Research whether the person who appears to be the seller is actually the owner of the place being sold, from his identification. If there is a title deed, ask for it. Ask the land registry office whether this place is actually registered in the name of that person. If it is, ask the land registry officers whether there are any records (such as attachments, liens, access, etc.) which will cause the value of the property to reduce, and whether there is anything that would prevent the transfer of the title.
Check the management plan of the property
If you are buying a place where construction servitude or freehold apartment ownership has been established, make sure to examine the management plan. The provisions in this management plan will be binding upon you after you have bought it. You may learn whether construction servitude or freehold apartment ownership has been established at a place by asking at the land registry directorate. Additionally, in the declarations column of the land register, there will be a statement that this place has a management plan. The presence of the management plan will be written on the back of the official bill of sale which is issued when you are buying the property, and you will be asked to sign below it. With this signature, you are accepting all of the provisions written in the management plan.
If you are unable to reach the title information, ask the seller to bring a newly dated specimen title deed which shows all of the rights and obligations attached to the property. If the place you are going to purchase is an already built place, such as a home or place of work, it will have a construction project at the land registry directorate or the municipality. Examine the construction project. Check whether the existing position on the ground is consistent with the project. If there are repairs and extensions which are inconsistent with the project, the municipality may issue a fine or require it to be demolished in the future.
Make sure to enter into a sales protocol
This protocol should be in two copies, with one remaining with the buyer and the other with the seller. Write the details of the terms of sale on which you have reached agreement in this protocol, and sign it together with the seller. If possible, also have witnesses sign it too. If the sales protocol is comprised of more than one page, all of its pages need to be signed. Do not pay a deposit before the sales protocol has been signed. Specify the amount of the deposit you are paying in the protocol. The deposit should not exceed five percent of the sales price which you have agreed.
Sometimes, the clearings adjacent to certain shops are later added on to the shop, and a small shop is extended in a manner which is in violation of the law, and then sold to people who do not realize it. This requires the approval of the apartment owners and the municipality.
Check with the registry directorate
From the land registry directorate, learn whether the residential or commercial property you are going to buy has freehold apartment ownership status in the building. If it has yet to take freehold apartment ownership status, do not forget that it will be necessary to obtain an occupancy permit and that there will be certain formalities to fulfill and expenses required for the transition into freehold apartment ownership status.
Go to the land survey directorate and look at the map of the property you wish to buy. Find out what there is in its surroundings, and what types of buildings can be built to its front, back and sides.
Do your research
Before reaching a final agreement on the sale, research the value of the property by asking the estate agents, business owners and residents of the area. Research prices by visiting or calling by telephone the places for sale in the region. If the place which is being bought is a place of business, research the business capacity in that region.
Write the quarter – village, block – parcel and if present, independent unit number of the property on the sales protocol. Also make sure to state its known postal address.
Reach an agreement as to who will pay the expenses at the land registry, and state this on the sales protocol. Many of the transactions which get as far as the land registry directorate are abandoned simply because agreement was not reached concerning who is to pay these expenses. In these situations, as the buyer has already prepared the money, s/he is the one that loses out.
Make sure to take down an address and telephone number of the seller. You may need to reach the seller until several months after the sale, for many reasons. Even if nothing comes up in the first few month, you can at least call and thank them.
State in the sales protocol that there will be a penalty to pay in the event that one of the parties backs down from the sale, and determine the amount of the penalty. In general, if the buyer backs-down, the deposit will be lost.
Who owns the debts of the property?
Determine who will pay the debts, such as property tax, environment tax, water, electricity, natural gas, building subscriptions, telephone, cable TV, etc., which will accrue until the date of the sale. According to the Law of Property Ownership, the security for these debts is the real estate itself.
As such, the creditor administration may place an attachment on the real estate and demand that it be sold. Therefore, it will be beneficial to request the seller to bring a letter from these administrations, stating that “…. there is no outstanding debt ….”. If this is not possible, specify on the protocol that the responsibility for such debts rests with the seller.