the newspaper.
At this point, a few real estate agents will reach out to you because they saw the advertisement that you created everywhere.
The real estate agent is asking for 3% Property Agent referral fees for helping you to sell.
At first, you might be reluctant because it means an additional 3% cost to you. But you have no choice, and your patience is wearing thin.
There is no potential buyer, and it’s been weeks.
So you surrender to the Property Agent and let the professional do their magic.
Well. Here the thing.
If your property located in a hotspot, there is no issue for you to sell without engaging a property agent. It’s easy-peasy. But, if not. You need them.
Why Should You Appoint Property Agents?
a. A property agent has a platform to sell your property. They use many online platforms like propertyguru.com, iproperty.com, and mudah.my. All these online platforms are popular, and it’s easy for them to get some leads here.
b. They have many contacts within the agency, existing clients, or the property agent community. They exchange leads or share leads.
c. They have more experience in closing the sale. They know what to say and what not to. Also, they know what the turn-off for the client is.
On a few occasions, the property agents manage to bring a few clients to view the house.
After a long search, at last, one willing to put down a deposit. Yayy!!
So, here the thing.
As a Seller, you need to appoint a lawyer to complete the legal documentation process in selling and buying.
At this point, the Seller has three choices for hiring a lawyer.
Choice 1: Appoint your own lawyer.
Hiring a property lawyer is essential, it might increase the cost of selling your house, but it could save you a whole lot of hassle and headaches in the long run.
Most Sellers would need some kind of legal advice to ensure that the home selling procedure goes smoothly.
Having a lawyer at your service assures you that your best interests are being represented every step of the way by a professional – from the beginning, middle, to the end of the property deal.
Hence, a lawyer has a legal responsibility to his/her client and will endeavor to protect you (as the client) at all costs against unforeseen legal circumstances.
A legal professional would advise you on your best legal recourse if things don’t go according to plan.
Do you know?
You can remove and add any clause or terms in the Sale and Purchase Agreement as long as agreeable between Seller and Purchaser.
MISTAKE 1: NOT APPOINTING OWN LAWYER
Recently, we have a viewer express dissatisfaction with his appointed lawyer.
This guy is a Seller and selling his house to his colleague (Purchaser). To save some money, he used the same lawyer as Purchaser. Yes, it’s cheaper when the Seller using Purchaser’s lawyer.
As the case has dragged for months, he was anxious about the balance purchase price. According to the Sale And Purchase Agreement (SPA), he should now receive his balance purchase price.
When he consulted the SPA lawyer, they mentioned there is a delay due to a certain issue.
After listening to the lawyer, he found out it was a delay from the Purchaser side. And he demands a late penalty on the Purchaser.
But, what he recovers later surprises him.
There was no late penalty clause in the Sale and Purchase Agreement. It means the Purchaser doesn’t need to pay him anything for the delay.
He argued and feeling frustrated with the whole thing, but nothing can be done. The lawyer said, once Sale And Purchase signed, everything is final. It was too late. They turn a deaf ear to his request.
He thought the Sale and Purchase Agreement is standard. Everything should be there. Therefore, he doesn’t take the time to read and understand it.
Most Sellers don’t read their Sale and Purchase Agreement. And this is the problem. Even the ones that do, they don’t understand it. It’s jargon for an average person to understand the whole process and content of the Sale and Purchase Agreement.
That is why You should hire someone to do that for you— Your own lawyer.
That is only one of the examples that might go wrong. But, the truth there are many loopholes that only an experienced lawyer can point out.
MISTAKES 2: PREFER LOW PRICE COMPARE TO VALUE
The only reason why a seller refuses to appoint a lawyer to represents them is because of the cost.
Remember earlier; we mentioned Seller trying to maximize their profit by reducing the cost? Yes, it’s going to cost more by appointing your own lawyer.
The price could be double in comparison to following the Purchaser’s lawyer.
But, a Seller should look at a bigger picture and the value he gets when appointing his lawyer.
Firstly, the chance he gets cheated by anyone, either the Purchaser or property agent, is reduced.
Secondly, any hanky panky transaction or unreasonable request will be easily detected and turn down by the lawyer.
Thirdly, the Seller doesn’t need to worry about understanding the clause or terms in the Sale and Purchase Agreement as the lawyer will do that.
However, the lawyer shouldn’t shoulder it 100% because it is also the Seller responsible for understanding the whole process.
Fourthly, if unforeseen circumstances are happening, the Seller can get one-on-one consultation from the lawyer.
Hence, you know the advice given is genuine, helping you instead of covering the situation for Purchaser.
The Seller likes to appoint the Purchaser’s lawyer, and the reason because the cost is cheaper.
Generally, when a Seller follows the Purchaser’s lawyer, the lawyer fees are around RM1800-RM2000.
And when he appoints his own, it can cost more than double as the lawyer fees will be by scale fees.
If the whole process goes through smoothly, then the Seller is in for a deal as the cost is cheaper.
However, if there is a problem in the future, Oh, boy! It’s going to be a mess!
MISTAKE 3: APPOINT PURCHASER’S LAWYER
The Purchaser’s lawyer can only represent one party- The Purchaser. This leaves the Seller without any representation.
But, we Seller pay the Purchaser’s lawyer RM1800-RM2000.
Isn’t we deserve the representation?
For your information, the cost is to cover the processing of the Seller’s legal documents without any presentation.
So, anything goes wrong.
The Seller might need to figure things out on his own.
Choice 3: Appoint Property Agent Lawyer
One of the many selling tricks of a property agent is telling a Purchaser and Seller to use the Property Agent’s Law Firm.
They like to convince the Seller and Purchaser by saying,
“The Sale and Property Agreement is standard. And it doesn’t matter which lawyer you use. You can use ours; it’s cheaper.”
Honestly, the terms “Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) is standard.” are not valid. The Sale and Purchase agreement is not standard. A Purchaser and Seller can amend any clause and terms in the SPA if they like it.
We would against appointing the same lawyer as Purchaser, even though it’s the Property Agent’s lawyer.
And if the Purchaser is appointing his lawyer and you feel to appoint the property agent’s lawyer. It’s best to do your due diligence.
MISTAKE 4: APPOINT PROPERTY AGENT’S LAWYER
I’m going to tell you a true story.
About ten years ago, I asked a property agent to sell my house. And she manages to get a Purchaser.
She arranged everything for the Purchaser and Me. That includes the Purchaser loan and lawyer.
For the Sale and Purchase Agreement, the Purchaser and I use the same lawyer, the property agent’s lawyer.
Like many Sellers, I want to sell the property and pay a lesser lawyer fee cost.
When I finally meet up with the lawyer to sign the Sale and Purchase Agreement, I was surprised to find a law firm office like this.
It’s was located somewhere in Jalan Ipoh, a small room or office lot. Very small. Maybe like a manager’s room. There is no other staff. The furniture is only a table, a chair for the lawyer, and two guest chairs. That’s it—the smallest law firm office I have ever seen in my whole life.
As a banker or mortgage consultant for almost 17 years now, I’ve met lots of lawyers and been to their offices, but this is a mini-office or a room.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not looking down on them. But, I worried.
Small is not a good thing in conveyancing business. It can mean the law firm does not have money to run the operation, hire staff, and he doesn’t have a reliable company to run.
Also, it can mean the law firm can close anytime, and if he does, what will happen to my case or my money?
Oh, I was worried.
For the whole six months of selling my properties, I was worried.
During the process, there are hiccups when completing the selling process, but I’m lucky because I’m in the industry and do have some experienced, and I have my other lawyer friends that can help me out.
But, if you’re an average person and facing something like this, I do hope you have someone to guide you through.
If you’re not, then you might need to find a way to deal with it.
And over the years, we do get many phone calls from clients having bad experiences using the lawyer introduced by property agents. So, don’t be another one that is failing to the trap.
After that lesson, I will never trust any property agent’s lawyer. And I’m appointing my own lawyer now. And I think you should too.
Okay, I have shared some essential tips on my article- 4 Mistakes When Selling Your Home, and if you are enjoying reading this article, don’t forget to SHARE and LIKE the article.
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