When it comes to buying property, everyone hopes that the real estate agent they are paired with will find them somewhere that ticks all the boxes. Frank Salt offer Homes of Quality, a carefully curated collection of properties that have a certain special ‘something’ that makes them unique.
Grahame Salt, director of Frank Salt Real Estate and managing director of Homes of Quality, talked us through the ethos of HOQ with the help of property consultants Josianne DeGaetano, Mark Mercieca and James Stagno Navarra.
How does a property qualify as a Home of Quality? The ‘quality’ element itself is not something fixed because, as any consultant will tell you, buyers’ tastes and requirements are varied. Location and level of finishing play a big role in determining whether a property qualifies or not.
“We also include properties that we consider to either be a good investment or else to offer certain special or unique features that would make the property stand out and sought after,” the consultants say.
“Therefore we could select a highly finished one-bedroom apartment in a good location or some spectacular detached seafront villa.”
Both the local and foreign markets are catered to by HOQ, across a range of buyers. Investors, second- and even first-time buyers have walked away satisfied. And high standards are not only expected of the properties but the whole process. A discreet, personalized service is something clients expect and foreign clients in particular have different needs.
Often, a buyer from overseas will be on the island for a limited time so appointments for property viewings need to be carefully organized. Aside from that, other ancillary matters need to be taken care of before they depart. So a consultant’s job includes a lot more than showing off property.
“Our consultants are well-trained to look after the foreign buyer,” says Salt. “We cater to their every need and have successfully dealt with a large number of satisfied clients.”
The process of marketing HOQ properties is also a little different to that of other property and it’s not only the homes themselves that are carefully scrutinized.
“We pay careful attention to vetting clients before making appointments to show a property,” they explain. “This way, we can be more effective and avoid wasting anybody’s time.”
The properties themselves are not widely publicized, as is normal practice for real estate agencies. An HOQ property might never actually appear in a run-of-the-mill search, not even the HOQ website, but are offered only to specific clients.
Prospective buyers looking for a Home of Quality often make very particular requests, privacy being the most common.
“We have dealt with some VIP foreign clients for example, who do not want anyone to know that they are looking for property in Malta and once they purchase, they do not want this publicized,” said Salt.
Value for money is a concern every property buyer shares and those looking at an HOQ property are no exception. Other criteria include large outdoor areas and beautiful views. Some other requests are a little unusual and perhaps not what the average property buyer would consider.
“Clients have asked for private beaches, total seclusion, possibility of a heli-pad,” comes the matter-of-fact reply when pressed for some of the more interesting requests.
It is clear that that Frank Salt Real Estate’s Homes of Quality branch handles a particular brand of client and of property though, it seems, the collection of properties it represents are not connected to one another by size or type.
They are however similar in that they contain that esoteric, ‘know it when you see it’ quality that needs a trained eye – and a knowledgeable consultant – to discover and appreciate. At the end of the day, Frank Salt Real Estate strives to make both buyer and seller completely satisfied when those keys change hands.
Visit www.homesofquality.com.mt for more information and to get in touch with a consultant.
Lead Photo - Homes of Quality managing director Grahame Salt (second from left) and (from right) Mark Mercieca, Josianne DeGaetano, and James Stagno Navarra