Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Selling Jamaican Real Estate - Precontract Matters II


If you are a fan of HGTV you may think that most vendors engage the services of experts who help them to make extensive repairs or enhance the design of their properties in order to effect a big sale. This is not usually the case in Jamaica. If the imperfections are obvious the vendor may make some minor repairs and accept the value likely to be established by the market. The fact is that the real estate market in Jamaica does not typically undergo and is not currently experiencing the shocks now seen in the US market; and so a vendor can usually get a good price especially if the property is situated in a good location.

Prior to entering into a contract to sell his premises it would be prudent for the vendor to:

  1. Explore with realtors, neighbors or a valuator the prices at which similar properties are being sold.
  2. Advertise the property for sale via the classifieds, the internet or through a real estate agent.
  3. Consult an attorney who specializes in real estate to establish the taxes, duties, commissions and other costs involved which will be deducted from the gross sale proceeds.
  4. Check to see that the title is free and clear of defects. Some defects may include breaches of covenants. Consult your attorney about the effects of this as this may affect the sale and/or the net sale proceeds.
  5. Pay all outstanding property taxes and water rates. As to the property taxes, ask for a certificate of payment of taxes and not only your receipt as proof of payment of all back taxes.
  6. If the property is occupied by tenants disclose same to your attorney and seek his advice on the best way to deal with this.
  7. If you own the property jointly with someone make sure that person is capable of agreeing to the sale and can sign or authorize signing of the contracts.

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