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Buying real estate can be one of the biggest decisions and investments in a person’s life and it has been known to cause a lot of stress and anxiety during the process as well. A number of controls must be carried out on the buyer side to ensure that their investment meets the needs and does not involve any unknown risks or liabilities after the transfer of the property. Such checks can take a few weeks depending on the seller’s preparation and attentiveness, but it is worth the wait to minimize risks.

Below are five basic steps that everyone should consider before entering into a legally binding sales contract for their dream property:

1) A full land registry search should be carried out on the property

At the request of the owner or any interested party, the land registry can perform a full search that will reveal any prohibitions (i.e. prohibitions on transfer), sales contracts, or encumbrances such as mortgages or memos (court decisions recorded on the property). If you get one from the owner, make sure it is up to date and in any case as close as possible to the date the sales contract was signed.

Knowing in advance if any such restrictions or encumbrances exist on the property is very important as a encumbrance (e.g. a mortgage) will prioritize the mortgageer’s right to the property before your rights as a buyer arise. This does not mean that the existence of a mortgage should automatically break negotiation, but it does mean that arrangements must be made for the mortgage to be canceled and / or for any memos to be paid as part of the purchase price. You will acquire a clean title deed

2) Check the status of the title deed and the legality of the construction

If there is a title deed, get an up-to-date title deed as it reduces the chance the property has information that you do not know. Particular attention should be paid to whether the title deed is noted as this means that there are either minor or major construction irregularities. In more serious cases, the owner may be prohibited from transferring or pledging the property if a certificate of unauthorized work has been issued by the authorities. A recent title deed with no annotations is usually a good sign, but you should also get final building permit (if applicable).

The lack of a title deed or a title deed that has not been updated is a common phenomenon. While this is not a problem in and of itself, it does emphasize that both cases require more rigorous due diligence as you may need to spend time and money updating the title deed depending on the results. A certificate of final approval for construction and evidence of the application to update the title deed (and, if applicable, division of land) should also be part of the documentation provided to a prospective buyer.

3) Request copies of the planning and building permits with the approved plans

This applies in cases where the property in question is not just a piece of land and construction has already been completed or is still in progress. You will need these documents for many reasons, including to verify the legality of construction on the property. The building permit allows construction to start. In addition, there are usually conditions imposed that you should know before buying the property (e.g. special conditions relating to the water supply of a pool or in certain areas a certain style is allowed, such as or the right to light on neighboring properties, etc.).

It is advisable to have the plans checked by your own specialist and to make sure that there are no planning or building permit problems.

4) Use experienced professionals

It is important that both a lawyer and a specialist such as a civil engineer are involved. It is a common phenomenon that if the property has not been carefully inspected or the terms, that either no prior inspection of the property has been carried out or the sales contract has not been properly negotiated or has been unfavorable to the buyers, such as buyers’ or cases of sales Both specialists can work together with the specialist doing an inventory for repairs or verifying the structural integrity of the building or confirming compliance with the permits issued and the lawyer helping you negotiate and implement the right terms in the contract, the Protects you.

5) Inspection and evaluation

An inspection will give you an indication of the physical characteristics of the property and its amenities, as well as the cost of repairs that may be required to access your investment. You should also know the value of the property you are buying as this will allow you to assess and further negotiate the investment.

The content of this article is intended to provide general guidance on the subject. You should seek expert advice regarding your specific circumstances.

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