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Costs You Must Consider When Selling a Property

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When you were all starry-eyed about buying your dream home, you probably didn’t think much about how much the seller was paying out. It’s a different story when that seller is you!

Here’s what you may need to budget for:

1. Final Withholding Tax (FWT)

The Commissioner for Revenue says that you do not need to pay Final Withholding Tax (FWT) if: “you owned the property and occupied it for at least three consecutive years immediately preceding the date of transfer, and as long as the property is transferred within twelve months from when you vacate the premises.”

If this is not the case, (for example, if you are selling an investment property), you should seek financial advice, but as a guide, FWT will be:

  • 8% of the sale value on property purchased after 1 January 2004;
  • BUT if you are not a property trader, and transfer property within 5 years from the date you bought it, you will be taxed at 5% (instead of 8%) on the transfer value.
  • If the property is situated in an urban conservation area or scheduled by the Planning Authority under article 81 of the Environment and Development Planning Act, and you restored it and got a government certificate to prove it, FWT will be 5%.
  • 10% of the sale value on property purchased before January 2004.

There are other exemptions. See here for details.

Note that FWT in Malta is more like a sales tax, as it applies to the property sale price, not the profit. The tax needs to be paid on the date when the contract of sale is entered into.


2. EPC Certificate

An EPC is like a household electrical appliance energy label. It shows the energy rating of your building and its carbon emissions and will be required by the bank if your buyer needs a loan to purchase the property. It costs approximately €295 including the €75 registration fee from the Building Regulation Office. There are lots of businesses out there who can complete this for you. 


3. Agency Fees

Fees of up to 5% + 18% VAT will be charged by estate agents… unless you choose to go for zero commission by using noagentfees.com. If you want to know more about how much you can save and how the process works, click here.


4. Notary Fees (if you choose to get a notary; usually the buyer will do this and incur the costs)

Notary fees are fixed by law. See here for details. 


5. Tax Clearance

This is not a charge per se, but foreigners should be aware that they may require a clearance from the Maltese tax authorities to sell. A notary can advise. If you have outstanding taxes, you will need to pay them for the sale to proceed. 


6. Moving Expenses

Moving costs can vary radically from almost zero if you have access to a van and lots of enthusiastic friends, to thousands of Euros if you are going abroad. Make sure you get quotes from several removal services.


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