Mohanad Alwadiya CEO. Harbor Real Estate

When is the best day to conduct an open house? What preparations do I need to make?

Weekends, particularly Saturdays. are best because potential tenants and buyers are free then. Be prepared to have your house open for as long as possible to get as many people to see your home in a 24 or 48-hour period. Make sure the outside of the house is neat and tidy and, if required, the paintwork or exterior of the house has been touched up. The garden should be presented in mint condition with lawn areas carefully manicured, trees and shrubs trimmed, patio areas swept clean, and outdoor furniture wiped free of dust and dirt. Treat oil stains in parking areas. The interior of the house must be clean and properly maintained with all defects attended to and be free of any odours. Consider subtle air deodorants to provide a pleasant overall ambience. Make sure that your home is cool, bright and welcoming, and that you have some refreshments available for your guests.

How can I make my property highly marketable? I am trying to rent out some office space.

Think like a prospective business owner by developing a unique selling proposition (USP). Business owners think of their customers, staff and business associates. Location is critical. It is all about proximity, convenience and the prestige that a well-chosen location can bring. It seems logical, but it is amazing how many times owners do not present their leasable assets in mint condition. A little money spent on painting, repair and general cleaning goes a long way. Business operators also think about the initial financial burden of office fit-outs. Think about how you can entice and retain a long-term tenant by offering to assist with fit-out costs. Offer financial inducements for longer-term lease contracts. Retaining a responsible long-term tenant in the best way maximises the potential return on your assets over the long term.

How does one become a shrewd property investor? What qualities or skills are important?

Investing in property is all about recognising and capitalising on opportunities that are consistent and supportive to your overall wealth accumulation objectives. To do this, you must have some industry knowledge, able to communicate intelligently with the experts. You must also have a clear understanding of what role your property portfolio will play within a larger diversified portfolio. The more skillful you are at conceptualising your wealth generation schematic, the greater is your likelihood of generating successful strategies to grow your wealth. You also need to be able to identify, engage and work with a professional in the industry. As astute, skillful and knowledgeable as you may be, a reputable, experienced and client-focused full service agency will greatly enhance your level of success. Choose wisely. Don’t think the cheapest will be good enough as this is rarely the case.

What documents do I need to provide so I can arrange for an agency to market and sell my villa?

You need to provide a proof of identity, usually a passport or Emirates ID, so we know who we are dealing with. The original sales and purchase agreement is required so we can verify with the Dubai Land Department that we are dealing with the bonafide current owner. If the property is leased, we need the details of the lease agreement including status of outstanding payments and payments for service charges or owners association. We will consult with you and prepare a letter of engagement containing the details of what you require from us. If you are located overseas and would like us to represent you, you need to provide a power of attorney which will detail the extent to which you would like our representation in the various facets of marketing and selling your property.

Question of the Week

I want to modify and extend my villa. What are the documents required/ procedures to be followed when it comes to making alterations/ additions to the original building construction?

You will need to establish that the amendments that you plan on doing do not threaten the structural integrity or safe habitation of your villa by you or by future owners should you decide to sell it one day. Therefore, you should prepare the architectural and MEP drawings for the proposed concept. These would need to be viewed in conjunction with the architectural and MEP “as built drawings” by a number of different authorities and regulatory bodies to ensure that the proposed designs will be structurally sound and meet all the required building codes and regulations. You will need to obtain NOCs from your owners association, the zoning authorities, Civil Defence authorities and, in some instances, your project developer. You may also require NOCs from DEWA regarding electricity and water supply. If renovations are extensive, you may be required to have the work inspected by the Civil Defence and the Building Department. In the majority of cases, your architect or contractor can arrange for all approvals on your behalf and I suggest you engage the professionals.

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