Selling a Property in Hong Kong

Information about what to do when you want to sell a house or apartment in Hong Kong...

Listing the property

There are several places property owners can go to advertise the sale of a property. The most obvious is through an estate agent, who will list the property in a database shared with agents across Hong Kong. The agent will handle negotiations and the sale in exchange for a commission agreed up-front, which is negotiable but usually one percent of the value of the property. The owner can opt to leave a set of keys with the agent to show the property to potential buyers.

There are also property listing pages in various newspapers, magazines and websites. In these cases, the owner will not have to pay commission to an agent, but will have to be present when any potential buyer wishes to view the property.

Accepting an offer

After a price has been agreed upon and all details of the transaction discussed, the vendor should receive a signed copy of a binding provisional agreement that attests to the buyer's promise to purchase the property, as well as the price and any other necessary details. A non-refundable deposit will be put down by the buyer at this point. After this, a Sale and Purchase Agreement will be drawn up for approval. It is wise for the seller to have a solicitor look through this document and ensure that all conditions are properly agreed upon and that the seller's interests are protected.

Before the final agreement is signed, the buyer and vendor should visit the property and jointly agree on all items included in the sale, as well as the date for the completion of the sale and handover of the property. Of course, if there are existing tenants in the property, the visit may not be possible, but terms regarding the tenants must be included in the contract.

Taxes, fees and charges

According to the Inland Revenue Department, all profits earned from the sale of property in Hong Kong are subject to Profits Tax and must be declared to the government.

Information approved by Savills Hong Kong Residential Sales General Hotline Tel: 2842 4478 / e-mail / www.savills.com.hk