Property

A Step-by-step Guide on Selling Property in Pakistan

Selling Property in Pakistan

Property selling is often simpler than buying, as it appears. Typically, property sellers do not have to pay various kinds of taxes and they often do not have to visit several buyers because they are more often than not approached by interested parties. This does not mean, that the method is quick. In this article, we will cover every segment related to selling property in Pakistan. 

How To Sell Property In Pakistan And It’s Transfer Procedure 

Across all housing societies, the property selling process in Pakistan is somewhat the same, with minor prerequisites set by individual developers. The question most people ask is how can property ownership in Pakistan be transferred? In the office of the land development authority of the city, the transfer process takes place. 

Read more: 4 Main Laws for Property Buying and Selling in Pakistan

The transfer takes place at their office for projects belonging to private and licensed developers. 

When you are selling property in Pakistan, there are a few things to bear in mind. These are as follows: 

  • Initial research and finding an agent 
  • Agent’s commission 
  • Token money 
  • Initial deposit 
  • No-demand Certificate (NDC) 
  • Taxes 
  • Transfer letter 

Initial Research and Finding an Agent 

Instead relying on the agent, it is recommended to explore the market by yourself in order to find out the actual current value of your property. It will be very convenient for you for setting up your asking price against your property. By using this method, the buyer and sender both will have a peace of mind as the buyer also know the current value of the market. To get reliable market prices, do a counter-check from other sources when you make up your mind about selling your land. This part takes a great deal of effort on your end, but in the long run, it pays off. 

You should find an agent after you are well informed of the market value of your land. As much as you are interested to sell your property without the agent being involved, the trick to making a successful transaction is to find the right agent. As the agent you employ can conduct every procedure by himself, you are also spared from the trouble of going through all the processes on your own. 

Agent’s Commission 

Agents works on commission basis, which is 1%. They are often able to change the percentage of the commission according to the rate at which a deal is locked, but this is rare. It is better to have a proper meeting with agent on commission and finalize when it will be paid. 

Read more: Guide to Real Estate Investment in Pakistan

In certain scenarios, when you collect the full amount, the commission is paid. Often, it is mutually understood that if the buyer pays the initial deposit (bayana), a certain percentage of commission will be given to the agent. To prevent problems, just make sure all these words are addressed well in advance. 

TOKEN MONEY 

There are a couple of ways to sell your home. After finding the buyer for your property, he needs to pay a token money. This is a sum which demonstrates the desire of the buyer to buy the property. It also, in a way, retains the property for the payer. After the token cash is charged, for verification purposes, you should send the prospective buyer a photocopy of the original documents of the house. 

If the land comes under the control of the land development authority, you must make a request for a visit to get the buyer to check these records. In exchange, you and the buyer will be asked by officials of the land authority to visit on a certain day. That day, the purchaser will be shown the documents that verify the property. 

Initial Deposit 

Note that you have to pay the initial deposit when you buy property in Pakistan. The buyer pays a certain amount of money as an initial deposit (bayana), until the documents are checked. The deposit is usually 25 percent of the sale price of the land. The stamp paper is also signed at this point, with conditions set out by mutual consent. The stamp paper clarifies the time span in which the outstanding payment will be made by the buyer and if he fails to do so, the penalties will also be specified. 

If you change your mind after collecting bayana to let go of this land, you are obliged by law to return double the sum of bayana as a penalty. On the stamp paper, this, too, is stated. 

No-Demand Certificate (NDC) 

You need to apply for the No-Demand Certificate when the date of full payment arrives (aka NDC). Without this permit the transfer of the property you are selling is not possible, which can be acquired from the office of the private housing society or from the city’s land development authority, depending on where the house or land is situated. 

This contract certifies that no dues are owed to you. It also provides information on the taxes applicable to both the buyer and the seller, as well as the fees for the sale and the stamp duties. In order to obtain NDC there are certain charges for it, however it varies for developers. Make sure you send a copy to the purchaser once you obtain your NDC. 

Taxes 

Whoever is selling property, they should know all about property taxes in Pakistan.  

Sellers are required to pay the CGT (Capital Gain Tax). As per the amendment in Income Tax Ordinance 2002 through the Finance Act 2020, the holding period and tax rate is now reduced on immoveable property. If a person purchase property for longer term that means he did not buy it to make profit and henceforth lower tax rate will apply however, if a purchaser holds property for a shorter time that means a higher amount of CGT received, and ultimately falls under higher tax rate category. You will now hold immovable property for no more than 4 years with the recent amendments, and the taxable capital gain percentages have been rationalized with respect to the holding duration. Details are as follows: 

  • The holding period for CGT has been reduced to 4 years. 
  • 100% of capital gains to be taxed if the holding period is less than 1 year. 
  • 75% of the capital gains to be taxed if the holding period surpasses 1 year but is less than 2 years. 
  • 50% of the capital gains to be taxed if the holding period exceeds 2 years but not 3 years. 
  • 25% of the capital gains to be taxed if the holding period exceeds 3 years but not 4 years. 
  • No CGT to be taxed after 4 years of holding period. 
  • There is no difference among plots and any constructed property. 

The CGT rate of annual gains due to the sale of immovable property has also been reduced by half, which are as follows: 

Annual Gains in PKR Rate of Tax on Value of Property Before Finance Act 2020 Rate of Tax on Value of Property After Finance Act 2020 
Gains less than 5 million 5% 2.5% 
Gains higher than 5 million but lower than 10 million 10% 5% 
Gains higher than 10 million but lower than 15 million 15% 7.5% 
Gains more than 15 million 20% 10% 

Meanwhile, selling ready to move in house and developed plots, the government normally charges around 5-20% Capital Gains Tax. However, with the introduction of new incentive for construction industry during COVID-19, those who want to sell their houses are not going to pay the CGT. Not only this the sales tax is also lowered with the association with provincial government. 

However, buyers need to pay several charges which are as follows: 

  • Transfer fee 
  • Stamp duty 
  • CVT 
  • TMA Tax 

Transfer Letter 

Property transfer mechanism in Pakistan is deemed crucial, so the participation of both buyers and those selling it is very essential. 

On a specific day, the two parties meet the corresponding office and the buyer hands over the payment in the form of a pay order, after which the officer changes the property to his or her name and issues a letter describing this transaction. 

Afterwards, all parties see the local property registrar, where the seller agrees, in the presence of witnesses, and the buyer, that the property has been sold on mutually agreed terms. The registrar then demands that the land development authority make the required amendments and pass the property title to the seller. 

The pay order usually takes a couple of days but make sure you keep on checking your bank during the pending payment phase. It is important to pay full attention in your dealings while doing property business. 

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