Bread & Butter Properties

Bread & Butter Properties
Generate passive rental income

Friday, October 29, 2010

Selling Your Property

This is a difficult one. On the one hand you have the DeRoos Golden Rules of property investing that says: "Never sell", and on the other, "Nothing is so good that you should own a 100% of". The truth is that it is somewhere in between, and that you may end up selling a few of your properties along the way to realise some profit. After all, once you sell, you can still buy some more property when the price is right. So, there is no right or wrong about selling.

I have been looking to sell a few of my own bread and butter properties, and realised that there is a process to this. Many books can give you some guidelines on: how to prepare the property, whether to use an agent, and also how to price the property for sale. One think I learnt is that when selling: Never be a desperate seller, as you will always come out the losing end. Make sure that you know what the market price is, and stick to your price that you want. And if you are not in a hurry, you should always get your price, sooner or later. So, be patient, not desperate.

The other thing about selling is that: you want to make sure your flat is neat, tidy and if possible newly painted. That adds a lot of value, and helps to justify a higher asking price. A new coat of paint always appeal to the buyer (its not that expensive to paint a flat, really). The other part of preparing the property for showing is that you have to decide whether you want to have it rented out during this period. The reason being it is much more difficult to show the flat if you have a tenant in. You have to make arrangement with the tenant to view, and somethimes that can be very tedious. For this reason, you may want to keep it empty while you sell it.

I would prefer to use an agent when selling. Being a busy person, it helps to have someone doing the showing, and assisting you in the negotiations with the buyer. Negotiate the agent fees upfront so that there are no dispute later on. And when appointing an agent, make sure he/she farms in the same areas (i.e. familiar with the properties). That can help to make sure your property gets sold, and at the price that you want. You may also consider having more than one agent to market your property, which will create some healthy competition. But having too many agents also has its downside, and they may not be interested to promote your property to their clients, given the heightened competition. So two agents is probably optimal.

Next we will look at how to price your property for sale, and how to get the price that you want.


copyright Chris Gan@2010,

Friday, October 1, 2010

It pays to check before you commit

Recently I was reminded of the importance of doing due diligence (check!) before you commit to a purchase. My friend sent me an article about the perils of not checking before signing the sales and purchase agreement (S&P); if the seller is a bankrupt, you, as the buyer may lose the down payment unless the bankrupt is solvent. Basically if you sign the S&P and have paid the 10% down payment, and then discover this – you are out of luck. You will have to wait your turn, together with all the unsecured lenders to get your money back. In the meantime, the deal is stuck as the seller as a bankrupt does not have any legal standing to consummate the deal in any case.

This brings me to the next point: hire a descent lawyer who knows what he/she is doing. This is one area you don’t want to be stingy on; don’t hire your friend unless he is well verse with conveyance matters. It can save you a lot of money (for example, if it stops you from making a mistake like signing with a bankrupt) and not to mention, a lot of pain, in the long run. Always do your bankruptcy check; and all good lawyers will advise you to do this before they proceed further.

There are all sorts of scams and tricksters out there nowadays. It pays to do your check; and as the saying goes: if it (a deal) is too good to be true, it probably is.

“Bankrupt Seller”, T10, The Star, 14 Sept, 2010

copyright Chris Gan@2010,