Propety Purchase Check List


Updated   April 2011
  • Find your own F independent lawyer (i.e. a lawyer who is not conected with anyone else involved in the transaction)
  • Ensure that the lawyer is registered with the 'bar association'
  • If possible find a lawyer with professional indemnity insurance
  • Agree fees and payment terms in advance with your lawyer. Do not pay full fees in advance.
Permission to purchase
  • All buyers should ensure they obtain permission to purchase prior to progressing with their purchase
  • All buyers must find out, through their permission to purchase, if they can live in an area or if it is classified as a 'restricted protection zone' or all buyers should visit the Ministry of Interior with a copy of the title deeds  for the property and ask if they can live in an area or if it is classified as a 'restricted protection zone'
Land Registry
  • Stamp duty should be paid immediately as stamped contract must be registered with the District Lands Office within 21 days from contract date.
  • Ensure your lawyer conducts a search with the Land Registry to check for existing mortgages or any other claims against the property that may pose difficulties for you
  • If a mortgage exists ensure your lawyer obtains a 'waiver' in writing from the mortgagor
  • Ensure the land is registered in name of the person or company from whom you are purchasing
Banks / Payment
  • Do not sign any papers or hand over any money without seeking the advice of your lawyer
  • Agree in advance staged payments based on construction progress if buying off-plan - ensure these are in your contract
  • Hold back a sum of money for title transfer and snagging - ensure this is in your contract
  • If obtaining a mortgage confirm interest rates and margin with bank and ensure you have sufficient life insurance cover
  • If purchasing off-plan request a bank guarantee from the developers bank
Pre-built / Resale homes
  • Employ an independant registered surveyor and ensure that any contract is subject to a survey
  • If remedial work is required, obtain written estimates
  • Ensure any estate agent you use is registered
Planning and building permits
  • On all purchases, (off-plan, pre-built and re-sale), ensure the required planning and building permits are/were issued before proceeding and attached as appendices to your contract. (This includes permission to build)
  • Ensure the property is built in accordance with the approved plans, copies should be attached as appendices to your contract.
  • Completed properties should have a Final Approval Certificate.  If Final Approval has not been granted please do not make structural changes or additions
Taking Delivery
  • Before accepting delivery, consider having the property inpected professionally by an independent registered surveyor who will also prepare a snagging list of items requiring attention - ensure this option is in your contract
  • Do not accept delivery if the property has not been conected to the electricity supply grid and mains water supply
Title Deeds
  • Please be aware that title deed issued in the north may not be recognised in any future settlement agreement
  • Title deeds can take many years to obtain. If you intend to sell your property at a later date, potential buyers may find it difficult/impossible to obtain a mortgage if you do not hold the title deed.
  • If title deeds are not available at time of purchase, ensure your lawyer includes a 'right to sell' clause in your contract and caps the amount the vendor may charge should you sell the property before Title Deeds have been issued in your name.
  • Until Title Deeds have been issued in your name, do not make any substantial changes to the property without the consent of the vendor.
  • In your contract include reference to:
  • completion and stage payment dates, (including penalties for late delivery)
  • complaince with construction law and regulations
  • a guarantee againt defects that may show up at a later date
  • reference to cancellation and resale options
  • Inclusion of the key points raised above

copyright © 2006 HomeBuyers' Pressure Group.