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UNRFSA.org’s Guide To Using Real Estate Portals In Malaysia

Dear UNRFSA member,

This was excerpted from our recent UNRFSA.org weekly newsletter sent out to our members in Malaysia (on Feb 1st, 2013). Due to popular demand, we are reprinting this article here for everybody’s benefit.

Good real estate portals happen to be very helpful marketing tools for real estate agents and for people who want to sell properties privately – especially in Malaysia. If you are an agent or a seller, the biggest benefit that you will get from one of these portals, though, is the fact that you won’t have to go through the hassle of marketing the website that you are on. All that you will have to do is reap the rewards that comes with the portal’s good online positioning.

To make sure that you find a good real estate portal to sign up with, though, here are several things you should look out for:

UNRFSA’s Criteria For Real Estate Portals (Malaysia)

  • Online Visibility

Before choosing a real estate portal to rely on, it would be important to check where they rank on search engines first. To test this out, type in a keyword into your search engine of choice and include the area that you are selling your property in. Then, see whether the portal will show up on the search engine result’s first page.

A good Malaysian online real estate portal is MetroSherpa which has got some really good rankings for some of very competitive terms. Also, Home Guru also has very good online visibility.

  • User-Friendliness

Try looking at things from a user’s perspective while browsing the portal and look for properties in your general area on it. Then, ask yourself the following questions: Is the portal’s user navigation clear and easy-to-use? Is the design and layout attractive? Would it be easy to ask about a certain property on it?

Of course, you will also have to think about your target market itself. Will they be able to access the World Wide Web and use the website properly? What are their overall needs?

An example of a site with excellent usability would be I-property.com. It has very little clutter and also is free from all those irritating flash banners that you see populating other property portals. It is no surprise that it is the leading property portal in Malaysia according to this website –



Malaysian real estate just keeps on growing and growing…

  • Unique Features

Find out whether the real estate portal has any special features available that you can make use of, such as additional space for more pictures, visual tours, maps, videos or on show alerts. Some sites which are completely informational – such as the KLCC Condo Encyclopedia – they may lack pictures and videos but are good sources of ear-to-the-ground information.

  • The Competition

Before signing up with a property portal, find out if any of your competitors have advertisements on the website. If they do, then you might want to follow in their footsteps yourself.

  • Reach

Find out whether the website also has other sister websites that your property might appear on. You might want to find out whether they have a mobile website, as well, so that users can access and browse the website through their mobile phones with ease. A good informational site on Malaysia property which has good mobile interface is hard to find.

  • Offline Advertising

Since your ultimate goal should be to subscribe to the best and most effective real estate portal out there, you have to make sure that your website of choice has a ton of advertisements – both online and offline.

  • Value

Before making your final decision, it would also be smart to shop around first and take a look at what other real estate portals might be charging. You might also want to see what else you could get for your money before signing up to a certain website.

  • Technical Support Team

Another important thing that you should look out for when it comes to this would be a reliable technical support team since you will want to be able to get in touch with them in case you have questions later on.

Got questions? Just email me. Or, if you want to join our newsletter, send a blank email to unrfsa@mailchimp.com, or get our contact details here.

Malcolm Lee (Email: malcolm@unrfsa.org), Chief Publicity Officer, UNRFSA.org (Malaysia Branch)

Real Life “Do’h” Moments!


The careful planning that comes with buying your very own house should not stop as soon as you’ve closed the deal and have bought the house. There is more to being a wise KLCC condo owner than just giving your home seller the satisfaction – it should go far and beyond until you own the house fully. This is what many home buyers these days forget and lead them to the one thing they fear the most: foreclosure.

Mistakes Only Homer Simpson Can Make!


Picture credit: istockphoto.com

So before you make that one big, life changing move of purchasing your very own KLCC condo, let this serve as your warning. Here are the (5) mistakes that you should avoid so as to avoid being in a house foreclosure rut:

  • Not cleaning up credit records before applying for a mortgage loan. Even when your not-so-ideal credit record actually allows you to get a mortgage loan, that does not necessarily mean you should do it without cleaning up your credit history. Your mortgage lender will likely categorize you as a high risk client and thus end up with higher interest rates – and this could really hurt your budget in the long run. So before making a bid at a mortgage loan, take the extra step of cleaning your credit history – it may cost you something and some more time but it will be well worth knowing you could dodge a foreclosure problem in the future. For more guidance, go to a site like Loanstreet.
  • Getting a very expensive condo while having tons of other loans (this is an important watchout). One house, several cars, tons of home appliances all on loan? That just does not sound very wise to any loans guru. You have utilities to pay on the monthly basis that goes along with all your monthly mortgage and other loans woes and the economy and your income can never be on your side every month. So take your life one loan at a time buddy.. and avoid the usual scams!
  • Not informing your mortgage lender when you’re in trouble. This is one of the biggest mistakes to make. When you’re having troubles paying your mortgage, solve the problem right at the first signs of it. Don’t wait for things to get better before you do anything. Meet with your mortgage officer as soon as possible and explain your situation. They have plans available for you and for your mortgage problems in such a way that they don’t end up bankrupt and you don’t lose your house either. Yes, that is actually possible!
  • Selling your KLCC condo as soon as you find yourself in trouble. It may seem like a very logical solution to your money and house woes but selling and moving may end up being a more troublesome option. Again, take the time to discuss your situation with your mortgage lender and don’t just make this drastic option. Exhaust all other means first before going this way so you don’t lose a substantial amount of the money that you’ve already put into your house. This is especially relevant to “bulge bracket” KLCC condos like Hampshire Park.

To quote my friend Joseph Cottee from Cottee Real Estate Consulting, Petaling Jaya, “foreclosure is easily avoidable.” So long as you avoid these mistakes, foreclosure is just a far cry from your mortgage plans. Send your thanks to UNRFSA later!

And don’t be like Homer! 😉

Move-In Ready Homes Are Surprisingly Simple!

Today’s article is contributed by Jopim Marquez, the principal consultant of CityScape Property S/B based out of Kelana Jaya, Selangor. It appeared in the UNFRSA Journal in the October issue. Questions? Please email –


Jopim here from CityScape. It may take a little bit of your time, a little more effort, and maybe even a tiny bit off of your home selling budget, but believe it or not, it may actually be worth all of that.

There is more than one good reason why you should sell your Malaysian house move-in ready but the biggest and perhaps most important reason of all of them is this: it increases marketability. A move-in ready house attracts more buyers, especially the first time ones who are almost always the giddier ones among your potential buyers. (Special note: for a full report on how to stage homes for sales, please send a blank email to jopim@hotmail.my with the subject line: SUBSCRIBE ME)

When they can see that they don’t need anything else with them other than their clothes when they move in, when they do not need to make them pay for the moving truck, and they can practically move in right the next day, they will think about how much they will have saved from that purchase. This is the advice that I give to most, if not all, CityScape clients!

It’s Only Practical!

And because you practically offered them practically everything they would want and need from their new home, you can more easily add on several thousands more on the selling price of your house.

How To Make Your House Move-in Ready Without Breaking Your Budget! (Thank you Steven Chia for extra tips!)

The thing about transforming your house into an all-in sale is to do it without breaking your budget. After all, you still want to get a good price – maybe even a profit – on your house. That is why you cannot just carelessly add in anything you want and expect it to look good on everything else that you already have in the Malaysian house.

When we were trying to sell some Seni Mont Kiara inventory last April, we bundled up the deals together with “move in” guides and our sales went through the roof. 🙂

Here are some tips on how to make your home move-in ready and not bear a hole on your pockets while you’re at it:

  • Figure out which of your current furniture are in tip-top shape and which aren’t. Sometimes, all your furniture needs is not a full replacement but just some refurnishing. Change the fabric, re-stain the wood, and repair the slightest damages. Aged and used furniture looks far cozier anyway. This will save you time and money.
  • Do the same with your appliances. No one wants to ‘inherit’ a dying fridge or a dryer that’s a living electronic hazard. So have them checked, get some repairs, or maybe fully replace them if need be. You can always account that for your total prize afterwards anyway.
  • Make sure your ads say so. You can’t just wait until your potential buyers start pouring in to tell them that the Malaysia house comes with everything else. Your ads should clearly say that! Let’s start seeing how much more attractive your ads would be when they get the idea of it being sold all-in.
  • Invest in staging and good sheets and covers wherever needed. Your efforts at making it move-in ready will prove futile if you don’t stage it the right way. So invest in some cheap but beautiful decors, brand new sheets (no one wants to use the sheets you and your husband have been using for the last 5 years), and consult a good magazine to complete the look of your move-in ready home.

If you do everything right, you’d soon be closing the deal all too quickly and easily!

This article was written with extra inputs from UNRFSA members Steven Chia and Rina Lee.

Is The Price Right? Here’s How To Know…

No Malaysian home buyer wants to be overpriced. After all, for the most of us at least, home buying means being strapped to a sometimes crippling mortgage loan for most of your life. It is, without a doubt, the goal of every home buyer is to buy a home for the best price (usually the lowest price possible for a good enough house like ones from Crest KLCC).

But as a regular,inexperienced Malaysian home buyer who has probably bought a house once or twice, how do you know that you’re buying your house at a fair price? How do you set your ideal price to coincide with fair market price? How do you even know how the market is trending and whose side it is on?

Here are some tips for even the most amateur and most clueless of UNRFSA  members who also happen to be first time home buyers:

  • Make comparisons. Price comparison is the most basic and yet the best and most effective way to find out how the market is doing and what the fair price should be. There are basically three things you should be looking for when you are trying to compare prices: (1) similar houses that have been sold over the last three months; (2) similar houses that are currently listed on the market, and (3) similar houses that have not sold over the last three months. Remember that the time duration of items (1) and (3) should be pretty much the same for a more efficient and more accurate comparison.
  • Research on the 10-year projected appreciation rate of properties in the area that you’re looking at. The appreciation rate will tell you how much the house is valued depending on the future plans on the area. If the area is becoming good as a residential and/or commercial area, the property should be a little bit pricier than your ideal amount; otherwise, if the house is a little too expensive in a depreciating market, it may be overpriced.
  • Weigh in on the odds. What does the house come with? What does the house have that should merit some extra digits on the dollars? List down the “pros” (the things that makes the price reasonable) and the “cons” (the things that, apparently, makes the price unreasonable.) Based on these things, figure out if the pros outweigh the odds; and that should be sound enough an indicator of whether the price of the house is fair or not.
  • Ask a Malaysian real estate professional. If you have no idea how everything is going, why don’t you go ahead and ask someone who’s actually in the know? They, best of all, know how the market is doing and where it’s headed. It might not be best to ask the seller’s real estate agent to ask about whether or not the house is fairly priced; go ask someone who won’t be biased and who won’t be affected by any sale or non-sale.
  • Ask JPPH. Nuff said!

Get yourself a fair deal and do a little research like what I did and found this interesting article from forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2013/09/27/11-reasons-why-i-never-want-to-own-a-house-again/

Read it – It may make you think twice about owning a home!

Latest News

Credits to realestate.msn.com.

Credits to realestate.msn.com.

It’s been a long time since last posted an update. A lot of people is asking how’s the business? What’s happening? Well actually guys, I’m so glad to brought you a very good news. Here is the latest news for the growing Real Estate business from realestate.msn.com. Here it goes—

“Real estate has distinct momentum heading into 2013, with demand finally starting to catch up with supply and significantly fewer distressed properties weighing down the system. As 2012 wound down, the national vacancy rate for owned homes had dropped to 1.9% from a downturn high of 2.9%. That’s still above the 1.5% norm but nevertheless encouraging..”

See the whole article here http://realestate.msn.com/10-tips-for-buying-and-selling-homes-in-2013

Truly the real estate business is really growing now and I am very happy to be part of it. So till next time again, be back very soon! Promise! Thanks 🙂

Flipped Concerns… Yay Or Nay?

More information on buying a flipped house.

More information on buying a flipped house.

The practice of flipping houses has been around for a very long time; it has just been getting more attention these days thanks to the growing number of home flipping-themed reality shows. Also, practically speaking besides from maintain a good relationship with your real estate agent, it is a better business move these days for investors than to actually build new Malaysian homes from scratch. When done right, it gives them a lot of leeway on the cash needed for the investment, and with a more buyer-attractive price tag. After all, a flipped home is almost always cheaper than a brand new home.

While it is a great move for investors, it may not always and exactly be the same story for the Malaysian home buyers. It is, in fact, a very risky move that might be riskier than buying a home off a home auction event.

Pros and cons of buying flipped house

Before making a decision on a flipped home, weighing on the odds would help give you the perspective on where to put your hard earned money like one from O2 Residence and where to tie yourself to a decades-long loan contract. Here are the pros and cons of buying flipped houses:

  • Flipped houses are cheaper than brand new houses. These flipped homes are practically old homes that got an “extreme makeover” as reality TV would like to put it. It did not require so much as a fresh coat of paint here and there, some rearranging of the walls and furniture, etc. The investors bought the original house at a dirt cheap deal and spent only on the implements to improve the house; no new excavation, no new “building” or whatever. That is why they cost much, much less than new houses.
  • Flipped homes are better than buying homes at auctions or buying dilapidated homes and do the repairs yourself. Unless you are Mr Handyman and you’re married to Rosie the Riveter, chances are you don’t have as much time and effort to spend on a full-blown renov project. And besides, moving into a home that is ready for occupancy is a much cheaper option than having to live in another house while the renovation and repair is ongoing in your new house. You have got to have a lot of extra cash to pull that one off; buying a flipped house means you move in to a cheaper house without having to go through all the hassles of moving into a dilapidated house.
  • If you’re lucky and the works on the house are done right, buying a flipped house could be just as good as buying a new one. Most everything is new in the house and you wouldn’t have to make any repairs anytime soon – the same “new house” convenience but mostly only for a fraction of the cost. Sweet.


  • The renov project could be done low quality. Small time investors are often the ones who are more inclined into home flipping than the big guns. That is why you can never be fully sure about the quality of work they did and materials they used during the house flipping since they hardly have any professional portfolio to show as proof. Repairs of a substandard flipped house might end up costing you more than when you bought a new house.
  • You can never fully know the history of the house. Unless the flippers are the former owners, the flipper might not be fully knowledgeable of the full history of the house and you might live in it in total blindness in how your “new” house had been in the past.

So, would you buy a flipped Malaysian home? Read this conversation to know more 🙂

How To Find A Kickass Real Estate Negotiator! (UNFRSA EXCLUSIVE)


Real estate agents: not all of them are scumbags! Picture courtesy of reddit.com

TLDR version: Get UNRFSA to help you secure the service of a good agent! Contact us here!

While your Malaysian real estate agents are not exactly your friends, maintaining a good and friendly relationship with them will greatly help in having a successful home selling or home buying experience.

For one, you would have to spend a lot of time with them the whole time the process is ongoing. That is days and weeks on end or until you’ve sold or bought your Malaysian home. If you are in a tense situation with your real estate agent, these times spent together would be unbearable at the very least and torturous at the worst.

Second, home selling and home buying is never an easy task as my friend Mark R pointed out. And in the hands of the wrong agent, the difficult part might be worse than the exciting part of shopping for houses and prepping your house for sale. And besides, you cannot just keep replacing your agent one after the other in the middle of the flipping process. It is not only full of hassle; it can also get very expensive.

So don’t waste time, energy and money hating on your agents. Here are some tips on how to maintain a good and healthy professional relationship with your real estate agent:

Tell them everything that they need to know. No, you don’t have to tell them which of your kids are dating which neighbor or how you and your husband met. But you may need to tell them a lot of things about yourself – especially things that concern your home and your home buying and selling. Tell them exactly and honestly what you want and need, what you don’t want, etc.

Open and constant communication between clients and agents has proven to be great and essential tools to an easy, breezy transaction. 

Don’t be such a diva. Being too self-important is never a great thing anywhere, and it can only get worse when you’re trying to sell or buy a home with an agent. 🙂 Remember – you need your agent as much as you need him/her. So don’t think that he/she cannot drop you on a whim for being too demanding, unavailable, or difficult.

And remember that the real estate sector in Malaysia is a small world and word spreads like wildfire (especially through forums like Low Yat and top Malaysia property blogs like GoodPlace.my) – you don’t want to earn a bad rep amongst your agents’ colleagues so be a darling! *hint hint*

Learn to trust. You don’t exactly have to be the best of friends, but you’ve got to learn to trust your Malaysian agent. After all, they are the ones who are knowledgeable about the business and they can help you with things that you are clueless about. The sale of your home would highly depend on them.

Of course, this is more likely to be true for PRESTIGE properties such as those in KLCC (for example, Menara Pinang), Mont Kiara (Kiara 1888) and Bangsa (Jamnah View).

When you signed up for their services, you are entrusting with them a very important moment in your life. And this takes a lot of trust to make things work so go ahead and trust them (don’t make it a d’oh moment).

These things are highly improbable to achieve, however, if you are uncomfortable with the agent right from the very beginning. That is why it is very important to take time interviewing and selecting the right realtor for you.

Thank you for the positive feedback you gave for the Investment Properties Jet-Setting article. Email the UNRFSA editorial team anytime at info@unrfsa.org 🙂

Condo Watchouts To, Er, Watch Out For…

“Watch Out” says Richard Brandon Lee, the senior vice president of UNRFSA (Public Relations Wing). A lifelong critic of condominium living, Mr Lee has the following to say…

First-time condo buyers may find that buying a condo might be just as similar to buying a house as it is different. That’s not surprising. After all, a condo is pretty much just like a house in every way but only with some touch-ups here and there.

So if you’re used to buying your homes and checking your lot and backyard, you may need this list to know what to look out for when buying a condo:

  • Area size – living in a condo means living in a much tinier space with no room or chance to expand. So you had better find a condo that will suit you in size for a very, very long time. Unless you’re buying a penthouse unit, do not expect for your condo unit to exceed 3 or 4 bedrooms. The size of the house is a huge determining factor in how comfortably you’d live there so it should just come in the perfect size for you.

Mr Lee hates condos!

  • Amenities – this is where all the difference mostly comes between a house and a condo. Condos may be smaller but they are offered with in-house gym, cafeteria, internet connection, secure parking, round the clock security, swimming pool, home cleaning service, etc. Are the amenities good enough for you? How are they offered? How are the facilities? How well is the quality of their services offered in these facilities?
  • Location – condos are never built in the suburbs. They are built right in the center of the city where they are easily accessible by public commute and they are close to everything important – schools, banks, offices, restaurants, etc. Most condos are located in the city centre or other prominent areas, like Golden Plateau Verve Suites, or the Nusajaya Integrated Hub. If you’re looking for a condo, and your main reason for it is accessibility, make sure that you are getting exactly that: easy access.
  • Traffic and security situation – cities are almost always less safe than the suburbs. You have to remember that you won’t have the safety backup of having security personnel outside of the condominium complex. Would you still feel safe? Another common issue in living in the city, not just living in a condominium, is traffic. Unfortunately, some condos are built right in the middle of the heaviest of traffic jams. Is this something you can live with? Or could this cause you to not enjoy the exact same “easy access” that you’ve been looking forward to in getting a condo unit?
  • Fees – this is the most major of concerns when it comes to buying condos. Because of its location and amenities included, the fees are almost always higher than a regular house. Apart from the condo unit’s selling price, you may also have to worry about maintenance fees, membership fees, parking fees, and in-house utilities fees (water, light, gas) that may come in higher than the usual utility company prices. Check out if you need to do some refinancing (read our previous guide) in order to pay all the necessary fees; you may also have to consider the cost of living in an urban landscape especially if you are used to the suburbs.

When making a decision on a condo unit, make sure you consider the condition of these things before putting up with sky high fees on mortgage and other fees! Otherwise, you can just avoid condos, like yours truly. 🙂

Am I Getting Scammed?

NOTE: If you think that you have been scammed, please file a complaint with UNFRSA’s Public Service Department. Click here.

One of the biggest concerns of any home buyer when trying to get a house to purchase is on the price. After all, it is one of the biggest deciding factors in home buying. The thing is, what concerns the buyers is not the “price” of the house per se, but the value of the house that should come with the right price tag. Home buyers are more concerned about buying a house that is actually worth its price.

Are you a home buyer and you think you’re being overpriced? Here are some tricks to know if the house you’re interested in is a little too expensive and how to get away from it without losing the deal on the house:

  • Check for fair market value. There are many ways to check for fair market value on your own. One common method is comparing the house in question with other similar houses – similar in size, location, accessibility, age, etc. Get the median price of the other houses and check how close your home of choice is to this median price. Weigh in on the things that could possibly justify why the house is more expensive than others. If this proves to be a little too difficult for you, try to get the services of a home appraiser. If in doubt, go to JPPH and do a search. Here’s the link – jpph.gov.my
  • Check if the slight overprice is just a technique used by the homeowner to achieve some sort of cushion on the price. Not a few homeowners – especially those who are selling FSBO do use this technique. Everyone knows home buyers will always try to negotiate and bargain their way to a good deal. And this puts the homeowners in uncertain situations when the bargains get below their comfortable price. That is why they put their price higher than the actual price so the bargains do not go lower than their comfortable level. If that’s the case – bargain.
  •  The owner might actually not be aware that the house is being sold at an extremely high price. The problem with most homeowners – especially those going FSBO – is that they put an amount on sentimental value. They sell their house thinking that it is actually worth more than it is simply because it is their house. You know how many parents think their kids are better than others without actually looking at logical reasons but simply because they are their kids? That’s how it is with people selling their houses. Plus, the real estate agents could not do much about it because all they can do is advise the homeowners – the final pricing decision is left to the homeowner. If this is the problem, and the homeowner is quite adamant about it, hiring a home appraiser through your agent would be the most appropriate thing to do. This is applicable to any condo at any range: it can be as cheap as Pangsapuri Sri Alpina in Puchong or as high end as the at Ampersand in KLCC. Doesn’t matter!

IF the home is overpriced, do not be afraid to make a bargain. Ask for a low price– this is what you can do if property is in a bad location. Home sellers know (ideally) that bargaining is part and parcel of home selling and is a necessary step in making a deal. But always bargain with fairness in mind – don’t just bargain for the sake of doing it.

Contributed by Raju Shanmugam, DipSC (Melbourne)

Bad Location? Here’s How To Recover… :)

Price, size and location are the three most predominant deciding factors in home buying – Malaysia and anywhere else. Appearance is never almost an issue because it can easily be replaced and adjusted to suit the taste of the new owners.

While you can bargain on the size, and your buyers can adjust to the size of the house, location is a totally different issue. You can hardly do anything about the location situation of your house.

SIDENOTE: Good locations in Malaysia include KLCC, Mont Kiara, Bangsar, Semenyih and Kuala Lipis. Contact us if you want to see our list of deals for these places.

It’s not like you’re selling a house that is in a bad condition. It’s just that the location of the house isn’t– to put it in a friendlier term– pleasing. Common location problems include bad neighborhoods in terms of peace and order, and accessibility to main roads. If the house you’re selling is far from the major thoroughfares, or off the grid or in a similar situation, most uptown-dwelling home buyers may shy away from getting a good deal.

Worse, even if the house sells, the price is hardly ever in the homeowners’ favor. If you’re trying to sell your house in a bad location, these tips may be of help:

Make the house outstanding.

In a bad neighborhood, or in a bad location, the best way to win a buyer for your home is to make them see something good enough to drown out the bad onesHere at UNRFSA, we always have this motto– Increase curb appeal, repair what needs to be repaired, do excellent staging, and generally make the house look Hollywood. Without having to make it look like it is more expensive than everything else around the area, a house that appeals to the sight is likely to get a buyer than just leaving it looking plain and simple. This is one situation where you cannot afford the slightest flaw… especially when you want to make your house ready in a “move in” condition!

Location is a major deciding factor, therefore you cannot easily get away with anything that could turn off a buyer. If your location’s problem is mainly peace and order, install security implements (fencing, security camera, etc). If your location is prone to flooding, make sure your drainage is pristine and your house is elevated.

Sell more aggressively.

You cannot just wait for your buyers to come around without doing anything. You’ll have to make twice or thrice the effort to make your house more attractive to buyers – or at least let the whole home buying world know that you are, in fact, selling a home. If you are hiring an agent to help you sell the house, make sure you get someone who is just as aggressive or at least someone who has a good plan for your house.

Do not expect a big price for your house.

Any home buyer would use your bad location as leverage. They’ll offer a price that’s more or less lower than the price you’d want for your house. This is especially important if the prospective buyer has researched the prices either from JPPH or through property review sites like PropertyReviews.my (http://propertyreviews.my).

Offer your house in a fair price, but be open to negotiations for lower ones. You cannot really expect a high price on your property, no matter how outstanding it is, given your poor location. At least put up the house competitively but be ready to sell it much lower.

Malaysia property is no different– selling a house in a bad location is without a doubt challenging. You have to be a little more aggressive and more open for negotiations because the values of properties in infamous areas hardly ever rise. Good luck.

How To Find Suckers For Your Shitty House

OK, I’m only half joking about the title. 🙂

This is actually a question that I received from the audience during this year’s UNRFSA conference, and I shall be attempting to answer this question here as candidly as possible.

Memories... :)

Memories… 🙂

People have different reasons for selling their defective homes as is. More commonly, homeowners do not take any effort to have their houses fixed because they are rushing to have the house sold. Others don’t even have the budget to get any repairs done. But for whatever reason, it is always a challenge to sell a house that comes in bad condition.

Here are some helpful tips for selling Malaysian homes in poor conditions:

Price it fairly. You can never expect anyone to put a big offer on a house that’s missing roofs or with peeling floors. Don’t make your potential buyers cringe at the thought of having to pay for an old, dilapidated home at the price of a brand new one. You cannot expect to have buyers for your home if you price it as extravagantly as a penthouse unit over at the Clearwater Residence (I mean come on now!) For fair and competitive pricing, get the services of an appraiser. The appraiser can help figure out the current market value of your house minus all the defects… otherwise go to Jabatan Penilaian Harta (JPPH) to get last transacted prices!

Find the right market for your poorly conditioned house. There are home developers who buy dilapidated homes on purpose. They are usually the ones in the business of buying these houses to repair and remodel to sell for a better price later. Find these people on the market by making an accurate description of the condition of the house and specifying that you are looking t sell only to them. There are also private homeowners who would like to buy a house for cheaper prices so they can remodel the house themselves.

Be upfront to potential buyers about the defects of the house. Not only is this the moral way to go. It is also the legal thing to do. Not disclosing to your buyers the defects of your house could end up in a lawsuit. So honesty is the best policy. This may further affect the price tag of your house and bring it much, much lower but this is a much more convenient and logical option than a lawsuit. Think about it.

Focus on the other benefits of the house. Is your house on a good location? Does it have a big yard? What else comes with the house? The secret is to not focus on the defects and problems of the house but on what makes it good. A lot of home buyers are willing to risk buying such poor home for the right benefits.

Don’t try to make half-baked repairs and improvements. If you’re selling your house in Penang (or Brazil!) with defects, don’t make any improvements anymore. You may have a wonderfully awesome kitchen but it is standing on a sloping house – your investments won’t pay off anymore. If you do not have the money to make a full home makeover, then don’t do it half baked and on impulse. You’re wasting money on that, plus it may hurt your home’s chances of getting sold.

A home’s bad condition may not at all be that bad if sold well. If you cannot do it by yourself, by all means get an aggressive real estate agent who will stop at nothing to get your property sold. Contact UNRFSA for help! Or use a real estate portal!

I hope that answers your question, Patrick Lee!