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5 Fundamental Facts in Selling Property

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There is a wide selection of properties available for purchase in the BVI. They range from one bedroom beach front condominiums to luxurious residential estates. When the time comes to sell your home, you need to guarantee your property stands out to potential buyers – the following pointers may be useful.

  • Preparation: While buyers expect to find some features that need some attention, it is essential that time is allowed to ensure the property is looking its best. Prior to viewing, confirm that the layout of the furniture and general ambiance of the property matches the photographs either prepared by you or your agent
  • Evaluation: Obtain professional advice when valuing the property. With the wonderful diversity of BVI architecture and geography, no two houses are alike. Your valuer or realtor will provide comparable sales, allowing a benchmark for your property as compared to recent sales
  • Survey: Have a copy of the legal survey to hand – this is easily obtained from Land Registry
  • Title: Secure documentation which confirms whether there is a clear title – this is normally freehold, but can be a private lease or crown. Covenants and service charges should be clearly defined
  • Contract: It is essential that an experienced conveyancing lawyer is appointed who has a comprehensive understanding of contract law, including government license requirements, planning, building control as well as environmental issues

The above should ease the start of the sales process and the initial negotiations. Individual buyers may also require professional advice on tax planning, banking procedures, and residency requirements.  Remember that buyers are attracted to the BVI as a leading destination in the Caribbean for many reasons:

Currency: The BVI is unusual in having the US dollar as its legal tender while all other countries in the Eastern Caribbean use their own currency. For investors from the United States, this eliminates exchange rate risk. There are no exchange controls in the BVI.

Security & Stability: The BVI is safe and politically stable. Through its association with the UK, the Territory is recognised as part of the European Union. There is a very low crime rate – an increasing factor in making an investment decision.

Taxes: The BVI is a favourable tax jurisdiction with no capital or inheritance taxes.

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Society:  With an idyllic lifestyle, buyers are able to take advantage of the Virgin Islands’ high standard of living combined with a low population.

Buyers considering the BVI are increasingly international with steady demand from North America. Post-recession has seen more purchasers from the UK, Holland, France, Italy, and Germany as well as China, Japan, and Asia.

Luckily we remain ‘Nature’s Little Secret.’

Photography courtesy of Renata Macrelli

Lucienne Smith

Lucienne Smith

Lucienne grew up in the BVI and worked for a number of years as a director for a FTSE 250 company in London. She now heads up the Residential Property Management and Long Term Rental divisions of Smiths Gore.

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