When buying foreign property one should always consider the special parameters and legal environment of the target country, the laws and rules of gaining ownership. All payable property related duties and taxes should be estimated for the short and the long term as well. Completing a property purchase deal may be different from proceedings in your own country, therefore it is necessary to commission an expert property agency to supervise the deal.
The process of property purchase
Identifying the demand and goals
Step 1: What is the purpose of buying the property?
Are you looking for a place to live, a holiday resort, a business property or an investment? The goal is to pick the property that best suits the unique demands in all cases.
For short term rent purposes it is best to choose a property near the beach in locations frequented by tourists. For a privately used holiday resort the beach is still important, but tourist traffic becomes secondary.
For long term rent purposes it is best to choose properties in a city, close to the centre, ideal for both locals and foreigners as a temporary home or for enterprises as office space.
Visiting and selecting properties
Step 2: Visiting the property in person
We check all properties in person before initiating the purchase process. The tour can happen with or without the buyer. We strongly advise the buyer to be present. Our colleagues will always escort the buyer to all properties on the list ensuring easy travel, translation and knowledge of the surrounding area. During the tour we also meet and negotiate with the developers and proprietors.
It is important to consider if a property really meets the buyer’s expectations. It is also important the examine not only the property itself, but also the surrounding area, its accessibility and infrastructure!
Initiating the purchase, legal examination
Step 3: Purchase, making an earnest, legal supervision
After selecting the ideal property the official proceedings can be started.
It is safe to buy property in Albaniaand the ruling legislation is solid. Nonetheless it is still advisable to cooperate both with a good lawyer and a property expert.
Though notary supervision is sufficient in Albania for buying property, we always go for double security and commission two experts: the notary and an English speaking lawyer as well.
Things that need to be checked: plot documents at the Property Registration Office and the blueprint og the building.
The lawyer is instructed to make all necessary legal checks and then initiate the purchase of the property. The lawyer will confirm that the seller is really the proprietor and is legally authorized to make the sale. The title deed identifies the property, the proprietor, past transactions, modifications, mortgages. The lawyer will also learn if there are any standing tax debts, due utility fees or other demand notes.
After all the legal checks are completed by the lawyer the parties are ready to prepare and sign the purchase agreement. The agreement is prepared by either the notary or the lawyer. Prior to this we once more ask the notary to check the ownership of the property online and include the result in the agreement. Even if the buyer consults the lawyer independently about the agreement, it must be signed only in the presence of the notary.
Closing the deal
Step 4: delivery and payment
After signing the purchase agreement in the presence of the notary and the lawyer and making payment the deal is closed.
According to the purchase agreement payment in full is made by wire transfer to the notary deposit account. Final settlement is between the notary and the seller.
Based on the prepared legal documentation the notary initiates the registration of change in ownership at the Property Registration Office.
Step 5: property declaration and management
The buyer now owns the property. Further declarations are owed towards the duty and tax offices and the local government.
Since in most cases buyers do not move in to live there permanently, it is advisable to commission a local expert with property management. For the sake of short-term rent income also consider to hire a professional agent. After closing the purchase deal we can immediately sign the management agreement prepared during the purchase process.
The above information provides future buyers with a general idea about the proceedings related to buying property. All property deals may include unique elements as well.