By Sharina Ahmad
PROPERTY investors and owners who are overleveraged and holding non-performing properties may be looking for a quick injection of cash by disposing of their property fast.
How can one best handle a property transaction after the movement control order (MCO) period and avoid common pitfalls? The answer lies largely on the right pricing which can best attract buyers.
According to Rahim & Co International CEO Siva Shanker, Covid-19 has brought the Malaysian economy to a standstill and not just housing, but also traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.
“This virus has caused havoc in everybody’s life. Generally, over the last five to six years, Malaysia has experienced slow growth in the property market, hence to some extent, many of us who have been in the property investment industry are overleveraged.
“Everyone is price sensitive. However, you can solve this problem when you price it right. When you price it right, then you find a buyer. There is always a buyer no matter how bad the market is. The transaction has never gone to zero so far,” Siva told a webinar session organised by the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) on April 7.
SK Brother (M) Sdn Bhd principal Chan Ai Cheng said property owners need to price ahead of the market and stop chasing the market.
“The owner needs to price his property forward (into a timeline when he wants to sell the property), then you will get your property to be transacted faster.The price will be reflective of the market in advance in fact,” she said.
Chan said MIEA members will have access to MIEA AgentData that provides the latest property transaction data in the market in an instant.
“The platform is useful, it gives a track to the past and recent transactions so that the owners have a better gauge on where the market is going — price movements and more information. With that kind of knowledge, you are able to make the right pricing decision,” said Chan, who is also a member of the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVEAP).
Chan said hiring a reliable real estate agent is key when the owner needs to get the property sold as quickly and profitably as possible.
“If you want to get the best advice, you need to find someone who is a local there, familiar with the area, understands the neighbourhood… even better find an agent who lives there.
“Then that agent probably has the most commitment and knows the place best. He might have buyers in hand looking way before the MCO happened to buy property,” she explained.
She added that making a property presentable is another factor that will help to sell the asset fast.
“When you make the decision to sell your property, you should be taking steps to make it look presentable and welcoming to prospective buyers.”
Rahim & Co’s Siva said the first impression is important as buyers coming down for viewings will only spend a short time looking at your house, and you’ll want to impress them in as little time as possible.
With the six months moratorium, some loan payments are deferred during this time and it gives property owners some breathing room. However, if there is an opportunity to sell the property, Chan said the buyer should not wait as property is not a liquid asset.
“Property is not like a share where you can sell on the same day and get the cash on the following day. Most of the time in Malaysia, the sale of a home can take an average of three to four months, if you’re lucky. However, there are also times when home sales can take up more than that,” she shared.
Meanwhile, Siva opined that in the property market there will never be a right time to sell your house.
“This is due to the uncertainty in the market itself just like what happened now all around the world. No one can predict the best time to sell their property.” — April 7, 2020