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Due Diligence; Can it to help you sell your foreign property?

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Over the last few years there have been a great many people who have been trying to sell their properties abroad but without success. Typical comments from Sellers are that there aren’t the numbers of buyers that there used to be, there are so many other properties in the area for sale that competition and pricing are fierce and that the market is saturated with properties on sale.

In countries like Spain, for example, would be Sellers are having to also compete with the Spanish banks who are aggressively trying to sell off the properties on their balance sheets which they have previously repossessed from mortgage defaulters. 

Due Diligence & Negotiating Sale keys on keyboard

Undoubtedly it is very much a buyer’s market and there is a lot of competition to sell a property. Sellers will spend a bit of money making their foreign property look presentable, and look to engage a good and reputable local (or International) estate agent and commence an advertising campaign, sit back and wait for a Buyer. 

However there is something in addition a Seller can do to give themselves a competitive advantage over everybody else – they can commission a legal due diligence report on their property.

Imagine the scenario where you are buying and have looked at two identical properties. They are in the same complex and have the same layout. They are on for the same price. Everything appears to be the same but one of the properties comes with a full due diligence pack already in place. This makes life easier and means that not only will the transaction go through more easily but will also mean that things will therefore be cheaper and quicker from a legal point of view. Advertising a property with a full due diligence report already carried out can perhaps provide that all important advantage.

So what does this actually mean? Essentially this means that we carry out all the relevant checks on your property before you even start to market the unit. By carrying out land registry checks, we make sure that; 

  • The property is duly registered at the land registry in your name and therefore you can legally sell it
  • There are no charges or mortgages on the property that shouldn’t be there.
  • The property has been legally registered at the land registry
  • The description of the property is correct at the land registry
  • There are no illegal extensions or bits of the property that are not registered.
  • The correct size of the property is registered and that this matches up with the Catastral registry (if applicable)
  • The property has all the relevant habitation licenses and that these are available.
  • The property has, if applicable, the relevant structural guarantees
  • An energy certificate is obtained
  • The property is up to date with all the relevant payments including utility bills, rates, Community fees etc)

All of the relevant information and documentation (including the title deeds) are packaged and we issue a report on the purchase which confirms the legal status to the property. This bundle can then be used to help sell the property – after all, if all of this is available to the buyer right from the beginning aren’t they more likely to buy your property rather than the one next door where there may be an illegal extension or charges on the property. Essentially you are saying to the potential buyer “I have nothing to hide and there are no problems with my property”.

If you are selling a property overseas and would like to look into the possibility of carrying out advances due diligence on your property in order to help you sell it you can contact one of our specialist overseas property legal team

Disclaimer – International legal issues are a complex area of law and this information is no substitute for independent legal advice on an individual basis taking into consideration your personal circumstances and legal requirements. This information is provided to provide general information only and was correct at the time of publishing. The legal position in relation to international transactions can change frequently and this page may not have been updated following any changes in the law. You should therefore not rely on this information and should seek legal advice in relation to your personal circumstances.