The environment for selling a home is not without its challenges, especially in a tough property market.
But for a few unfortunate individuals, trying to sell off their property (even in good times) can be next to impossible, no matter what they do!
The following are reasons why some potential sellers have problems disposing off their homes.
We all know this one – when its comes to successfully selling your property, it’s all about location, location, location. What amounts to good or bad location is actually quite objective. But seriously, how bad is “bad?”
According to Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) president Siva Shanker, there are some locations that nobody wants to live in.
“This could be at a T-junction, next to an oxidation pond or even a power substation,” he tells StarBizweek.
Siva adds that many buyers are also reluctant to purchase homes located near overhead power lines.
“We have a set standard based on guidelines by the World Health Organisation on how far these lines need to be away from the homes. But regardless, buyers still prefer not to live in areas where there are power lines near by.”
Carey Real Estate Sdn Bhd managing director Nixon Paul says most Malaysians can be quite superstitious about where they choose to live.
“People are really into the feng shui element. Houses with the numbers four on them, are typically difficult to sell.
“And this is even among nonChinese buyers, who fear that they might not be able to sell the property in the future.
“A house situated next to a sewerage facility or a cemetery can be a problem when to sell,” he says.
You’re not going to be able to attract buyers if your home looks like it could collapse at any time.
“A dilapidated place overgrown with grass and where the walls are full of cracks or leaky roof is unlikely to attract any buyer,” says one industry observer.
Siva however feels that a rundown property could actually be a blessing in disguise.
“I feel that it’s better to buy a dump for a cheaper price, and then spend some money to refurbish it into its former glory, or something even better.”
Siva says many Malaysian buyers cannot “visualise” the potential of a dilapidated home.
“The average buyer can’t see what a house that is in utter disrepair can be turned into, because all they see is a home that is in terrible condition.
“On the other hand, when he visits a developer’s show unit, he is so captivated by what he sees because it (the show unit) looks so amazing. In his mind, he thinks he’s purchasing that property but what he’s actually buying is an empty shell.”
Siva says spending a bit of money to spruce up a place can be beneficial. “Why not spend RM20,000 to spruce up a place worth RM500,000 so that you can sell it for RM550,000?”
He says the situation is similar even for tenancies.
“Most landlords are also unwilling to renovate a place to make it look more attractive. Instead, they would rather wait for a confirmed tenant and then only renovate.
“This may not even happen (securing a tenant).
“This is where home-staging comes in,” says Siva.
The concept of home-staging, which is aimed at improving the property’s appearance in the eyes of potential buyers (with the ultimate goal of a quick sale and for a better price tag), is popular especially among countries in the West.
Staging usually involves something aesthetic, improving the design, organisation and overall appearance of a property.
In some instances, the potential success of selling your home can be dependant on the condition of your neighbour’s property.
“If your neighbour’s house is run-down or dilapidated, your house can also become affected,” says Nixon.
Another instant where property can be hard to sell is when the seller sets the price of the property ridiculously high.
“This is a typical case of overpricing, where the owner is just greedy and the asking price is too high.
“And because of this, the property remains in the market forever,” says Siva.
He adds that in recent times, stringent loan approvals have also made it tough for purchasers to get a loan.
“You might find a buyer, but then he might have a problem getting a loan.”
Under Bank Negara’s responsible lending guidelines, which were implemented on Jan 1 last year, loans are now approved based on net income compared with gross income previously. - By EUGENE MAHALINGAM (Star Property)