Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 27 May 2019

Homefront: How do I avoid 'ridiculously low' offers when selling my Springs villa?

The Dubai residents are moving back to their home in South Africa following job loss

A villa in the Springs community in Dubai. The sellers have received offers 30 per cent below the listed price. Courtesy: HMShomes
A villa in the Springs community in Dubai. The sellers have received offers 30 per cent below the listed price. Courtesy: HMShomes

We urgently need to sell our villa in the Springs as my husband has lost his job and we are moving home to South Africa. We are being offered some ridiculously low prices by potential buyers. I know it’s a buyers' market but 30 per cent below is crazy. Any advice for getting the best possible price? RI, Dubai

We have been experiencing a sustained buyer's market and with this comes the not so fun and games of dealing with cheeky buyers. Unfortunately, I cannot shield you from these low ball offers but what I would advise is to follow the steps below to help maximise your chances of getting a good price:

Choose one reputable Rera-qualified agency

It is a fallacy to think the more agents selling your property, the quicker it sells and at a good price. In fact. the opposite often happens. Buyers are swayed by promises from rogue agents that say they can get a better price for them. Because of this, buyers end up fishing around for the best deal and therefore speak to several agents. The seller then hears from these agents with offers and believes there are several buyers in the market interested in the unit when in fact it’s often just the one buyer. This leads to confusion and to unnecessary wasting of time when important decisions are made due to baseless facts.

Price correctly

Ask the agent to let you know what other similar properties have sold for. Reputable agents have access to data that is not available to the public, this shows what properties have actually sold for rather than just the price property portals advertising at. Having this kind of information will help you start at the right asking price.

Presentation and marketing

Ensure the agency of choice has organised a professional photographer to take the photos of your property. Quality photographs and a factual and appealing description is a must to attract potential buyers - especially online. Displaying a 'for sale board' outside the property is also a must as this often is the difference between a sale or not.

Area specialist

Your agent should also be an area specialist. This gives you an advantage as the broker will have knowledge not just about the property but the location and area, in terms of information on schools, retail, leisure and transport facilities to name a few.

Open house

Organising an open house event is a sure way of attracting potential clients to your property, especially neighbours who may have friends of relatives looking to move into the area and be close by.


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We are taking on another domestic helper and want to expand the maid's quarters in our garden. We are in Al Barsha and the landlord has said it's fine as long as we cover the costs. Do we need any approvals? PK, Dubai

When renting a property it is advisable to seek out the necessary agreement from the landlord if you plan to carry out any alterations or improvements. This is because the property has to be returned at the end of the tenancy in the same condition as it was given at the start (unless otherwise agreed).

Approval from the landlord is not the only requirement that may be needed. If a tenant lives in an apartment building, for example, management approval may be needed too.

In your case, extending the quarters for domestic helpers may need approvals from the Municipality; getting the no objection certificate from the landlord would be the first step in proceeding with the work.

Mario Volpi is the sales and leasing manager at Engel & Volkers. He has worked in the property sector for 34 years in London and Dubai.

The opinions expressed do not constitute legal advice and are provided for information only. Please send any questions to mario.volpi@engelvoelkers.com

Updated: January 17, 2019 11:01 AM