Having selected the right property, agreed on the price and the terms and conditions of acquisition, one would then move to sign what we refer to as a Preliminary agreement. The process of purchasing a property in Malta is basically a three step procedure.
Appointing a Notary Public to act on your behalf. Our trained staff can assist in recommending an established and reputable independent Notary able to assist the purchaser in the acquisition.
A Notary undertakes to provide a number of services, namely:
- Drawing up of the Promise of Sale Agreement and registration thereof;
- Examination of title of the Property to verify clear legal title, confirming that there are no outstanding debts, hypotecs or liens on the property;
- Publication, enrollment and registration of the public deed of transfer;
- Anything reasonably required for attainment of the above purposes and ancillary thereto.
Notarial fees are regulated by law and largely depend on the property and the work associated with establishing its root of title. These can be estimated using the bill calculator available here.
Signing of a Preliminary agreement or Promise of Sale (otherwise known as ‘konvenju’). At this stage the buyer commits himself/herself to purchase the property in question and in turn the seller commits himself/herself to sell the property. A preliminary agreement is normally valid for a minimum three month period unless otherwise agreed between the two parties and in general a sum equivalent to 10% of the purchase price is paid by way of deposit on account of the price to secure the eventual transfer of the property. In most cases the deposit is held by the Notary on behalf of the buyer and transferred to the seller on final deed of sale once the root of title has been satisfactorily established.
Deed of Sale. Once the Notary public has established the root of title and carried out the necessary public searches to confirm that the property is free and unencumbered, the Notary is now in a position to produce the final deed of sale to be signed by both parties in his/her presence. The balance due on the property i.e. purchase price less the deposit already paid on signing of the preliminary agreement is then paid to the vendor. At this stage transfer of ownership of the property has taken place and the notary will then register the contract of sale with the public registry for future reference and proof of title.