Buying property off plan can be a great way to invest and often allows the buyer to personalise their property with their material choices. In our experience it is also the most risky way to buy, unless you adhere to a few simple rules.
- Know who you are dealing with. Who is the constructor or developer and/or land owner. Currently many off plan projects are a partnership land owner and constructor so ensure there is a legally binding notary agreement outlining who has the right to sell.
- Be certain of what you are buying both in terms of what it is, where it is, as well as the final specification/finish. Property numbers can change from the marketing time to final completion so document exactly which unit you are buying on the plans.
- Visit the constructors’ previous builds and ask to talk to their previous clients.
- Get everything you agree in writing. Verbal promises do not count for anything however charming the seller is.
- Secure your payments by taking the title deed or the land share title deed for the property as early on as possible or, secure your payments by requesting a money bond which can be used if the property is not completed or delivered. Your lawyer should advise which of these methods best suits the circumstances of your purchase.
- Make sure that when you pay your final stage payment the building has received it sign off documents from the local authority referred to as the Living Permission (Iskan) and this has been registered in the title deed.
- Be prepared to visit the site when the property is under construction to check on progress.
- Always use a reputable agent and experienced property lawyer on location to oversee your interests.