You may be wondering how to sell your property in Dubai from abroad, especially if you don’t have a resident visa or a UAE bank account in Dubai. However, the Dubai property sales process is not as complicated as one may initially assume. And with the right guidance and support from a reputable real estate agency, the process of selling property in Dubai as a foreigner can be relatively straightforward. An experienced real estate agent can take you through the process, and we have also documented it for you below.
CHOOSE A REPUTABLE REAL ESTATE AGENCY
Choose a reputable real estate agency: One of the most important aspects of selling a property in Dubai from abroad is selecting a reputable real estate agent to represent you. There are many real estate agencies in the region, but not all of them are created equal. Look for a reputable real estate agency that has a good track record of selling properties, positive reviews, and a team of experienced agents who can help you navigate the process. This is important as it can help to ensure that your property is marketed effectively and that you achieve the best possible price. You must also consider the fees and commissions charged by the agency, as these can vary depending on the agency and the specific property.
DUBAI REAL ESTATE MARKETING
Once you’ve found a reputable real estate agency, they will take care of the marketing process. However, there are certain regulations that must be followed when advertising a property for sale in Dubai. Specifically, the agency must have a copy of the Title Deed/Oqood and the owner’s passport copy. This serves two purposes, one is to verify you as the true legal owner of the property and the second is to comply with the rules and regulations of the Dubai Land Department. To be legally instructed to market a property the Dubai Land Department must see you have been provided with these documents. The Dubai Land Department is the official government department that oversees property transactions in Dubai. In addition to this, to formally instruct the agency to market the property, the seller must sign a digital contract through the Dubai Land Department which is known as the “Form A”. The “Form A” confirms the details of the property as well as the price the seller agrees to market the property. This is a digital form that is sent directly by the Dubai Land Department to the seller’s registered email and phone number. If the seller’s contact details differ from those on the Dubai Land Department’s system, they will need to update their information directly with the Dubai Land Department or sign a NOC allowing the real estate agency to update on their behalf.
MARKETING & VIEWINGS TO SELL YOUR PROPERTY IN DUBAI
When selling your property in Dubai from abroad, you will need to discuss certain elements with your real estate agent, for example;
- Whether the property is vacant or tenanted. If your property is tenanted it is important to let your real estate agent know the rental details, such as the rental amount and date of the expiry of the tenancy contract. It is also important to discuss if your tenant has been served a legal notice by the courts to vacate the property. As per the Dubai Land Department regulations, an owner of a property may serve a 12 months eviction notice to a tenant, under two circumstances only. One is to sell the property and the other is if the owner wishes to move into the property themselves.
- Viewing arrangements for the property should be discussed too. If the property is tenanted it is worth letting your tenant know you would like to conduct viewings and discuss how best to arrange with them. If the property is vacant and has been vacant for some time it may be worth arranging a professional cleaning to help the property look best. Your Dubai property agent can help you with arrangements.
Once the property is listed with the real estate brokerage firm and the advertising process is underway, your real estate agent will start marketing the property to potential buyers. This can involve various strategies, such as online advertising, social media promotion, as well as property portals. The agent will also arrange viewings and communicate with potential buyers to achieve an offer.
Immediately when your real estate broker finds a potentially interested buyer, they will work to secure a solid offer for your property. The buyer will be requested to write a 10% security deposit check in the name of the seller to demonstrate their commitment to the offer and seriousness to complete the transaction. This cheque will be held at the agency and not cashed. They will then present the offer to you, the seller, and discuss the terms of the transaction, such as whether the purchaser is buying cash outright or with a mortgage. They will discuss how long the process will take and any other details which are material to the transaction. Once the price is negotiated and agreed upon by both parties, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) also known as Form F will be drawn up by the real estate broker and signed by both parties.
MOU – FORM F
Your estate agent will draw up the MOU to detail all the particulars of the sale. The Form F (MOU) is a digital contract that is drawn up via the Dubai Land Department website or app. This will then be sent to both buyer and seller to review the details and ensure all is correct. Once it is confirmed, both parties would approve the Form F digitally. This is a very straightforward process and very easy for those planning to sell their property in Dubai from abroad.
SELLING A MORTGAGED PROPERTY
Should your property be mortgaged to a bank, you may be relieved to know you can sell the property without having paid off your mortgage yourself. However, it is essential to note there are a few additional steps required. The seller will need to apply for a liability letter from the bank that has given the mortgage. This is a document which outlines the outstanding mortgage amount and any other charges which must be paid off to the bank to clear the title. The buyer will need to obtain this letter to confirm the exact amount that needs to be paid to clear the seller’s mortgage.
At this stage, in order to progress, clear the mortgage if there is one, transfer the property and receive the funds the seller will need to apply for an NOC (no objection certificate) from the developer of the property. The reason for this is the ensure all liens are paid off, and there are no outstanding debts or disputes on the property so that the sale can be completed smoothly. The process of obtaining an NOC has become very easy these days with many developers offering online and digital solutions in a very short timeframe of a day or so. And if you are in the position of selling your property in Dubai from abroad and are unable to attend the transfer, you have the option to delegate a designated individual in Dubai to act on your behalf through a Power of Attorney. This process can be easily accomplished online, it is a very convenient and straightforward procedure.
CLEARING AND SETTLING THE SELLER’S MORTGAGE
To safeguard the buyer’s interests, and allow him or her to pay off the seller’s mortgage, a necessary procedure called “property blocking” is required. This process requires the seller, buyer, and other concerned parties to visit a Dubai Land Department (DLD) registration trustee’s office to register the property under the buyer’s name. This prevents the seller from selling the property to any other party besides the buyer, while enabling the buyer to clear the seller’s outstanding mortgage.
The buyer will need to prepare several cheques for payment, including:
- Managers Cheque (Cashiers Cheque) to the seller for the balance amount of the purchase price
- Managers Cheque (Cashiers Cheque) to the name of the bank for the outstanding mortgage
- Cheque to Dubai Land Department for the 4% transfer fee
The buyer and the seller will need to provide their original passports to the Dubai Land Department registration trustee’s office to verify their identities.
- Documents required:
- Liability Letter from the Sellers bank
- Form F (MOU)
- NOC from Developer
- Copy of Title Deed
- Original passport copy
Once all the required documents and payments have been submitted, the Dubai Land Department registration trustee’s office will complete the property-blocking process. The property will be blocked in the buyer’s name, which will allow the buyer to clear the seller’s mortgage while ensuring that the property cannot be sold to anyone other than the buyer.
After the property has been blocked it is safe to deliver the cheque to the bank to clear the seller’s mortgage. The bank will then cash this and issue a property mortgage release letter or clearance letter to the seller. This letter confirms that the mortgage has been paid in full and that the bank has released its claim on the property. At this stage, once the mortgage is cleared, the bank will also release the original title deed to the seller.
TRANSFER AND RECEIVE FUNDS IF THE SELLER DOES NOT HAVE A UAE BANK ACCOUNT
Finally, if the seller does not have a UAE bank account, there are various methods to receive the payment. For example, a manager’s cheque (cashier’s cheque) from a Dubai bank is technically accepted by any bank worldwide, and the local bank will facilitate the transfer. For safe measures contact your bank in your home country to ask about the process. Alternatively, a Power of Attorney can also authorise a designated person to collect the funds on the seller’s behalf. If this is the chosen method it must be stated in the power of attorney document that it also allows for the acceptance of funds.
In summary, selling a property in Dubai involves several steps, from finding a reputable real estate agency to completing the paperwork and negotiating a price. However, with the right support and guidance, the Dubai property sales process can be straightforward and hassle-free, even if you’re overseas and don’t have a resident visa or a bank account in Dubai.
By choosing the right brokerage firm, following the regulations, and working with experienced agents, you can ensure that your property is marketed effectively and that you achieve the best possible price. Contact us at Audleys International Real Estate for expert advice on how to sell your property and to receive a free valuation on your property for sale in Dubai.