How to Sell Your Property in Dubai!
So you have decided to sell your property in Dubai but are unsure where to start with this? Well, in our latest blog, we have laid out some simple guidelines on all of the steps involved as well some useful advice and tips to help you along the way…
Choosing The Right Real Estate Agent
This is often the first step most sellers face when initiating the sale of their property and perhaps one of the most crucial in the whole process. By choosing the right agent, who will present your property in the right way, it will certainly make it easier to get good early offers on the property and hopefully find a buyer as quickly as possible and of course at the best possible return to you financially.
The first thing to make sure is that you choose an agent who is registered with RERA. Ask for a copy of their RERA card if you are unsure! You will also want to choose an agent/agency who is professional in their dealings, experienced with sales in Dubai and who understands the market, particularly in the area in which you are selling. A good agent will be able to advise you on the achievable or realistic selling prices based on some comparative market analysis in that area and at that particular time. They will also be able to guide you through all of the processes from start to finish and update you regularly when carrying out viewings and receiving offers.
Please note that the words “achievable” and “realistic” are singled out for a reason. There is no point advertising your property for sale at an unrealistic price as you will be last in line, especially if there are similar units on the market for lower prices. By doing so, you will end up losing money in the long run if the property remains unsold for weeks or even months.
Unfortunately in the current climate and given the competitive nature of the property market in Dubai, many brokers simply try to obtain listings by perhaps telling sellers what they want to hear rather than what is actually achievable in terms of pricing. In such cases, you may later find that same broker trying to knock you down on your pricing. In our view, it is much better to be realistic with your pricing from the outset so that you stand the best possible chance of selling your property as quickly as possible. Any good sales agent would rather spend time trying to sell your property than trying to obtain listings of multiple properties at unachievable prices!
At Your POA, we work with a number of recommended agents/agencies in the Dubai real estate market so we would be happy to recommend someone to you if required. We want to work with the best as this ultimately reflects on us as well. If you need any help with this, please get in touch.
Marketing Your Property
This really links in with both the sections above and below. When choosing your agent, you will also want to ensure that they have the marketing funds and resources to advertise your property on as many relevant platforms as possible. Most real estate agencies use 3-4 (or more) online portals such as PropertyFinder, Dubizzle, JustRentals which have all proven to be very useful tools. Professional photographs, videos, 3D images, well-written descriptions are all important here as well. It is also worthwhile advertising in national newspapers (such as Gulf News), social media sites, website banners and even advertising boards (particularly for villas).
Making Your Property Appealing To Buyers
In my previous experience working within a real estate company, I have unfortunately witnessed property viewings being carried out on untidy, unclean or damaged apartments. This is often the first thing a potential buyer will notice when viewing the property and it may be enough to put them off from making an offer if they cannot see past this. My advice, make sure the property is clean, neat and tidy. Remove any clutter and open any curtains/windows to make the property feel as big and bright as possible. These smalls things may go a long way to improving your chances of selling.
What Happens When A Buyer Is Found?
The MOU Stage
Congratulations, you have found a buyer and accepted an offer on your property! So what is next? Now, the actual legal selling process will begin. This first step is the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which is a contract of sale between the buyer and seller containing all the terms and conditions for the sale; including names, property details, selling price, selling costs, transfer date etc. Make sure all details are correct and that you are happy with everything before signing as this is a binding legal contract once signed by both parties.
The real estate agent will prepare the MOU for you. The Dubai Land Department has now introduced a standardised sales agreement called a “Form F”, which is now to be used across the board for any sales in Dubai. It is a little basic in terms of content so most agencies will prepare their own MOU as well or include some extra terms in an addendum. You can discuss the terms if need be. At Your POA, we can also prepare and/or review any sales contracts or MOUs. We are legally qualified and experienced in this capacity so can guide you on what should and shouldn’t be in there.
At this stage, the buyer will also put down a 10% deposit cheque to take the property off the market and show his/her commitment in purchasing the property. Normally the agency will hold this cheque to be returned on the day of transfer in exchange for a manager’s cheque for the full sale price.
The NOC Stage
In order to complete a property sale in Dubai, the Dubai Land Department require a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the developer of the building. This is basically a letter that states that there is no liability or debt remaining in the seller’s name and that the developer has no objection to the seller selling the property to the buyer.
Both parties (seller & buyer) must be present at the NOC stage at the developer’s office or represented by a legally appointed Power of Attorney. At Your POA, we specialise in this work and can represent either party (or indeed both) to take care of the NOC stage and any other steps for the sale. All documents must be presented on this day as well (passports, Title Deed, MOU etc) and the seller will need to clear his/her service charges up to a set period in order to receive the NOC. Any amounts paid in advance are paid back by the buyer on a pro-rata basis on the day of transfer.
NOC fees vary from developer to developer but are usually between AED 500-AED 1500 for a re-sale. As examples, Damac NOCs are AED 500, Nakheel NOCs are AED 1000 and Emaar NOCs are AED 1500. In most cases, the NOC is issued within 5-7 working days however an express fee can be paid to obtain this earlier if this proves necessary.
It is worth noting that some developers also require a security deposit to be paid (normally by the buyer) which will be returned post-transfer once they receive a copy of the new Title Deed on the property.
The Final Transfer At The Dubai Land Department
Once the NOC is received and both parties (or their POAs) are available, it is time to proceed to final transfer at the Dubai Land Department. This is where you carry out the official transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. Dubai property sales previously took place at the Dubai Land Department itself in Deira however they have now been outsourced to various Registration Trustee offices throughout Dubai. No appointment is necessary but a mandatory AED 4000 fee is payable.
The buyer will need to prepare certain manager’s cheques in advance of the final transfer – for the sale funds to the seller and 4% (+AED 580) transfer fees to the Dubai Land Department. The sale funds to the seller can only be paid by manager’s cheque in the seller’s name as per the Title Deed. The Dubai Land Dept are very strict with this as it is a means to protect the seller and ensure that he/she receives their funds following the sale of their property.
Again, both parties (or their respective POAs) must be present at the final transfer to sign the paperwork for the transfer of title. There are certain documents required at this stage:
*Original passports (buyer/seller/POA)
*Original attested/translated POA (if applicable)
*Original Title Deed
*Original MOU/Form F
There are also certain payments to be made:
*Transfer fees to DLD = 4% of the sale price plus AED 580 Title Deed fee (*manager’s cheque)
*Registration Trustee fees = AED 4,000 (*cash)
*Agency commissions = 2% of sale price (*manager’s cheque or cash)
*Pro-rata service charges refund (buyer to seller) and/or pro-rata rent refund (seller to buyer)
*Mortgage registration fees (if applicable) = 0.25% of the mortgage amount plus AED 290 admin fee
Once all documents have been presented, both parties have signed and the transfer has been processed/approved by Dubai Land Department, the new Title Deed will be issued in the buyer’s name and the manager’s cheque for the sale funds will be released to the seller (or POA). At this point, the legal transfer of ownership is complete.
Once the sale is complete, the parties will need to change over the utility accounts for water/electricity (DEWA) and air con (Palm Utilities, Empower or Emicool). The buyer will need to register as the new owner (and pay the relevant deposits) so that the seller can then obtain their refund deposits back (minus any final bills). Again, having a Power of Attorney in Dubai is useful to carry out such formalities.
If the property is tenanted, the tenancy contract and any subsequent rental cheques may also need to be amended in favour of the new owner. The agent/broker can assist with all of this.
Anything Else To Note?
It is worth adding that the above process will vary slightly if there are any mortgages involved on either the seller/buyer side or indeed both sides.
If the buyer is taking a mortgage, his bank will also be involved in the sales process and there will be other steps involved – such as obtaining a valuation on the property. If the seller has an existing mortgage on the property, this will need to be paid off either by the buyer or buyer’s bank (depending on the circumstances) prior to the transfer – the seller will request a liability letter stating the amount outstanding and this will be cleared by the buyer/buyer’s bank, the title documents released and the balance paid to the seller on the day of transfer.
The whole sales process takes around 3-4 weeks for a cash sale/purchase but slightly longer for a mortgage sale/purchase (6-8 weeks). The involvement of the banks/mortgage providers does make the process a little trickier but your representative at the bank and your agent/broker should be able to guide you through this.
At Your POA, we have a great deal of experience in all areas of property sales in Dubai and we can certainly represent you as POA to take care of everything with the buyer, agent/broker, developer, banks/mortgage providers, Dubai Land Department and utility companies.
Other areas that we can assist with our property sales/purchases being carried out through companies. Again, this can be more complicated with a great deal of additional paperwork required, however all of our staff are legally qualified and experienced in this area so can ensure that this is handled smoothly and efficiently.
Selling Your Dubai Property?
There are many aspects involved with selling a property in Dubai, depending on the particular circumstances of each case however with the right level of support from your agent or Power of Attorney, things can be completed relatively quickly and smoothly.
If you cannot be available for the whole process or do not want the hassle of handling everything directly, appointing a POA to do this for you may be a good idea.
At Your POA, we specialise in all of this and representing clients for sales/purchases in Dubai is one of our core services as a business. We offer fast, simple and secure representation for the full process from start to finish.
If you need any help at all, please get in touch.