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Selling Property without an Agent – How to Proceed and What to Bear in Mind

​​Selling a flat or house isn’t exactly a piece of cake – at least that’s what real estate agents claim. Naturally, they don’t recommend selling the property yourself for obvious reasons. But is it really that hard? Whether you wish to sell property without an agent to avoid the brokerage fee or simply because you don’t trust them, we’ll advise you how to go about it, what to be aware of and when to seek legal assistance.

Prodej nemovitosti bez realitky – jak postupovat a na co si dát pozor
8 minutes of reading

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Will you have enough time to sell a flat without a broker?

First and foremost, consider how much time you can afford to spend. A broker will take care of many issues on your behalf which will be left up to you if you act on your own. You’ll need the time not only to prepare the property for tours, but also to present it to potential buyers and to deal with the legal necessities. If you’re already running on a tight schedule, you might want to approach a broker after all, or at least have someone lend you a hand. Truthfully, some agents are known to merely take your money without providing much help or time savings. An experienced real estate solicitor could easily substitute for them.

Bear in mind that agents’ interests differ from their clients’ – their main concern lies with the listing and sale, for which reason they might underestimate some potential risks the buyers and sellers take as well as to make matters inconvenient.

Tip: Before renting a flat without an agent, read this article.

We provide legal requirements for the sale of real estate without broker

Are you selling property without a broker? We’ll get the legal necessities done.

Selling property involves several legal transactions that need to be handled flawlessly. A mistake in any one of them will cost you valuable time at the least, or, in the worst-case scenario, you risk losing money or even property ownership rights. Your Attorneys Online will be glad to protect your rights and take care of everything properly.

8 steps towards a successful sale without an agent

Have you made up your mind about trying to sell property without a broker? The following 8 steps will help you achieve your goal.

1. Find out what the Land Register states

Whether you’re selling a family house or a parcel of land, the first thing to do is to check out the Land Register. Even if you will probably be familiar with most of the data, do check for easements, liens or pre-emption rights. If you’re purchasing a parcel without an agent, verify its exact location – the fence doesn’t always perfectly match the property lines.

2. Have the property appraised

Setting the wrong price is a seller’s elementary mistake, which may result in a considerable loss of time or even money. If you set the price too high, you’ll slow the whole process down and will eventually have to reduce it anyway. And if you set it too low, you’ll make less profit and may put potential buyers off, as the sum might arouse their suspicion.

For this reason, it will be worth your while to hire a valuer, who is knowledgeable and familiar with the pricing criteria. You can either opt for a property valuation, which is normally determined by a broker or some other real estate specialist, or for a court-sworn expert’s opinion, which provides more in-depth information – in addition to the locality or building type, the expert also examines the shape of the property, which comes in useful especially when selling an older house. Of course, the latter option will probably cost you more.

3. Preparation and advertising are essential

When selling property yourself, you’ll need to prepare it for potential buyers and advertise it. This definitely represents one of the more complex tasks. Hire a photographer who specializes in real estate and knows how to light it, what to shoot and what equipment or personal property to leave out. High quality pictures or videos will catch the buyers’ eye and your property won’t go unnoticed. Also, design the advertisement with care – it ought to contain all the necessary information.

Post your ad on real estate servers and don’t hesitate to spend on promotion. If you highlight or boost a good ad, you won’t wait long for a reply.

4. Get ready for the tours

If you advertise well, expect a large number of calls and e-mails. Be at the buyers’ disposal every day, ideally at weekends as well. The message behind this is that they’re important to you, and that you’re willing to go the extra mile for them. The next step is the property tours themselves. Get fully ready and prepare any documents or information that the potential buyer might be interested in. Be prepared to answer any question. The better you present your property, the greater the chance of a successful sale. According to some surveys, the slightest details matter. For instance, the smell of a freshly-baked pie creates a cosy atmosphere and thus may unexpectedly increase the value of the property.

On the other hand, when you’re selling a flat in a highly popular locality, you needn’t curry the buyers’ favour much; Instead, you would do better to focus on separating the wheat from the chaff before the tours start. And for that matter, the high demand for a property is another reason why you don’t need an agent in most cases.

Tip: A deed of gift is an effective way to give or receive property.

5. Protect your rights – draft the contracts well

Have you found the right buyer? Congratulations on successfully achieving your main goal! However, your work isn’t over yet. Protect your rights by means of a contract of reservation and contract of purchase. Both such contracts protect the buyer as well as the seller, and their importance is not to be understated. Be cautious regarding their content – the Internet is full of freely available templates, however, these will rarely correspond with your particulars. Moreover, they can be outdated or error-filled – after all, you rarely know their author.

Therefore, it’s best not to attempt to draft the contracts yourself, but to entrust this task to professionals. Unfortunately, even some brokers can’t guarantee flawless documentation. During our practice, we have repeatedly had to take action and draft a contract anew, so that a transaction could be completed. We will be delighted to tailor any agreement to your specific needs while assuring the legality of your sale.

Tip: Would you like more information on contracts of reservation or purchase? Read this article about the sale of a house.

6. Stay on the safe side – place the money in escrow

The solicitor who drafts your contracts can have the money placed in escrow for safekeeping. It is advisable not to skip this step, as it protects the buyer and adds to your trustworthiness. How does escrow work? The purchase amount is deposited in a special account created by the solicitor just for this purpose. The whole sum stays there until the ownership rights have been transferred at the Land Register. Only then is it transferred to the seller’s account. This is done to avoid the situation when the seller or buyer have both the purchase amount and the property at their disposal. Thus, both parties are protected against fraud.

Be warned against escrow with a broker. Real estate agencies needn’t abide by such strict regulations as barristers, nor are they required to have the necessary insurance. Thus, they may representa risk.

With the money in escrow, you can now approach the Land Register office. Don’t drop your guard yet; even a small mistake here can result in the rejection of your application, in which case you would need to reapply. For this reason, be mindful about the legal necessities, and don’t forget to enclose the purchase contract. The administration fee is 2,000 crowns.

We have encountered cases in which the client spent hundreds of thousands of crowns on the broker’s commission, only to have the broker make a formal mistake in the Land Register application, resulting in needless delays.

8. Taxing

If you have managed to make it as far as handing possession over to the new (and registered) owner, you are to be congratulated. However, one last act remains – to pay the tax. The special tax on the selling of real estate was abolished, however, you might still be obligated to pay a tax on rental income equal to 15% of your profit, i.e., the difference between the purchasing and selling price. However, exceptions exist: You have owned the property for more than 5 years or have inherited it from your parents or grandparents, that is, you qualify as the heir apparent. Also, you are exempted from the tax if you invest your profit in your own home within a year of the sale. This includes both purchase and reconstruction.

We will watch your back when selling property without a broker

Drafting any contract or legal document, escrow with the barrister, registering the property… Your Attorneys Online will aid you in any of these. We will ensure that your rights are protected, so that you can concentrate on selecting the right buyer. We will take care of everything online and within a short time.

You’ll see that the commission otherwise paid to the broker may be invested in a much better way after all.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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