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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Homefront: How do we sell our Springs villa if we live in the UK?

The retired Britons are joint owners of the Dubai villa, with one partner unwilling to travel to the UAE for the sale

There is no income or capital gains tax payable on any number of properties an investor buys, rents or sells, making it simpler to calculate a return. Pawan Singh / The National
There is no income or capital gains tax payable on any number of properties an investor buys, rents or sells, making it simpler to calculate a return. Pawan Singh / The National

We are two retired British citizens in our 70s living in the UK, who jointly own a small Springs community property in Dubai. We wish to sell, as have been unable to get our usual three-year renewable UAE residency visa. To sell, my partner does not want to come over to Dubai from Britain. Our questions are:

1. How many real estate companies can we appoint on Form A to offer our jointly owned property for sale? We are considering appointing two to three different agents, so does that mean filling out three separate forms.

2. What Land Department fee is involved to lodge the seller-broker Form A, which I understand is lodged by the appointed and licensed broker?

3. On the question of Power of Attorney (PoA), ifthe other joint owner, due to age /ill health, does not wish to travel to Dubai, can I be appointed PoA to represent her in the sale, maybe via attestation with the London UAE embassy witnessing her signature. We already have a joint non-resident bank account in Dubai, which after the sale is finalised, we would like to convert to my name only.

4. Can I then appoint, on behalf of us, a member of the successful brokerage staff, to represent us jointly in the property sale at the Land Department? We did just this for another property sale a few years ago, which made the whole process very simple and straightforward. What guidance can you give us? MR, UK

In the past, the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) tried to limit sellers to instruct up to three different agents to sell a property. The reality now, however, is that Rera allows market forces to dictate the number, so in fact it is entirely up to you how many brokerage firms you decide to employ.

As a broker myself, I suggest giving a sole mandate to one company on an exclusive basis. This way you will be able to create a business relationship and work together with your agent for the common goal of selling your villa and at a price that you are happy with. Giving exclusivity will also motivate the broker and allow him/her to collaborate with other agents, again insuring a quicker a sale.

It is a fallacy that the more agents involved in marketing your property, the quicker you will sell it. Statistics state that less is definitely more and puts you also in greater control of the situation.

Whatever you decide, you will have to fill out a form A for each company you employ.

Most companies charge a sales fee commission of 2 per cent; this will be mentioned on the Form A. The brokerage firm will also have to obtain a permit from the Land Department (Trakheesi) to be able to market or advertise your property. This fee is payable by the agency and is not your responsibility to discharge.

With reference to the PoA, you can indeed be appointed as one by the other joint owner. The PoA document must be prepared in the UK by a notary public, then passed through the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in a maximum of up to five working days to receive their Apostille Stamp of approval. After that, it will have to be attested by the UAE embassy in London and finally sent over to Dubai.

The document will then have to be attested at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here in Dubai, then legally translated into Arabic. Once this is done, you can sign all necessary forms to effect the marketing and future sale. Please note that anyone related to real estate, and who is receiving commission, cannot be your PoA if you choose to have a separate person acting for both of you. This can still be done but it cannot be your broker. I suggest a lawyer or a licensed conveyancer are the optimum choice.

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Read more from Mario Volpi:

Homefront: 'Can I get the deposit back if I don't move into my Dubai apartment?'

Homefront: 'My mouldy apartment is making me sick but the agency is refusing to clean it up'

Homefront: Can I demand a month's free rent for noisy construction work next to my Dubai apartment?

Homefront: 'My Dubai tenant wants to add his wife's name to the contract. Will this cause me problems?'

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Mario Volpi is the chief sales officer for Kensington Exclusive Properties and has worked in the property industry for over 30 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@kensington.ae

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